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by Salah ad-Din
Thursday, Oct. 18, 2001 at 12:21 PM
This was posted on the Arizona Indymedia. Many felony charges from the protest last Friday have not been dropped. Please call the Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall at 520/740-5600 and urge her to drop ALL charges!
_Peaceful Mt Graham Demonstration results in Overreaction by Police_
by Jeff Davis 9:14pm Tue Oct 16 '01
Tucson, AZ–At 10 AM Friday Morning around 30 Native people and community activists gathered at the UA's Mirror Lab to deliver a statement denouncing the University's building of telescopes on the top of Dzil Nchaa Si An (Mt. Graham).
At 10 AM Friday Morning around 30 Native people and community activists gathered at the UA's Mirror Lab to deliver a statement denouncing the University's building of telescopes on the top of Dzil Nchaa Si An (Mt. Graham).
The group entered the building, playing drums and singing native chants. UA police arrived at the scene and instructed the group to leave the building. The group complied and went outside to the parking lot.
In the parking lot the activists and native people were again asked to move away from the building. Many were shoved by officers. The police told several people in the crowd that they could demonstrate at the "free-speech area" on the UA Mall. The group once again complied with the UA police's order, moving towards the mall.
The group attempted to make its way to the UA Mall, but were stopped short by a larger police presence, including not just UAPD but TPD as well, at Cherry Blvd near the mall.
The police attacked and roughly arrested several protestors, forcing two women face down to the ground. The police started telling people to sit down because they were being detained. Several older white males were allowed to leave, but most of the protesters were detained by police. Many of the people arrested were suprised by the officers
excessive use of force, considering that the activists had consistently complied with the officers demands. Representatives and legal observers from the National Lawyers Guild were on hand to record the events.
Everyone was taken to jail. Everyone received a charge of rioting (a felony), and some received charges of aggravated assault. The protesters were held without being fed (and some being denied use of the bathroom) from the time of arrest (around 11AM) until they were release in small
groups at different times from about 6pm to 10pm.
Four members of the group were still being held as of midnight Friday on total bond of 00. Bond was posted in the wee hours of Saturday morning and by dawn, these people were out. A hearing is set for Monday, October 22nd at the courthouse downtown.
Dzil Nchaa Si An is the name that the San Carlos Apache call Mt. Graham. The UA, the Vatican and several other institutions are attempting to build telescopes there, even though the site is considered sacred by the San Carlos Apache and is the home of endangered species such as the Mt Graham Red Squirrel, as well as more than 20 other indemic (i.e., they exist only in this place) species. "Sky Islands," as these mountain ecosystems are called, are unique in the world. This action was also to protest and
express resistance to over 500 years of oppression of native people.
More information about Dzil Nchaa Si An can be found at:
Coalition to Save Mt. Graham
Dzil Nchaa Si An - Sacred Mountain of the San Carlos Apache
Online Petition to Stop Telescopes on Dzil Nchaa Si An
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