While preparing to to write my own short reflection on the current “occupy” movement I asked Ofelia Rivas if she would like to contribute to the zine as well. Here is her letter. This will also be in the new Don’t just (re)occupy zine.
Thank you again so much for your contribution Ofelia! For more news from Ofelia and ways you can support her efforts please see: the O’odham Solidarity Project page.
O’odham VOICE Against the WALL
O’odham Rights Human Rights
P.O. Box 1835
Sells, Arizona 85634
October 10, 2011
In protest we write these foreign words as this is not our natural language, our O’odham language is not a written language which has existed in its oral form since the beginning of the world;
We declare our allegiance to Mother Earth and the Natural World. We are natural people of this world and original people of these lands now known as southern Arizona, United States and northern Sonora, Mexico.
We denounce the physical manipulation and destruction and alteration of the natural lands and people.
We denounce the contamination of the lands, water and air,
We denounce the destruction of mountains, waterways and natural habitats of people, animals and plants,
We denounce the alteration of human life, animal and plant life as well as all mountains and waterways and natural habitats,
We denounce the illegal bisection of our lands and illegal occupation by two foreign countries, the United States and Mexico,
We denounce the militarization of our lands, every day of the year, every hour of the day there is presence of armed military in helicopters, jets and airplanes and unmanned airplanes, on jeeps, high profile trucks and pick-up trucks, on all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes, and on horseback,
We denounce the United States government aided and staged drug wars on our lands,
We denounce the United States enforcement of Immigration policies on the O’odham the original people of the lands,
We denounce the criminalization and de-humanizing of the O’odham, the original people of the lands;
by three military check points existing the present Tohono O’odham Nation Indian Reservation,
by monitoring and the surveillance of O’odham communities,
by demanding of proof of citizenship of O’odham in our communities,
by unwarranted illegal home invasions in O’odham communities,
by illegal searches and detainments and deportation of O’odham,
by physical and mental abuse and de-humanizing of the O’odham in our communities,
by restriction of access to original O’odham lands.
We denounce the ongoing alteration of our people through forced indoctrination through religions, forced assimilation and acculturation.
We are the original people of these lands and we hereby demand you to stop the destruction, contamination and alteration of our home, the Natural World.
We are the O’odham, the original people of these lands, demand the restoration of our Human Rights and Right to Exist and Live by own sovereign government on our Original Ancestral lands.
****This is a preview of a short article for a zine I am compiling in response to the current sweeping “occupy” movement. The zine will be released soon….
WHY (RE)OCCUPYING WON’T WORK….
September 17, 2011 hundreds of people answer a call-out from Adbusters maga- zine to “occupy” Wall Street. Today October 14, 2011 less than a week since what is recognized as the initial “occupation” of this continent by Christopher Columbus- the City of Phoenix plans to join the “Occupy…” movement tomorrow Saturday, October 15. Will these new occupiers learn anything from the vicious past of the occupation and colonization of this land better known as OCCUPIED AKIMEL O’ODHAM PI-POSH LAND?
If you had a chance to reverse an oppressive part of history that has left us with a devastating present would you do it? More than 500 years ago the process of the colonization of this continent began. A “movement” of people wishing to resist op- pression came here and “occupied” this entire continent. THESE ORIGINAL OC- CUPIERS WERE PROBABLY THE BEST EXAMPLE OF A GROUP OF OCCUPI- ERS THAT “WANT(ED) EVERYTHING”. These “occupiers” ignored the needs of every original person of this land that conflicted with their desires. This Occupation of the continent now known as North America is still flourishing through the process of colonization.
Today in nearly every densely populated corner of this continent we hear news of a new movement of people re-occupying public places. We see numerous unfortunate similarities between this new group and the original occupiers of this land. One major similarity being not communicating with the original people who have inhabited this land for centuries. The second, demanding everything for themselves and not having the foresight to acknowledge any of the needs of the indigenous people who’s land they are occupying.
The process of colonization has contributed many negative characteristics to this popular dominating culture. Is this new occupation ready to address any of these issues? Capitalism has conveniently relocated people across this continent. In the form of reservations we have seen a vanishing of the original people of this land. The relocating has also taken the form of shipping in people from other continents in the form of slavery for the workplace. We also see the forced relocation of children through the process of international adoption. We are also given borders to divide us from others to better reinforce the process of colonization and assimilation.
The domination of this continent has been all too successful through a system of neocolonial, patriarchal, white supremacy. In almost every crevice of our society to- day we see this still dominating and tearing us apart. What does this new movement of occupiers plan to do to account for this social inheritance of power imbalances’?
On the point of occupation as a strategy are these new occupiers doing anything to learn from the past of other radical occupations? The demands of many of these present occupations match that of a very specific niche in the preexisting capitalist system. Most demands focus on reforming the tools of capitalism that are choking the life out of everyone. Most of these new occupiers lack the basic vernacular required for a true revolution that would begin to reverse the current colonization of this continent.
Any successful tactic or movement takes power back from the system. From most movements we see different divisions of radical theory develop. One sees this with the Black power movement. Their movement saw an evolution in tactics from the semi-weak handed paper tigers, to the Black Panthers to the Black Liberation Army.
The black panthers instituted very successful community programs with clear demands mapped out by their ten-point program. And the Black Liberation Army was successful in acquiring funds to aid programs often through outright armed robbery and the underground organized re-funneling of appropriated funds . The paper tigers slowly fizzled out and are hardly known by many now.
With the American Indian Movement (AIM) we saw many effective applications of the occupation method. From Alcatraz to the BIA headquarters in Washington, DC, Mount Rushmore and many more, AIM was extremely successful in getting their message out through the use of occupation. While many of the current occupations are ending with occupants getting the shit beat out of them by the police AIM usually left their occupations accomplishing much more.
Looking at the November 1971 AIM occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) headquarters we see what a successful occupation looks like. The occupation that involved approximately 1,000 AIM members caused $2 million in damages (note this was in the 70’s when a million dollars was a significant amount of money). Recognized as an actual threat by Nixon (president at the time) the group was given $66,000 in transportation monies in return for a peaceful end to the takeover. The group was also successful in leaving with crucial files and records many pertaining to Indian health records and also including treaties, deeds, and water rights records. Nixon was actually forced to meet with tribal representatives in Oregon because of the occupation. Other notable details of the occupation, all this happened in nearly a weeks time. And all of the occupiers were able to leave.
Will any of these new occupiers learn from the past revolutionary occupations that have erupted thorough out the past of this continent? The rest of this zine offers additional insight into present demands of the indigenous people of the area and other radical occupations and direct actions.
Trial for Protect the Peaks Six Arrested at August Protest Begins Thursday
Flagstaff, AZ – On Thursday, October 20, 2011, six Protect the Peaks supporters who were arrested during an August 7 march for protection of the Holy San Francisco Peaks will go to trial. Five of the six are charged with “Obstructing A Public Thoroughfare” and one individual with “Obstruction of Government Operation.” The Protect the Peaks supporters invite community supporters to join them inside and outside the courthouse during the trial. The bench trial will take place at Flagstaff Municipal Court located at 15 North Beaver in downtown Flagstaff at 9:30 AM.
During the August 7 march more than one hundred people, including families with children and elders, marched through downtown Flagstaff on a Sunday in protest of the destruction and desecration of the San Francisco Peaks by Arizona Snowbowl. As the protesters peacefully passed out flyers and carried banners through Flagstaff’s Southside, police aggressively disrupted the march, grabbing those who were closest to the street, pulling them into the street and arresting them. As six marchers were handcuffed, the remaining demonstrators continued to yell demands for an end to the Peaks’ desecration.
Video prior to the march
Today a banner reading “snowbowl Stinks” was attached to the train-bridge that runs through downtown Flagstaff aboveRoute 66.
This happens while folks have been camping in protest of Arizona Snowbowl for almost a month. Also folks in Flagstaff are preparing for a week of Action in protest of the desecration of the peaks. We are also pleased to inform folks that we are in the process of setting up a blog specifically for raising awareness to actions being taken in Solidarity with the past decades of resistance to Arizona Snowbowls attack on the Holy San Francisco Peaks. The current Web address is protectthepeaks.wordpress.com. We will hopefully be moving the site to an independent server. We will keep you posted as more news arrives.
Here is the Rundown of events for the week of action:
How long will we allow the destruction and desecration to continue?
Take action for Sacred Sites, Human Rights, Environment, Public Health, Community, Respect!
PROTECT THE PEAKS!
WEEK OF ACTION
August 4-9, 2011
ALL EVENTS RAIN OR SHINE!
(Please come prepared with rain gear)
Thurs. 4th – BANNER MAKING – 5:30PM
At Taala Hooghan Infoshop – 1704 N 2nd St.
Fri. 5th – AWARENESS MARCH – 5:30PM
Meet at Heritage Square downtown Flagstaff. We will walk through downtown and hand out flyers.
Sat. 6th – DAY OF PRAYER – ALL DAY
Organized by Youth of the Peaks. Pray where you are.
A gathering will also be held near Snowbowl parking lot by Humphrey‘s Trail at 11AM.
Sun. 7th – MARCH FOR THE PEAKS! – 12:30PM
Meet and start in Wheeler Park downtown Flagstaff, AZ. Bring banners and signs.
Mon. 8th – RALLY AT USFS OFFICE! – 12:30pm
At Coconino Forest Service Office – 1824 S. Thompson St. Flagstaff, AZ (Near AZ Daily Sun off of Old Rt. 66) Come on your lunch hour. Bring banners and signs.
Tues. 9th -PROTEST HIGH DESERT INVESTMENT & CITY HALL!
PROTEST HIGH DESERT INVESTMENT – 12:30PM
504 E Butler Avenue (across from New Frontiers)
PROTEST CITY HALL – 4:00PM
Meet at Flagstaff City Hall on Rt 66 side. Bring banners and signs, drums and song.
ADDITIONAL WAYS TO TAKE ACTION:
Join the encampments!
Join a current camp or start your own.
Come camp for a day or more, or just visit to support the encampments.
Donate supplies or funds.
MORE INFO: www.TrueSnow.org
Today is day six of the cook shack convergence on the Holy San Francisco Peaks. What follows is a short collection of videos and photos that have come out of the cook shack convergence as well as background information on the encampment against further desecration and destruction.
Monday July 18, was an intense day at camp. The mountain was host to an intense hail storm that left piles of hail at the base of everyone’s tents. There was also intense thunder and lightning throughout the day and night. This did however lead to a brief halt in construction though. Unfortunately, once the hail let up workers resumed destruction quickly. Huge fires have been consuming the slash-piles at the base of the mountain day and night.
We have been visited from friends as far away as LA. On Friday July 15 LA Food Not Bombs came out to support the camp with a crew ready to cook. They helped the camp till Sunday. Since then meals have been taken on by the rest of the camp. The camp has received a large amount of in-town-support in the form of food donations as well as basic camping supplies in response to a call-out for supplies from the cook shack. The camp has fluctuated in numbers since Friday but camp spirits have remained positive throughout everyone’s stay.
Interactions with security and the state in general have been minimal. However a few brushins and one trespassing citation have emerged from the almost weeklong stay. The upper parking lot area where cookshack is located is a day use area only meaning, technically during the times of 8pm and 6am when snowbowl road is closed the upper parking lot is as well. On the morning of the 16, as two campers approached their vehicle between 5-6am had a snowbowl security personnel speed towards them and take their pictures with zero consent or any beforehand interaction. The security guard later approached and asked one of the campers if they would mind filling out a form with their persynal information. When the camper refused to do so and stated that they were being profiled. The security guard deferred to a “i’m just doing my job” stance and further stating that Snowbowl instructed him to document everyone that was in the upper parking lot area past the day use hours. He said it was due to “suspicious activity” occurring in the parking lot.
After conducting a hike observing the destruction and slash pile burning on Wednesday the 20, one camper was sited with a trespassing citation. The full charge is 75 dollars. After giving the camper a ticket US forest rangers then questioned two other campers on the where-abouts of the camp. The ranger for a short time was set on finding the camp and ID’ing everyone present. Campers were able to persuade the officers to enter camp or continue searching for the where-abouts of the physical camp.
Later in the evening a reporter for the Navajo times also said she was followed by an officer her entire drive down from Snowbowl.
All in all The camp has been going smoothly. Thanks to a pouring in of support there has been a pretty consistent supply of food and camping supplies. However it has been difficult to obtain other equipment. Donations of gift card to hardware stores would carry our camp really far. Also gift cards to sporting goods stores (REI, Sports Authority…etc) would help us get more specific gear and supplies that we need.
Those of the cook shack would like to thank everyone that has given us your support. The reality of things are that we still need more help if we are going to be a part of ending snowbowls war on the peaks. We are in need of a much larger presense of supporters. What that means is people on the peaks ready to take action. Hope to see all of you soon!
The following is a statement from the Cook Shack:
To be visibly and actively in resistance to corporate greed, state violence, environmental destruction, and spiritual desecration.
To not allow ourselves or others to look away – To bear witness to the atrocities being committed against the environment, indigenous people and community health, as well as bear witness to the resilience and power of the people!
To support other encampments and affinity groups by providing access to available food, gear, first aid, information and other supplies being offered and dropped off by supporters and community members. We will be transporting donations from drop places in Flagstaff to the CookShack base camp.
To answer the calls to action to STOP CONSTRUCTION AND DESECRATION and to stand with people past and present fighting to protect the peaks and all sacred places.
Join us for a few hours, a day, a week or a month: If you find yourself in affinity with us and would like to join us or support us and other base camps, please stop by Taala Hooghan Infoshop (1704 N. 2nd St. East Flagstaff AZ 86004) or e-mail us at PTPcookshack@gmail.com to drop off supplies and/or get more info. Connect with us before Friday morning and go with us to the mountain to set-up camp!!!
We remind folks that this is a drug/alcohol/hater free encampment, and we support a diversity of tactics and strategies. Please come as self sufficient as possible.
We encourage everyone to answer the calls to action and start their own affinity groups and their own base camps!!! Please visit www.truesnow.org for the latest info.
Clear-Cutting Continues on the Peaks-Take Action Now!
These photos are from Saturday July 9, 2011, courtesy strongholdz media. There are currently two massive sections of Clear Cuts that begin directly behind (east of) the Heart prarie lodge. To those entering snowbowl to take a “recreational” hike the cuts are neatly hidden out of sight and roped off to the public (allegedly for the public’s saftey.
As a point of reference, please use this map of Arizona Snowbowls proposed development to better familiarize your self with the lifts and lodges named in this article. Just click and it will open in a separate window that you can then zoom in and out of:
These photos are from Saturday July 9, 2011. There are currently two massive sections of Clear Cuts that begin directly behind (east of) the Heart prarie lodge. To those entering snowbowl to take a “recreational” hike the cuts are neatly hidden out of sight and roped off to the public (allegedly for the public’s saftey.)
According to Arizona Snowbowl owner Eric Borowski the Clear-cutting began on june 20 (by Flagstaff logging business High Desert Investment Company). After more than two weeks of rapid-reckless clear-cutting the cutting has reached the nearest road to the base of theHeart Prairie lift.
In the photos above you can see the tops of downed trees covering the road nearest the top of the lift.
From above in this photo you can see how the cuts are sprawling their way through the mountain. Unfortunetly this photo is merely a fraction of the cutting snowbowl has completed to date. It is an even smaller fraction of the more than 74 acres the US department of agriculture has signed away to Arizona Snowbowl.
It has been said that Snowbowl is planning to sell the trees they are cutting from the Peaks. To further increase the profit being made off of the desecration of a sacred site. Where will snowbowl stop? better question to ask yourself what will you do to stop Arizona Snowbowl?
Many of these trees are Old-Growth trees that have been alive for centuries. Some of the trees stacked for sale are more five feet wide. From where the trees have been viciously chopped down a trail of trenches full of tree remnants follow. Sawdust, broken limbs and piles of disshoveld soil remain where a sensite intact ecosystem was once rooted.
The current attack on the Peaks from Arizona follows the wings of more than 500 years of violent colonization on this continent. As seen with the June 17, areest of the six that locked-down to waste-water pipes and a dozer, Arizona snowbowl is ready with the aid of the state to arrest and charge anyone willing to intervene with this process of present day colonization. Which is not surprising coming from someone who disregards an area that has been held sacred to 13 different tribes.
And this is why we must all continue to resist. Snowbowls construction operation is far from a stable project see this recent from recent Arizona Daily Sun article: Logging starts at Snowbowl
“Snowbowl had been hesitant to take out loans to cover construction at the ski area until the outcome of a lawsuit raising questions about the safety of using reclaimed wastewater to make snow is known.
Construction is now proceeding with cash the ski area had on hand, Borowsky said.
“We feel very comfortable about the next court proceeding because it’s just a bogus lawsuit … but we’re not going to borrow any money until the court opinion is finalized,” Borowsky said.
If more intervention with Borowskys destruction of the peaks continues he will surely find it increasingly difficult to move forward…
What can you do to help?
Contact Flagstaff City Officials and urge them to RESPECT the environment, Indigenous culture, and protect public health by finding a way out of their contract to sell Snowbowl wastewater!
PHONE: (928) 779-7600
Also, If you have a chance please non-violently protest these organizations:
Contact Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and express concern that there was no meaningful public process when the agency approved wastewater for snowmaking. File a complaint and demand full public review!
(Above photo from last years protest of this agency)
Northern Regional Office
1801 West Route 66, Suite 117
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
(877) 602-3675 – Toll Free
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Southern Regional Office (SRO)
400 West Congress Street, Suite 433
Tucson, Arizona 85701
(520) 628-6733 – General Information
(888) 271-9302 – Toll Free
(520) 628-6745 – Fax
The us department of agriculture has the authority to stop the clear-cutting at any minuet.
– Join us and others in physically stopping all Snowbowl development!
– Honor and defend Indigenous Peoples’ inherent right to protect Sacred
– Resist colonialism and capitalism! Embrace diverse tactics to end
Snowbowl’s and all corporate greed
– Demand USDA end Snowbowl’s Special Use Permit
– Demand that the City of Flagstaff Mayor and Council find a way out of
their contract to sell wastewater to Snowbowl
– Demand that Arizona Department of Environmental Quality change its
permission allowing wastewater to be used for snowmaking.
— Protect the Peaks! –
Join a Base camp or donate to them!
We need the following… please remember we’re camping when making your donations!
To be able to survive:
- – non-perishable foods (canned and dry foods are great!)
- – lots of potable water in reusable/refillable containers
- (Please DO NOT bring small plastic bottles)
To be able to camp:
- -sleeping bags
- -rain gear
- -ammo cans with securely fitting lids
- -camp chairs
- -flash lights
To be able to cook:
- -big pots
- -propane stoves
- -propane tanks
- -disinfecting cleaning supplies (please nothing including triclosan)
- -coffee pots
- -tubs to wash dishes and other dish washing supplies
To be able to document and communicate:
- -still and video cameras
- -People with stills and video cameras
- -solar charging stations
To be able to support each other:
- -First Aid supplies
- -Medics with Skills
- -support vehicle on the mountain
- -support vehicles on call who can transport supplies and people
- -banners to be visible!!!!
If you think of something else that isn’t on this list that we or other base camps might need, please don’t hesitate to donate.
We thank you for all your love, support and spirit!
The CookShack Base Camp
- Follow us on Twitter – @ptpcookshack
- Friend us on Facebook – Peaks CookShack
for more information please visit: