Sunday, August 14, 2011

What Part of "Sacred" Don't You Understand?

photo courtesy Outta Your Backpack Media / Censored News

View Video of Lockdown

Indigenous people and their allies were holding a prayer circle on the mountain Saturday morning. They had invited people of all faiths to the sacred site to pray with them in solidarity.

As they were praying in the cool, mountain air, sounds of heavy machinery drove away the sounds of nature. In rumbled the diggers... ready to desecrate and disrupt ceremony, ready to rip the mountain apart right in front of the people. Klee Benally jumped in front of a digger and chained himself to the heavy machinery to stop them, and activists moved to fill in the trenches, rock by rock, handful of earth by handful of earth.

Many of us involved in the struggle to protect sacred sites have stressed:

We protect the sacred sites
so we'll have a place to pray
We pray to have the strength
to protect the sacred land
United in our prayer
we protect the sacred land
Our action is our prayer
Our action is our prayer

How much clearer does the struggle get? How much more vividly can the need for resistance be shown, when clearcutters, diggers and bulldozers violate the sanctity of a prayer circle, and the people who were only there to pray are faced with the immediate decision whether to take it, to flee, or to put their bodies on the line to defend the land?

Full story and additional photos

Nineteen people have been arrested in the past ten days, as Navajo, Hualapai, Hopi, O'odham and other Indigenous people have been protesting the destruction of the sacred mountains.

"The Arizona Snowbowl plans to make snow for tourists on the sacred mountain using recycled waste water. Thirteen Native American Indian Nations hold the mountains sacred. Medicine men gather healing plants and conduct ceremonies on the mountains.
Already, there is clearcutting of the old growth forests for the pipeline and tourist developments."


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