Flagstaff Police Attack and Arrest San Francisco Peaks Marchers

By Brenda Norrell– posted August 7, 2011 (source: NarcoNews)

Navajo activist, Klee Benally, attacked and arrested by Flagstaff police. Photo by Youth of the Peaks.

FLAGSTAFF, AZ—Six people protecting San Francisco Peaks were targeted and arrested Sunday during a peaceful march for the protection of San Francisco Peaks. San Francisco Peaks defender Klee Benally, Navajo, was among those arrested.

Protect the Peaks supporters locked down on Snowbowl Road, Monday, Aug. 8, at 5 am. Peaks defender and police liaision Rudy Preston was arrested at the scene on Monday morning.

Alex Soto, O’odham, reporting from the lockdown, said that Flagstaff and Coconino County officers were cutting away the pipes to the barrels which the eight protesters were locked down with. Construction was halted on the pipeline which would carry sewage water for snowmaking for tourists at the Snowbowl Ski Resort, on sacred San Francisco Peaks.

In front of Macy’s Coffeehouse on Sunday afternoon, undercover police infiltrated the hundred person march in an attempt to squash the growing anti-Snowbowl movement.

The peaceful march by Native Americans and supporters was surrounded by police from the moment the march formed, marchers said. An eye witness said, “They were just waiting to pounce. And they did!”

Native Americans are struggling to defend sacred San Francisco Peaks from snow to be made from sewage water at the Snowbowl tourist resort on the Peaks. The mountains are sacred to 13 Native American Nations. Medicine men gather plants on the Peaks and hold traditional healing ceremonies on the Peaks.

Already, the sewage water pipeline has resulted in clearcutting of grandmother trees.

Native Americans are urging tourists to boycott the Snowbowl Ski Resort, and join the support for American Indians upholding their traditions and sacred lifeways.

Further, supporters of the Protect the Peaks movement are urging an investigation of the Flagstaff police for the arrests of Native Americans and people of color. Already, the ACLU has released statistics revealing that Arizona police target American Indians during arrests.

Supporters are rallying outside the Coconino County Jail.

Posted in News.


  1. Attacked? Hardly so. I am a Flagstaff native and have watched this unfold before my very eyes. The local law enforcement agencies actually had no idea what to do at first because of the peaceful protest. Eventually with the “protesters” blocking public thoroughfare, the police were able to make the neccessary arrests to ensure public safety. I can understand the public outrage surrounding this particular “event”, however, I cannot understand the childish actions of those activists. They had run out of all options short of burning the place down. It’s quite an article you have there.. but it is poorly mis-construed. With a name like “earthfirst” I can understand the heated rhetoric, but, making flase claims about our law enforcement here is a slap in the face. I am an avid member of “leave no trace” so I can relate to the conservation of certain areas. However this debacle was nothing short of immature and haphazard. Good job on filling malliable minds with false information.

    • Hey Seth, thanks for the comment. Unfortunately I think you can’t understand the issue well enough. While you may be a Flagstaff “native” its most probable that that means you are part of the group of Euro-American people that colonized Flagstaff, stole the land, and is now dumping nerotoxin laced snow on the native peoples sacred mountain to attract yuppie tourists. When defending ones land it isn’t really necessary to follow all the rules of the culture that stole your land in the first place. Learn your history. Glad you hike though, but we all need to help more than that. You should read up and aid the native resistance to white colonization of the sacred San Francisco Peaks.

      • I’d rather not. Saying one’s land is sacred is quite the oxy-moron. All land is sacred, just because it is claimed by one race or ethnic group rather than the other warrants no special interests as far as I’m concerend.. Listen. I work and live in Flagsaff, while you and your cronies cry out for the natives and they way thewy are being treated, remember, I clean up their messes, see the empty camps they leave behind my business. The liqour bottles, the old clothes and blankets, the broken electrcal equipment. If it was so sacred they should be starting at the root of the problem.. LITTER. Their delinquent behavior, their nasty attitudes, it only acts as a barrier between cultures. What YOU should do.. is stop showing up in a town where you think YOU know the history, and start cramming liberal rhetoric up people’s noses. I’d burn the forest down before I helped those disrespectful people you call to help. Stick around Flagstaff next time.. see what its really like with the natives. Get your head out of the books.. you sound mentally inept(at best) at this point.. how’d you get a popular(And I use the term loosely) blog like this anyway? who gave you money to do this? Idiot, and a crappy article to boot.

  2. Hell, it doesn’t matter, you and your friends lost that battle. Arizona Snowbowl is making snow, having a good year and is bringing in a ton of revenue. It’s good for the town, good for business and it’s good for the people. Societies have had their land ripped from them since the dawn of time. It’s a fact of life. If you’re not strong enough to keep your land, you lose it. Get with the times or get left behind, your choice.

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