THIS BLOG is NOW RETIRED

I began this blog in May 2009 following the death of Marcia Powell at Perryville State Prison in Goodyear, Arizona. It is not intended to prescribe the path that leads to freedom from the prison industrial complex.

Rather, these are just my observations in arguably the most racist, fascist, militaristic state in the nation at a critical time in history for a number of intersecting liberation movements. From Indigenous resistance to genocidal practices, to the fight over laws like SB1070 and the ban on Ethnic Studies, Arizona is at the center of many battles for human rights, and thus the struggle for prison abolition as well - for none are free until all are. I retired the blog in APRIL 2013.

Visit me now at Arizona Prison Watch or Survivors of Prison Violence-AZ

David Rovics: We Are Everywhere

To my fellow activists now struggling through life - let this be a reminder that you are not alone and that we desperately need you here. All the injustice, grief, war, and human suffering calls for us to stay and do everything we can about it - you can't help us anymore when you're gone. Don't give up the fight - your last shred of hope may just keep someone else alive, too.
BLOG POSTS

Monday, February 11, 2013

Native youth assautled by Snowbowl supporter: OK with FLAG police.

So: Racist Flagstaff cops let a Snowbowl supporter assault those kids without holding them responsible for such - surprise, surprise. I know those kids - they're awesome drummers and committed activists. They're not only the future of the movement for Indigenous Rights, they are the NOW. And they wouldn't have been inciting anyone to violence.

As for this Officer Radliff and the Flagstaff Police: It sounds like you folks are saying it's okay for people to physically assault Indigenous children in your town now if they don't agree with the message to not desecrate a site that is holy to them. Is that right? Is it okay for me to come to Flag to assault random skiers' children because I don't want anyone to patronize Snowbowl? That would be treated as terrorism, no doubt - not because of the violence involved, but because the economic target has more value to Flagstaff than the children who live in or visit your city do - especially the Native ones.

----from protectthepeaks.org----

Native Youth Drummers Attacked by Snowbowl Supporter at City of Flagstaff Ski Event
Saturday, February 9, 2013
CONTACT: protectpeaks@gmail.com www.protectthepeaks.org
*Video will be posted soon.
photo(11)
Flagstaff, AZ — As part of a weeklong call for actions, more than 50 people gathered in downtown Flagstaff for an Idle No More flash mob round dance to support protection of the holy San Francisco Peaks.

The protest, which coincided with Dew Downtown, a City of Flagstaff sponsored event in partnership with Arizona Snowbowl, was organized to address Snowbowl ski area expansion and snowmaking with treated sewage.

In an apparent effort to prevent conflict between Dew Downtown and the Round Dance, protest organizers were invited to speak on the music stage at Heritage Square and then sing a song between bands. Rudy Preston, a long time advocate for the Peaks, was handed the microphone at 5:00pm to speak about the dangers of recycled toilet water snowmaking. He spoke about 5 minutes to a mixed crowd of Dew Downtown attendees and Idle No More Round Dancers. He invited the crowd to join in the Round Dance and offered literature for people who would like more information. Drumming for the Flash Mob Round Dance began at that point and a majority of the crowd joined in.

Rudy Preston
Rudy Preston

idm-ptp
“This is a very divisive issue in our community and I was thankful for the opportunity to speak to a crowd of people who probably did not agree with my views and I hope that some of them will question if skiing on recycled toilet water is a wise decision. Even if it were to bring a few dollars to an already cash-strapped town it is not worth the risk to anyone’s health and wellbeing.” said Rudy Preston, websteward at TrueSnow.org.

When the dance was finished an impromptu march left the square and went towards the main Dew Downtown ski run area. Flagstaff police stopped the marchers from entering the area stating that Dew Downtown organizers had a permit and the protesters weren’t allowed onto the sidewalk. The march then stopped at the entrance to Dew Downtown and the protesters began chanting and singing songs.

Danny Blackgoat, a Dine’ (Navajo) from Black Mesa exclaimed, “This is how real snow is made!” as he gestured to the sky at the snow that was falling all around.

danny-blackgoat

The group chanted, “Protect Sacred Sites, Defend Human Rights!”, “No Desecration for Recreation, Protect the Peaks!” and “No Poop Snow!” when a lone Snowbowl supporter began yelling racist remarks, profanity, including the words “die” at the protesters.

The group formed a circle and were closing the protest with the American Indian Movement song when the apparently inebriated Snowbowl supporter rushed into the circle of protesters swinging her arms and tore through a large banner, pulling it from the people holding it and smashed it on the ground. She then pushed further into the circle and assaulted two young Dine’ who were singing and drumming. After punching at them, she grabbed at the drums and tried to break them.

“I feel if the roles were reversed it would have been a different outcome,” said Leslyn Begay, Dine’ mother of the 11 & 13 year olds that were assaulted. “If I attacked a caucasian child I would have gone straight to jail. This white female attacked us and knocked their drums out of their hands and may get away with it. Its racism. The cops refused my request to arrest her for assault. They gave her a disorderly conduct ticket but refused to charge her with assault or jail her for her actions against my kids.”

In response to the attack, police officer Jim Radloff said, “you may offend some people with your messages… it was her [the attacker’s] freedom of speech.”

A few of the protesters quickly reacted and pulled the attacker away from the boys and she attempted to leave the area. A few people followed her while someone alerted the police.

The police determined that the woman had been drinking and was charged with disorderly conduct and released. Many of the eyewitnesses were very upset that she was allowed to just walk away and even though she was witnessed to have been punching and swinging at everyone in her path, the police did not feel that there was enough evidence to charge her with assault.

Officer Radloff with the City of Flagstaff defended his decision when asked why she was not arrested by stating, “the outcome will be the same either way, she will be summoned to court.”

When pressed on the fact that numerous people watched the attacker assault multiple people, he said he would include that in his report and let the city attorney decide if there was enough evidence to charge her with assault.

Officer Radliff did not seem to believe one boy when he told the officer that the woman had hit him. In fact if he was surrounded by at least half a dozen people who witnessed the event insisting that she be charged with assault, it is unclear if the attacker would have even received a disorderly conduct charge. Though Officer Radliff did ultimately state “she was clearly disorderly.”

Many witnesses to the attack were visibly shaken that she was allowed to just walk away with a ticket.

More info and background at: www.truesnow.org, www.protectthepeaks.org.

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