Trial for Two Peaks Defenders Starting Today – Support Needed!
Flagstaff, AZ — On Tuesday, February 28, 2012 at Flagstaff “Justice” Court, two Peaks Defenders will be facing trail for charges resulting from protests to protect the Holy San Francisco Peaks from ski area expansion and wastewater snowmaking.
The two individuals, including Rudy Preston, are facing charges ranging from criminal trespass to disorderly conduct.
The protests occurred on August 8th and & August 13th, 2011.
On August 8th, 2011, nine people took direct action blockading the ongoing destruction and desecration of the Peaks. The nine individuals directly confronted the ecocidal actions of Arizona Snowbowl, halting their daily clear-cutting and pipeline excavation plans for eight hours. Responding sheriffs deputies immediately arrested Rudy Preston, the group’s police liaison, who was ensuring the safety of demonstrators. More than 50 law enforcement officials used industrial saws and a jack hammer to forcefully break apart the blockade.
On Saturday, August 13th 2011, after a prayerful gathering on the Holy San Francisco Peaks, Mary Sojourner, Rudy Preston and Klee Benally were arrested for standing against desecration and eco-cide caused by Arizona Snowbowl ski area.
During Preston’s arrest on August 13th, the police office was witnessed stating his reason for arresting Mr. Preston was “for talking.”
Mr. Preston states, “the August 8th direct action blockade was an incredible event to witness. I was amazed to see our police forces mobilized in greater numbers than one would expect in a manhunt for an escaped murderer. We really should expect better behavior from the police in situations of civil disobedience.”
“August 13th is a day I will never forget. I lost a lot of faith in our local law enforcement that day. I have every right to speak out against the illegal and dangerous actions of Arizona Snowbowl and the US Forest Service. It really makes me wonder who the police are protecting. It certainly was not me or my first amendment.” Stated Mr. Preston.
Nearly 30 arrests have been made during protests since Snowbowl started furthering desecration and eco-cide on the Holy Peaks last year.
Many of those arrested have already taken plea deals that have resulted in community service.
Trials for others arrested on August 7th, 2011, when Flagstaff police disrupted a peaceful protest, and Klee Benally who was also arrested August 13th, are still pending.
Tuesday’s trial comes as Scottsdale, AZ based multi-millionaire and Snowbowl owner, Eric Borowski threatens to resume desecration and destruction of the Holy Peaks this week. Nearly half of the 14.8 mile pipeline has been constructed and approximately 30-40% of planned clear-cuts have occurred out of approximately 30,000 targeted trees in the rare alpine ecosystem of the Peaks.
Recently the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Save the Peaks Coalition in a case against the Forest Service over environmental and human health concerns. The Hopi Tribe still has an appeal in court to stop the City of Flagstaff’s contract to sell wastewater to Snowbowl.
Additionally, the City of Flagstaff has until March 12th to determine if it will once again lock the public out of the decision whether or not to renew Snowbowl’s contract with the city to sell up to 180,000,000 gallons of treated sewage effluent for snowmaking on the Peaks.
Please show up to the court proceedings and support Peaks Defenders!
You can also donate online at www.truesnow.org.
Posted on February 28, 2012, in Ecological Struggles, Indigenous Struggles and tagged Defending Sacred Sites, San Francisco Peaks. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Trial for Two Peaks Defenders Starting Today – Support Needed!.