Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

April 20, 2022

In Defense of Palestine: Elbit Shut Down Again: Elbit Built Spy Towers on Tohono O'odham Nation

In Defense of Palestine, Elbit Shut Down Again: Elbit Built Spy Towers on Tohono O'odham Nation 

Breaking News: Activists have again shut down Israel's Elbit Systems in London

By Brenda Norrell
April 20, 22
Censored News

Activists shut down and spray painted the London headquarters of Israel's largest weapons firm, Elbit Systems. "Whilst violence escalates against the Palestinian people, we're amplifying our disruption of Israel's criminal operations," reports Palestine Action.

Elbit Systems -- an Israeli defense contractor based in Israel -- built the spy towers on the Tohono O'odham Nation, which has disturbed O'odham burial places.

The live video from the towers is now used to stalk vulnerable O'odham women, children and the elderly. Whistleblower Jenn Budd revealed that three Border Patrol agents in the Tucson sector, which includes the Tohono O'odham Nation, have been arrested as serial rapists.

The spy towers, called integrated fixed towers, are opposed by traditional O'odham. The contract with Elbit was approved by the Tohono O'odham Nation government, which did not uphold the advice of traditional O'odham elders. The contract was granted by the U.S. government and continued during the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations.

Reporting from her homeland, Ofelia Rivas, Tohono O'odham said the Gu-Vo District opposed this proposal from the beginning.

Gu-Vo, in the westernmost district of the Tohono O'odham Nation, said, "The Gu-Vo District opposes these proposed tower sites to protect cultural sites on the holy mountain now called the Ajo Mountain Range. The mountain holds human remains of our people and also places of our cultural practices (medicine bundles) home and home of the ceremonial deer and bighorn sheep and mountain tortoises that are protected under the Endangered Species Act."

"The United States government military forces, the border patrol, have not been forthcoming with impact information, such as health effects and have deliberately misinformed the people regarding the immediate environmental impacts such as the roads they will build on the mountain and installation of electrical power lines to the sites as well as that these proposed tower sites will have a 25-year or longer impact on the mountain, the animal and plant life and the O'odham lives."

"The Gu-Vo District communities landscape has already been greatly impacted by numerous unauthorized roads and destruction of our mountains and hills of great significance to the O'odham way of life. Our future generations will face more restrictions to live on our original lands as our rights as original Indigenous peoples continue to deteriorate."

"These U.S. proposed towers also are not on the border but in our communities and on the border of the Tohono O'odham Nation reiterating discrimination and deliberate attack on the O'odham," said Gu-Vo District.

The Apartheid-style security on the Tohono O'odham Nation comes as Elbit conducts security for Israel in Palestine. Today, Elbit is protested around the world as a manufacturer of drones and weapons of death.

Copyright Ofelia Rivas and Brenda Norrell, Censored News.
Content from Censored News may not be used without written permission.

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