Westwood leads Peltier supporters

Fashion maverick rallies for prisoner's release

LONDON — What do Pamela Anderson, Mikhail Gorbachev, Brian Grazer, Melanie Griffith, Dustin Hoffman, Marilyn Manson, Michael Moore, Oliver Stone and Archbishop Desmond Tutu all have in common?

All have signed a petition collated by idiosyncratic Brit fashion maverick Vivienne Westwood in support of Leonard Peltier, an American Indian who has been in jail for 29 years for the 1975 murder of two FBI agents at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. A crime Westwood and other campaigners are convinced Peltier did not commit.

At a Grand Classics: Films With Style screening at London’s Electric cinema on March 20, Westwood unveiled the Michael Apted-directed and Robert Redford exec produced 1992 Peltier doc “Incident at Oglala” as the film that most influenced her.

She used the platform to make an impassioned speech in support of the slow-burning campaign to clear Peltier who has become something of a cause celebre over the decades. “Leonard represents all prisoners who shouldn’t be in jail … He represents all the people in Guantanamo” argued Westwood, adding that “there can be no civilisation or democracy without law.”

Guests including Tom Hollander, Kelly Osborne and Margo Stilley left the Notting Hill hotspot with a provocative Westwood designed flying penis badge declaring the innocence of Peltier.