August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Klee Benally: Direct Action to Protect Holy Peaks Continues

Klee Benally, in his own words:
Direct Action to Protect Holy Peaks Continues

Klee Benally chained to escavator/by Ethan Sing
Supporters Klee lockdown/by Ethan Sing


Author activist Mary Sojourner arrested/by Ethan Sing

Peaks police liaison Rudy Preston arrested/by Ethan Sing

By Klee Benally
www.IndigenousAction.org
Photos by Ethan Sing
French translation:
http://www.chrisp.lautre.net/wpblog/?p=318
Posted at Censored News
On Saturday, August 13th 2011, after a prayerful gathering on the Holy San Francisco Peaks, my friends Mary Sojourner, Rudy Preston and I were arrested by "law-enforcement" agents for standing against desecration and eco-cide caused by Arizona Snowbowl ski area.

Since June 16th, 26 arrests have been made during protests when Snowbowl started furthering desecration and eco-cide on the Holy Peaks.

As a Snowbowl hired excavator operator tore into sacred earth, plants and boulders to extend the wastewater pipeline trench further up the Holy Mountain, 40 people gathered in prayer in a meadow directly across from the excavation. At times, bulldozers and the excavator were no more than 200 feet from the gathering, so the machinery made it nearly impossible for elders to speak. The noise completely disrupted statements and prayers made by those in attendance.

Although I am not sure how it started, shortly after the prayer gathering a group of 30 people started pushing rocks and dug-up dirt into the pipeline trench. As I watched from a distance, every rock being placed back in the trench--to heal the scarring of desecration--appeared more powerful than any petition I've ever read.

Two Forest Service agents, who had apparently been monitoring the prayer gathering, emerged from the woods as the spontaneous action unfolded.

At that point I approached the excavator operator and stated, "Stop. You have interrupted and interfered with our prayers. You must stop." I then chained and handcuffed myself to stop the excavator.

I was joined by more than 30 people who began chanting and singing. We sang in a way that was a continuation of our prayers. I was chained to the machine for approximately 2 hours.

Forest Service and Coconino County Sheriffs ultimately cut me out after Louise Benally, from Big Mountain, agreed that it was OK for me to do so. I was charged by a sheriff for "trespassing" and "disorderly conduct."

How can I be "trespassing" on this site that is so sacred to me? This is my church. It is the Forest Service and Snowbowl who are violating human rights and religious freedom by desecrating this holy Mountain. Although an appeal is in the court system Snowbowl is attempting to undermine judicial process. Additionally, Snowbowl and the Forest Service are violating the 2004 Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that was signed with Indigenous Nations. This MOA stipulates consultation must occur prior to any construction, this has not meaningfully occurred, if at has occurred at all. Not to mention, the Forest Service and Snowbowl are in violation of the Environmental Impact Statement, as they have followed none of the mitigation measures either. Their actions are far beyond "disorderly."

After my arrest and release, Mary Sojourner who is a local author and activist, confronted Forest Service and Coconino County Sherrifs. She walked up to the excavator in an effort to stop pipeline construction and was immediately cuffed and put into a police van.

Mary stated, "I took action not just for the Mountain, but for my friend, Klee Benally, who I saw chained to a monstrous extractor, the pipeline trenching machine that had been ripping into the mountain and the peaceful morning air as thirty of us prayed for the Mountain; and so that older women and men would see that one doesn't have to be young to stand up for a place and community that you love."

Rudy Preston, local Peaks advocate, was also arrested and charged with two counts of "disorderly conduct" and "trespassing".

Rudy offered this statement, "I feel like the world changed forever yesterday. Our actions on Nuvatukya Ovi (San Francisco Peaks in Hopi) have led to me seeing the true horrors perpetuated on the Indigenous cultures of our community every single day. Even without sewer water on the mountain, the desecration is a systematic perpetuation of genocide on local peoples for centuries and it is just as strong now as when peoples were forced onto the Longest Walk. My eyes will never again close to this injustice. And my body will not perpetuate it.
"

All that has happened in the last month was made possible by like-minded individuals taking action of all kinds. I hope that others move out of their comfort zone a bit and create actions that reflect their part in this. Not everyone can march in the streets, not everyone can lock down, not everyone has a car. But we all love the mountain and you don't need to wait for a 'known organizer' to tell you what to do next."

As I, Klee, was chained to the excavator I said, "This is not a game. This is not for show. This is not for media. This is to stop this desecration from happening."

While construction was only stopped for just about 2 hours, it was stopped nonetheless. This is power.
This is a power that we all share. If one person, three, six, or nine, can stand in the way of machinery and say "enough," imagine what would happen if it was every one of us who cared?

What is at stake is our prayers, our ways of life, our cultural survival. This is why this has to stop. This is why we say, 'No desecration for recreation, protect the peaks!'

For more info, action and to donate for jail support: www.indigenousaction.org or www.truesnow.org

VIDEO Taos NM: Celebrating our Young



Celebrating our Young: The path to drugs and alcohol for Indian youths in Taos, N.M., and the way back. "Tell our youths we are in love with them," is the message after three youths in Taos commit suicide. The first annual "Celebration of our Young," in Taos and all over the world is being planned. "This is big medicine and long overdue medicine."
Celebration of our Young
Taos, NM, Labor Day Weekend 2011
DAY 1: Friday, September 2, 2011
-Opening Prayer at Dawn
-Fasting for the Young Begins (Either Full Fast or Restricted Diet)
-Hearing the Young
Open invitation for young people to express their ideas and
concerns. Dialogue with elder generations. Things expressed
will be taken into account for prayer sessions for the rest
of the celebration
-Loving Hands Concert and Mural Project
Benefit concert at theSpot (900 Paseo Del Pueblo Norte)
Donations go to Essay Contest Winners answering the
following question: "What advice would you give older generations to make Taos a better place for it's young people?"
Submit essay with age and contact info to: sugarcayenne@gmail.com
-Sweat for the Young
Sweat Lodge Ceremony offered near Steakout

[DAY 2] Saturday, September 3:
-Running for the Young
Running as prayer for the young
(from Taos Pueblo to Town)
-Wiping of the Tears Ceremony
(For families who have suffered the loss of their young)
-Dancing Out Grief, Dancing In Joy
-Sweat for the Young (7PM)
Sweat Lodge Ceremony offered off Middle Road

[DAY 3] Sunday, September 4:
-University for the Young
We are learning and teaching each other across generations
So far we have a deer-hide tanning class, spoken word
workshops, mural painting workshop, a soccer clinic, DJ
lessons, yoga classes all day, silversmithing, flint
fire-making, theatre, manifestation lessons, peer counseling,
reiki lessons and modern dance classes What will you learn,
what will you teach?
-Kirtan Chant for the Young
-Pipe Ceremony for the Young
-Sweat for the Young
Sweat Lodge Ceremony offered off Cruz Alta

[DAY 4] Monday September 5:
-CELEBRATION of the Young
Final Bash at Kit Carson Park with exhibition of young artistic
talent, facepainting, graffiti contest, spoken word, and more.
-Breaking of the Fast
Local and Organic Foods provided at Kit Carson Park
-Sweat for the Young
Sweat Lodge Ceremony in Los Cordovas for the Young
In light of past and recent suicides and a blatant issue of misunderstanding of our youth in Taos, we are instigating the greatest party our young people will ever know to show them how much we love them/us. All events will be drug and alcohol free, we will be high on love.
On Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=180951881971446
We need your input! If you see a way that you can contribute to the schedule of event below, or if there is another event you'd like to add to the schedule please contact lylajune@gmail.com

New at Censored News Aug. 14, 2011

New at Censored News
August 14, 2011
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

Special thanks goes out to the courageous ones who continue to risk their lives for truth and justice, and the Native American youths providing breaking news with cellphones, cameras and video.
Here are the breaking news stories from Censored News:

Photos: Klee Benally locks down to Snowbowl equipment
Photos by Youths of the Peaks as the events unfold, with Klee Benally chained to Snowbowl excavator and two arrests, Peaks police liaison Rudy Preston and author Mary Sojourner. Native American youths in action providing instant coverage, sending photos by cellphone to Censored News:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/photos-klee-benally-locks-down-to.html

Photos: Klee Benally chained to excavator at Snowbowl
Photos by Outta Your Backpack Media
Native youths telling their own stories with media, documenting Klee Benally, Navajo, chained to excavator on Saturday to halt desecration of sacred San Francisco Peaks:
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/photos-klee-benally-chained-to.html

Mohawk Nation News: Youth Riots: Ravenous Hunger for Freedom
By Mohawk Nation News
Indigenous could not be enslaved. A man whose mind is free cannot be controlled. The most that can be done is to kill them. There is a hunger for freedom. Those aware are angry. Hunger is becoming more intense. Alarms are ringing. They are looking for sustenance.
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/mohawk-nation-news-youth-riots-ravenous.html

Arizona Daily Sun’s pitiful explanation of censorship of Protect the Peaks
The pathetic note, in a series of notes, in today's Arizona Daily Sun can be translated this way: "We aren't going to cover this breaking news, and 19 arrests by sending out a reporter and photographer, because we are a white elitist newspaper and focus on white people and money-making profiteers. We can always come up with an excuse to censor, and cover our backs, because we are the ones publishing this newspaper and no one can force us to abide by the ethics of journalism. We don't really care what local Native Americans have to say because we give priority to white people, and people who are exploiting the natural resources, profiteering from other peoples misery and profiteering from the desecration of their sacred places."
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/arizona-daily-suns-pitiful-explanation.html

Free Palestine Movement announces new flotilla with AIM representative
The Free Palestine Movement announces the Nour al-Haqiqa (Light of Truth) Flotilla vessel and its goal of reaching Gaza. American Indian Movement representative Jimbo Simmons, Choctaw, is among those making plans to be on the vessel.
During an interview broadcast at the Protecting Mother Earth Gathering in North Dakota July 28-31, Simmons said he is making plans to be on the vessel. Simmons was also in Greece in June, waiting to leave on the Free Gaza Flotilla that was halted.
The Free Palestine Movement made a public announcement of plans for the Nour al-Haqiqa Flotilla vessel today.
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/free-palestine-movement-announces.html

VIDEO: Frack Off! 500 foot banner drop
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/video-frack-off-500-foot-banner-drop.html
.
New on Monday:
Klee Benally, in his own words, with photos by Ethan Sing
'Direct Action to Protect the Holy Peaks Continues'
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/klee-benally-direct-action-to-protect.html

VIDEO: Taos NM: Celebrating our Young
Labor Day events in Taos, NM, healing family and youths
http://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2011/08/video-taos-nm-celebrating-our-young.html

VIDEO: Frack Off! 500 foot banner drop

Free Palestine Movement announces flotilla with AIM representative

Censored News

The Free Palestine Movement announces the Nour al-Haqiqa (Light of Truth) Flotilla vessel and its goal of reaching Gaza. American Indian Movement representative Jimbo Simmons, Choctaw, is among those making plans to be on the vessel.
During an interview broadcast at the Protecting Mother Earth Gathering in North Dakota July 28-31, Simmons said he is making plans to be on the vessel. Simmons was also in Greece in June, waiting to leave on the Free Gaza Flotilla that was halted.
The Free Palestine Movement made a public announcement of plans for the Nour al-Haqiqa Flotilla vessel today.
Introducing The Nour al-Haqiqa Flotilla Vessel
August 14, 2011
Free Palestine Movement
Please accept our apologies for the long delay in reporting to you on developments concerning the Free Palestine Movement and its participation in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla with our partners in the International Committee to Break the Siege of Gaza (ICBSG). Until now, our partners asked us to say nothing about our ship, and they were right to do so, because our silence allowed the ship to quietly leave Greece with the hope of placing the passengers on board at another location.
The Nour al-Haqiqa (Light of Truth), is a fine vessel, the largest in the Flotilla (not including the Mavi Marmara). It is approximately 40 meters in length and licensed to carry 120 passengers and crew for overnight travel. READ MORE:
http://www.freepalestinemovement.org/home.html

Arizona Daily Sun's pitiful explanation for censorship

Arizona Daily Sun's pitiful explanation for censorship
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

The Arizona Daily Sun in Flagstaff makes a pitiful explanation for its censorship of news coverage of the protests of Protect the Peaks and the 19 arrests in the past nine days.

In Sunday's paper, first the Arizona Daily Sun whines about not having enough reporters. But of course the reporters are out covering other stories.

Then, the Arizona Daily Sun attempts to defame Native Americans struggling to protect their sacred San Francisco Peaks, and insults them.

When all else fails, the Arizona Daily Sun just dismisses the whole thing by saying, "there doesn't appear to be a lot of new news on the horizon."

Well, this may be the most pathetic excuse for censorship in history. It may also be the most pathetic coverup for protecting, and cheerleading, for the business desecrating the sacred San Francisco Peaks, the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, and its owner, Eric Borowsky, who lives in Scottsdale, not Flagstaff.

Besides covering up for the profiteering Snowbowl, the Arizona Daily Sun covered up for Flagstaff police who targeted organizers in a peaceful march last Sunday, and dragged them out into the street to arrest them.

The pathetic note, in a series of notes, in Sunday's Arizona Daily Sun online can be translated this way: "We aren't going to cover this breaking news, and 19 arrests by sending out a reporter and photographer, because we are a white elitist newspaper and focus on white people and money-making profiteers. We can always come up with an excuse to censor, and cover our backs, because we are the ones publishing this newspaper and no one can force us to abide by the ethics of journalism. We don't really care what local Native Americans have to say because we give priority to white people, and people who are exploiting the natural resources, profiteering from other peoples misery and profiteering from the desecration of their sacred places."

-- Brenda Norrell
(Brenda Norrell, publisher of Censored News, is a former reporter for the Arizona Daily Sun and AP)

Read more of the Arizona Daily Sun coverup: http://azdailysun.com/news/opinion/editors-column/between-the-lines-daily-sun-readers-staying-ahead-of-web/article_facfcee9-5edc-554e-81c9-34ad57dca1e6.html#ixzz1V13W2M1

NOTE: The reporters were even spoonfed with press statements, video and photos from people on the scene. There is no excuse for this. There was no travel invovled for Arizona Daily Sun reporters to go downtown to the protests. They could have ridden a bicycle. The reporters could even sit in their easy chairs, like many other armchair reporters, publish the press statements, quote from the video, post the free photos, and there you have it, almost a news story.
And of course, there's always the phone call. Along with a free photo, the phone call interview is the perfect reporter coverup for not being there.
--Brenda Norrell
.

Mohawk Nation News: Youth Riots -- Ravenous Hunger for Freedom

Youth Riots -- Ravenous Hunger for Freedom

Mohawk Nation News
http://www.mohawknationnews.com

MNN.  August 9, 2011.  People and animals don’t live or breed well in captivity, unless they think they are free.  Indigenous had mental, physical and spiritual freedoms.  Europeans were born into cages, conditioned to be obedient to their masters. They can’t see the horror of their slavery because it is too painful to look at directly.  Europeans have tried to bring everybody else into the cage with them.  We can only be kept in cages we refuse to see.  To see the cage is to leave it. 

Indigenous could not be enslaved.  A man whose mind is free cannot be controlled. The most that can be done is to kill them.   

There is a hunger for freedom.  Those aware are angry.       

Hunger is becoming more intense.  Alarms are ringing.   They are looking for sustenance.  

Failing states run by genocidal tyrants and a multi cultural society have become a violent mix.  They are lured as cheap labor.  But there are not enough jobs, food or decent living conditions, leading to conflict and competition. 

The Big Boys designed a free falling global economy based on greed and impunity.  The top 5% take one-third of the wealth and stir up financial turmoil.  They make 100 times more than the rest. Income distribution, corporate corruption, a weak banking structure and an economic imbalance favors them.

The public becomes discouraged.  The workforce and the youth are underemployed.

The government borrows and prints money to pay its debts.  The rich don’t pay taxes.  The people do.   Prices for food, oil and other necessities skyrocket. 

Markets fail.  Bankers thrive.  People become miserable, dangerous,violent and toxic.   

London rioters are betrayed youth who say “My riot is my voice”.  They are reacting to unbridled corruption and police brutality by banker-controlled governments.  Wars take half the state’sspending.  Benefits are cut.  Cutbacks and higher taxes reign down on the people.  They have no future. 

In societies where the gap between rich and poor is less, social problems are less.  State sponsored selfishness is created by individualism, incarceration, low health, mental problems, crushing unions and making dissent unlawful.

Humans,their greatest resource, are being farmed by the elite, to be controlled, threatened, or killed.  When fear is gone, control is gone. 

Austerity intifada is sweeping Europe and the world.  The dictatorial rich set the example on how to sack and plunder the state. Desperate people watch and start looting. 

The battle is between real liberation of the Kaianerehkowa/Great Law of Peace and the evil of fascism.   Fear is near its end for Indigenous.  The Kaianerehkowa beckons us to demand real freedom from theft of our possessions, slavery,bondage, imprisonment or restraint. 

MNN Mohawk Nation News Kahentinetha2@yahoo.com  For more news, books, to donate to help pay legal fees and to sign up for MNN newsletters go to www.mohawknationnews.com  More stories at MNN Category “ECONOMICS/TRADE/COMMERCE”.  Address:  Box 991, Kahnawake [Quebec, Canada] J0L 1B0

Store: Indigenous authors – Kahnawake books – Mohawk Warriors Three – Warriors Hand Book – Rebuilding the Iroquois Confederacy.

Category:  World – Colonialism - Indian holocaust/genocide – Great Turtle Island – History – New World Order – courts/policeEconomics/trade/commerce – Land/environment – military/industrial complex. 

Tags: North American Indians – Turtle Island – Indian holocaust/genocide – NAUNorth American Union – History Canada/US – United Nations – Cointelpro -colonialism.

Photos: Klee Benally chained to excavator at Snowbowl





Photos copyright Outta Your Backpack Media/Censored News. Thanks to Outta Your Backpack Media in Flagstaff for photos!
By Brenda Norrell
Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com
French translation:
Traduction (Fr): http://www.chrisp.lautre.net/wpblog/?p=305

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Navajo Klee Benally chained himself to an excavator on Snowbowl Road on Saturday, Aug. 14, after machinery disrupted a prayer gathering on San Francisco Peaks. Peaks police liaison Rudy Preston and author Mary Sojourner were arrested. Both have been bailed out of Coconino County Jail, according to a message at 1:30 am on Sunday.

While Klee Benally was chained to an excavator, he said, "Here we draw the line, here we say no more!"

"You are criminals. You allow the desecration of our sacred. You threaten our cultural survival.

"What part of sacred don’t you understand," Benally said. His words were repeated by supporters gathered at the site as police arrived and a forest service officer emerged from the woods who had been videotaping them.

Benally, chained to the excavator, said, "This is not a game. This is not for show. This is not for media. This is to stop this desecration from happening."

"What is at stake is our prayers, our ways of life, our cultural survival, this is why this has to stop. This is why we say, 'No desecration for recreation, protect the peaks!'"

Those words were resounded by other Native Americans gathered to halt the destruction.

Flagstaff author Mary Sojourner and Protect the Peaks police liaison Rudy Preston were arrested at the scene. Preston was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct and one count of trespassing. Sojourner was charged late Saturday. Benally was cited for disorderly conduct and released.

Klee Benally is internationally know as the lead singer of the Navajo family band Blackfire and longtime organizer of efforts to save San Francisco Peaks from destruction.

Mary Sojourner is the author of two novels, Sisters of the Dream and Going Through Ghosts; the short story collection, Delicate; essay collection, Bonelight: ruin and grace in the New Southwest; memoirs, Solace: rituals of loss and desire and She Bets Her Life.

In Flagstaff, Russell Crawford said the Protect the Peaks movement resonates around the world.

"There are lots of folks in Flagstaff right now supporting the efforts to stop destruction and desecration on the Holy San Francisco Peaks. Some are camping in the woods, bearing witness to the pipeline excavation, and some are in town providing legal and other forms of support. Additionally, there are thousands of people from around the world who are also acting in solidarity with those in Flagstaff. Last but not least, there are also all those who are struggling to protect sacred sites and the environment, who are directly connected to those in northern Arizona. From Australia to the Arctic, Appalachia to the fields of Ireland, liberated Zapatista territories to occupied O'odham lands, Big Mountain to Yucca Mountain, and beyond," Crawford said.

Before Saturday's action, 17 people were arrested in the past eight days, as Navajo, Hualapai, Hopi, O'odham and other Native Americans have been protesting the destruction of the sacred mountains.

Tourists are being asked to boycott the Arizona Snowbowl, which is owned by Eric Borowsky of Scottsdale.

During a week of action, Protect the Peaks protested outside the US Forest Service, Flagstaff City Hall and High Desert Investment Company. High Desert Investment Company, responsible for the clearcutting San Francisco Peaks, is owned by G Allen Ribelin, who also owns High Investment Logging in Flagstaff.

The Arizona Snowbowl plans to make snow for tourists on the sacred mountain using recycled waste water. Thirteen Native American Indian Nations hold the mountains sacred. Medicine men gather healing plants and conduct ceremonies on the mountains.

Already, there is clearcutting of the old growth forests for the pipeline and tourist developments.

Native American youths have been willing to be arrested to halt the destruction.

More info at:
www.indigenousaction.org
www.truesnow.org
More photos and articles at Censored News
http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com