Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

March 18, 2012

Louise Benally 'No' to Indian water theft at Occupy Midwest

By Brenda Norrell
Censored News

ST LOUIS -- Louise Benally, Dine' resisting relocation on Big Mountain, spoke out against Peabody Coal and the three decades of Peabody's rape of the land, theft of Black Mesa aquifer water and the collusion with politicians devastating Black Mesa and its people.

Speaking at the Occupy the Midwest gathering, Benally urged support to halt the theft of Indian water rights and halt the ongoing push by non-Indians to steal Navajo water rights in Arizona. This includes the machinations underway by Arizona congressmen and non-Indian tribal attorneys.

In the home city of Peabody Coal, protesters rallied against the coal giant that has left a dirty trail of disease and destruction on the Navajo Nation, and across America. Benally spoke out against Peabody's coal mine that continues on Black Mesa, providing coal for one of the nation's dirtiest and most polluting power plants, the Navajo Generating Station, on the Navajo Nation near Page, Ariz.

The Navajo Generating Station, one of three coal fired power plants on the Navajo Nation, continues due to the collusion of Navajo politicians with Peabody and other corporations, including the Salt River Project which operates the power plant, and politicians such as Sen. John McCain. McCain and Arizona congressmen worked behind the scenes to orchestrate the so-called Navajo Hopi land dispute. In reality, it was a manipulation by Peabody Coal, its attorneys and US congressmen to remove more than 14,000 Navajos from their homeland to make way for Peabody coal mining. Now, the power plant carries electricity to Southwest cities while many Navajos live without electricity. While Peabody and the power plant deplete pristine aquifer water, many Navajos live without running water and are forced to drive long distances to haul water.

In St. Louis, protesters also rallied against Bank of America and disrupted the St Patrick's Day festivities, Benally told Censored News. Benally said she is urging those gathered in St. Louis to join the fight against the tarsands, devastating the Cree in Alberta, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Benally speaks again today, Sunday, at the Occupy Midwest gathering in St Louis. Read more:

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