Saturday, August 13, 2011

Klee Benally Locked Down on Holy Mountain

Two activists arrested, public protest at Coconino County Jail, bail support needed.

Via Brenda Norrell:
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.


The Week of Action to save the sacred San Francisco Peaks from clearcutting, bulldozing, devastation and desecration has drawn many new supporters to the public marches and rallies, as well as direct action by those risking arrest on the mountain herself. Guess what, the week is over but the actions are not. The fight continues in the courts and defenders are camped all over the mountain, ready to launch direct action from base camps. Actionists have vowed to continue until the site is protected.

At 2pm Mountain Time on Saturday, Klee Benally locked down to heavy machinery on the mountain, laying his body on the line to protect this sacred site. Our prayers and gratitude to Klee and all the brave actionists on the mountain. Follow Censored News and twitter for the most up to date coverage, and the rest of us will do our best to spread the word as well.

More photos from the week of Action and invitation to prayer circle in support of the actions.

Update 5:26pm et: Police vehicles on scene, police are with Klee and other protestors.

Update 5:56pm et: Two actionists arrested: Mary Sojourner and Rudy Preston. Klee Benally is still locked down.

Statement from Protect the Peaks, via Brenda Norrell:
Snowbowl's destruction and desecration is currently being stopped by another blockade involving Klee Benally. Updates and photos are available at Jail support is needed and there will be a gathering outside of the Coconino County Jail (starting now until everyone is released). At this point, it is expected that $900 may be needed to bail out those arrested. If you can contribute to legal funds, please drop off money at the jail. Please support in person or in some other way.

For those wishing to help with bail but unable to get there in person, you can donate via PayPal at or

Update 7:13pm et: Klee Benally cut out of chains, cited for disorderly conduct and released. Rally continues at jail.

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