Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

August 7, 2011

Flagstaff Police Attack and Arrest Protect the Peaks Marchers

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
Photos: Navajo Klee Benally attacked and arrested by Flagstaff, Arizona, police. Photo by Youth of the Peaks.
UPDATE: Protect the Peaks statement on arrests posted at:

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Six people protecting San Francisco Peaks were targeted and arrested during a peaceful march for the protection of San Francisco Peaks. San Francisco Peaks defender Klee Benally, Navajo, was among those arrested.
In front of Macy's Coffeehouse on Sunday afternoon, undercover police infiltrated the hundred person march in an attempt to squash the growing anti-Snowbowl movement.
The peaceful march by Native Americans and supporters was surrounded by police from the moment the march formed, marchers said.
An eye witness said, "They were just waiting to pounce. And they did!"
The six arrested were released on bail late Sunday. Klee Benally said in a message on Twitter: "Just released from jail. Protect the peaks. The struggle continues."
Supporters protecting San Francisco Peaks said they will continue with a planned protest outside the US Forest Service on Monday at 12:30 p.m.
Native Americans are struggling to defend sacred San Francisco Peaks from snow to be made from sewage water at the Snowbowl tourist resort on the Peaks. The mountains are sacred to 13 Native American Nations. Medicine men gather plants on the Peaks and hold traditional healing ceremonies on the Peaks.
Already, the sewage water pipeline has resulted in clearcutting of grandmother trees.
Native Americans are urging tourists to boycott the Snowbowl Ski Resort, and join the support for American Indians upholding their traditions and sacred lifeways.
Further, supporters of the Protect the Peaks movement are urging an investigation of the Flagstaff police for the arrests of Native Americans and people of color. Already, the ACLU has released statistics revealing that Arizona police target American Indians during arrests.
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