This is the first story that I have completed for some future book, took me a while to get into writing it. It is the story mostly of the High Jack Blockade, but also Resistance to the cove/mallard timber sales in 1997.
Huckleberry Pancakes and Huckleberry Syrup
This recipe is for 30 people:
12 cups white flour
1 quart huckleberries
2 cups sugar
4 table spoons baking powder
½ cup oil
2 pitches of salt
2 table spoons vanilla extract
Water to ideal thickness or you can use a dairy alternative such as almond or rice milk.
Combine and mix all dry ingredients in a bowl, then add oil and mix in water until pancake consistency (vegan cakes batter needs to be slightly thicker than that with eggs) add huckleberries and use a griddle or frying pan on low heat to cook the cakes. We made all our pancakes over coals on our fire during the High Jack blockade; in fact we made everything on that fire.
1 quart huckleberries
2 cups sugar
1 sticks margarine (optional)
3 cups water
2 table spoons corn starch mixed with 2 table spoons water
In a sauce pan combine all ingredients except the corn starch. Slowly bring to a boil and simmer until berries blow up, then stir in corn starch mixture to thicken. All the water came from that spring I mention in the story that follows.
In the summer of 1997, it was the fifth year of the Cove/Mallard Campaign attempting to protect a 77,000 acre chunk of wilderness from road building and clear cuts. Shortly before the kick off for that summer’s resistance an injunction prohibiting logging in all of Idaho was lifted. We were short on warriors as a result and in dire straits as the logging company began work on the Noble timber sale. When we got a small influx from Boise we decide to take action while they could help. On a full moon evening we departed our base camp and went to the Noble road, to set up a blockade, we hoped would last. During the night we managed to put up two tripods connected together with cable from apex to apex, with two activists set up on platforms underneath the apexes. The next morning the loggers arrived, then law enforcement, not very happy I must say. They took a bunch of photographs and left us there. Our Boise crew also departed, leaving the two arrestees, me, and one other person. Upon lasting 24 hours, we decided that we were in desperate need of more people to hold the road. There was a Casey Neil show in Moscow, ID, so we decided I would go and try and somehow convince the liberals and college students to come and reinforce the blockade with more people and more structures. That left the two arrestees and one direct support on site. It was a four hour drive to Moscow, where office and media team were located. I made it to the show just in time to show pictures of the blockade and make a pitch for folks to come. No one step forward, but the office folks convinced me I should spend the night instead of heading right back to the Noble Road. The next morning I head back into the wild woods and arrived at the Noble Road, to find a bunch of busted up tripods, but no people, a bit strange. It did not take me long to conclude that my three friends had been arrested. So I hoped into the car, stopping at a pay phone (no cells, back then) to call the office and confirm they had been taken to Boise. Traveling six more hours, I got to Boise in time to greet my friends getting out of jail, having been released on their promise to appear for trial in federal court, months down the road.
After a night of celebration, we headed back to our base camp with the original four of us. Realizing we did not have enough people to do another blockade, we decided to go to the National Rainbow Gathering in Oregon and attempt to recruit enough hippies to pull off another action. Upon arrival we set up our little camp and a full size tripod right over the main trail into the main circle area. We had some punker fliers and our own sparkly eyed zealous commitment to saving the place we loved. We stayed three days, got some praise and a load of shit from some that our activism was putting a damper on peoples bliss. Loading our sole two recruits into the car, we headed back to Idaho and the frontlines of the fight. How we were gone two new folks showed up from the china left timber sale struggle in southern Oregon. They both agreed to risk arrest and we quickly came up with a plan to set up another blockade, this time on the Jack timber sale. We all loaded up in a small pickup with all the gear to set up two bipods, and got dropped off about a mile from the Jack Road. During the rest of the day we managed to gather four horribly heavy freshly dead lodge pole pines to the blockade site on the road and next to a spring. We waited till dusk to set them up and things did not go smoothly. There were only nine of us and the damn things weighed 1500 pounds, even with the aid of a come along, those bipods would not go up. One of our Rainbow friends got his foot smash in one failed attempt reducing the set up crew to eight. At dawn the rigged bipods were still on the ground. Two things then happened one after the other. The first was that our base camp sitter arrived to check on us and help. The second, as we attached the rigging to the come along and prepared to haul up the bipod, was a moose appeared in the clearing below us. As the moose watched, first one bipod went up and then second one also went up. The moose departed and the crew, minus the arrestees who were now moved into their Arial homes, promptly went to sleep right on the logging road. Several hours later we were woken up by the Forest Service Resource people and the timber contractor, doing a final walk through before logging started. To say the least they were a bit shocked to find us there in the way. After a brief and somewhat hostile conversation, they left to be replaced by law enforcement. The cops took pictures, made some threats and departed, these were the second and third bipods ever set up in the “U.S.” and they seemed confused as to how they would get the people in them out. Thus began what became known as the High Jack blockade.
After a nap, we moved onto the jack road, bringing crappy kitchen equipment, 5 gallon buckets of bulk goods, and some coolers with fresh produce. We had a fire under a blue tarp (you will understand why the color of tarp is important latter) where all the cooking for the blockade crew took place. Since the cops had left, that night we sprung back into action mode. Our thought was that if there was a person willing to lock down, we would add to the blockade. During the wee hours a sleeping dragon was installed in front of the two bipods, and Smooch moved in. We also set up a security station a mile up the road, so our lock downs did not have to spend all their time up in the air. The site of the blockade was located next to a little spring, in a younger lodge pole pine stand. The sides of the creek were loaded with huckleberry bushes, which we picked thousands of berries. Thus we made lots of huckleberry pancakes and syrup during the course of the High Jack Blockade.
During the time of this blockade, which lasted 74 days, in between adding structures for new lock downs and other items to strengthen the blockade, there was a lot of boring down time. A logging road is not the greatest place to live for a couple of months. Generally, if you’re a lock down you never get to leave the area unless you have a replacement, willing to take a possible bust. So we developed a crappy game called tarpology. There were degrees you could hear in the game: bachelors, masters, and PHD. Everyone was either wildly successful or incredibly bad at it depending on the day. On cold rainy days the amount of degrees went up a lot. If you won, it was not really a good thing, because it meant you were very good at being a dead weight slacker. As I mentioned earlier we had all these five gallon buckets of bulk goods and these were used as seats around the fire. The object of tarpology was never to lose your bucket seat placed at the warmest spot around the fire and to get others to do all the work. A PHD candidate, might mention they were hungry or the fire needed wood, however they would never leave there seat to do anything about it. In addition they would not move if in the way of cooking or any other task. A super good participant would even take their bucket when going to take a piss, so as not to lose a seat, we only had so many buckets, not enough for everyone. In latter months we decided that being under a blue tarp was a causal factor in tarpology expertise.
High Jack was named that because most of the lock downs were aerial structures and we added to it through out those 74 days. Our goal was to have something new every time the cops came by for a recon visit and some often hostile talk. In the end this is what the blockade consisted of, from the front to the back. If you were to walk from the forest service gate a mile up the Jack Road the first thing you would see was a culvert wall dug into the road. Behind that wall were a 20’ high, 40’ long, and 20’ wide slash pile nailed and wired together. Under the slash pile was smooches sleeping dragon. Behind the slash pile were those first two bipods, with the anchor lines rebarred into the road. Next the dragons roast as we called it, which was made with two culverts tied together and cemented into the ground. These rose about 25’ in the air, with one containing cement and a lock down tube, with a platform for Crusty, who occupied that device. After the dragons roost was a double tripod. The double tripod was two tripods connected at the apex by a single pole. The platform was anchored on the pole near the back tripod. Behind that was a third bipod, this one the tallest of the three at 50 ft. After that was the kitchen fire and tarp and said bulk bucket seats. We set up the last bipod about a week before the big law enforcement raid. It was a full moon night, and one of our folks was a talented musician. While the structure was set up he played a concert for us by the fire. I will never forget attaching the platform high in the air how the music played below me.
As a bit of a side track, many people wonder how I got the name grumble and it happened on this blockade. In the first couple of weeks we decided everyone would take forest names, to protect their identity from the police. I thought it was kinda useless for me, as the cops after five years could identify me from how I walked from 100 yards away. None the less I went along as it is what the group agreed too. Someone had once called me grumblesox, on an organizing trip for Walk across America for Mother Earth (a whole series of stories, as it went on for 9 months, and went from New York to Nevada) in 1992. So I told folks you can call me Grumblesox, this was shortened to Grumble. I never lost that Nick name, and most people have called me that ever since.
The end of High Jack blockade finally came on a chilly morning in late September, 74 days after that moose had appeared in the draw. Forest Service law enforcement came up the same draw at 5am, with guns drawn. There were over 40 officers involved along with a cherry picker, a bulldozer, a jack hammer and the numerous trucks they had arrived in. Over the course of the next 18 hours we watched them dismantle the blockade and arrest our friends. It was dark by the time they removed the last lock down in the third bipod. The take down had included all kinds of dangerous actions by the cops to get people out of their structures. I could go into a lot more detail, but that would make this much longer. The jack hammer was used on the sleeping dragon to get smooch out, who was not wearing attends, so the cops made a diaper out of his tarp. The cherry picker and chainsaws were used to remove the Ariel lockdowns in a most dangerous manner, but no one got hurt. We loaded up in cars and headed down to Boise to support our friends at their arraignment. They were released and we headed back to Cove/Mallard to continue the struggle. At the end there were 20 people involved in the High Jack blockade, with a bunch more that came and went.
That fall we pulled off two more blockades of the Jack road, even with 24 hour security. In late October a crew of us traveled back to the Jack Timber sale to monitor the logging that was taking place for violations. I can remember traveling back along the road to the units with tiny creeks and old growth western larch, Douglas fir, and ponderosa, as yet uncut. All was peaceful and still, as snow fell on the silent land scape. But I knew that soon the trees I was snapping pictures of, would be no more, turned into 2 by 4s to build some home, somewhere. With the knowledge of these old trees, having watched hundreds of years past, would be forever gone.
The Jack Timber sale was the last sale completed in Cove/Mallard, that winter the other six sales were canceled, through a combination of public pressure, law suites, and 5 years of action and persistence we had achieved a partial victory. On the large picture are tenuous defense of Roadless areas moved the big greens to push for the Roadless rule, which ended up, at least for now, in protecting 60 million acres of national forest lands from road building and logging. Those struggles from two decades ago now fade into history, but have lessons for the fights of today. Struggles take time and consistence actions, consistent pressure applied over and over again. Often during the mist of the battle, you will think you are losing, but in the large picture and with the accumulative effects of your actions you might actually be winning. In the case of Cove/Mallard, we saw three roads and sales completed, but in the large picture a lot of other areas across the national forest system are still intact functioning ecosystems for future generations.
This spring, Seeds of Peace is excited to announce plans to support a “Water is Life” Relay organized by Diné Leaders. The relay is from Black Mesa to the Capitol, Window Rock. Relayers will ride horses, run, ride bikes, and walk in order to raise awareness and making a plea to the government to transition away from coal power generation. Please donate by clicking the donate button to the right. Donations will go directly to Seeds of Peace and be used for the purchasing of food, fuel, and supplies necessary to provide food and water to the walk.
From the Organizers:
For over 45 years the owners of Navajo Generating Station have generated electricity for the Central Arizona Project (CAP) using Navajo coal and Navajo water from Black Mesa. In addition Navajos have had to make a number of waivers that secured Colorado River water for the plan as well as right-of-ways and other provisions. Recently Salt River Project (SRP) the owner/operator of NGS has announced that it will close the plant in 2017. SRP has not been explicit about its plans for the plant other than to decommission it by 2019, claiming gas is now more competitive than coal. Tó Nizhóní Ání, a grassroots organization based in Black Mesa is asking the Navajo Nation to take this opportunity to transition the Nation to a sustainable, renewable economy, away from coal and fossil fuels. Tó Nizhóní Ání will carry this message in the “Water is Life Relay”, April 14-17, 2017 from Hardrock to Window Rock, Az.
Relayers will travel an average of 40 miles per day (114 miles total) from Dził Yíjiin to Window Rock, AZ for the Navajo Nation Council’s spring session on Monday, April 17th, 2017. It is time for a renewable solution that best serves the interests of our people, our land and our future. The relay will begin April 14, 2017 at Nicole Horseherder’s residence in Tséniit’aahootsoh, AZ. Participants are encouraged to horseback ride Friday, April 14th; run/walk Saturday, April 15th; bike ride Sunday, April 16th and walk the final stretch from St. Michael’s to the NN Council Chambers on Monday, April 17th, 2017. Food and water will be provided for all participants including horses. Participants are encouraged to bring their own camping gear. We will host evening workshops. Topics include: K’é (kinship), History of NGS/Peabody Energy, Water is Sacred and Just Transition.
If you or your organization has the capacity to sponsor a workshop, a meal, send a letter of support, show up April 17, 2017 at NN Council Chambers or help us spread the word, that would be awesome! Please let us know if you or your organization is interested in supporting this event in any way. We look forward to collaborating with you!
Tó Nizhóní Ání
Jessica Keetso Jkeetso@yahoo.com
Nadine Narindrankura Nnarindrankura@gmail.com
Starting on January 6, Seeds of Peace began a month long walk with Nihígaal bee Iiná, a Diné youth group undertaking a year long prayer walk to the four sacred mountains on Dinétah, also known as the Navajo Nation. Winding more than 200 miles through the Eastern agencies and checkerboard Navajo trust lands, our caravan visited families, chapter houses and communities being affected by the onset of the next big U.S. oil boom from fracking. It was evident from the beginning how powerful the simple act of walking was, and being invited to join was a huge honor. This journey was only the first leg of the walk, which started near Bloomfield, NM and ended at Tsoodzil (Mount Taylor) near Grants, NM.
Our role, of course, was one of support. As we were en route to the first morning of the walk our kitchen bus, loaded with food and supplies, decided that its prodigious career as a movement work-horse was over. The engine seized and our dream of an easy, self-contained kitchen to work in was over. For three days we sat on the shoulder of Highway 64, trying at first to find someone who could fix the bus, and finally trying to find someone to take it off our hands. In a matter of hours we stripped a decade of movement history into an empty shell and returned our equipment in a rented truck back to our base in Moab, UT. We paired our kitchen down to a bare minimum and returned to the walk three days late, a bit weary but just as determined to support this amazing journey.
The local support that we encountered along the way made for a surprisingly stress-less affair. As the walk progressed through the rural communities, sacred sites, and oil fields, we experienced much gratitude and solidarity from local Diné communities. For the first three weeks we were able to use Chapter house kitchens, freeing us from hours of equipment setup and water hauling. It also gave the walkers a warm sleeping space and a comfortable environment to engage with families and community members. In the spectrum of support work for a walk, it could not have been any easier.
The walk itself was organized in response to a major increase in oil and gas exploration and fracking in the San Juan Basin in the last three years. The basin encompasses Northwestern New Mexico and Southwest Colorado, and is referred to by many as the “next Bakken” (currently the largest oil play in the lower 48 states). The area around Chaco Canyon is especially hard hit with development. Some days, the walkers were forced to wear respirators because the air was so toxic. Many residents of the region were caught off guard, being tricked into signing agreements that forfeit their mineral rights to oil companies or living on family allotments where only a small percentage of the people living there have to sign. Unknowingly, they helped unleash a boom-and-bust industry known for its violence, pollution and impoverishment. In the three short years since drilling began reports of sexual violence, respiratory disease and water pollution have seen a marked increase. Members of Nihígaal bee Iiná are now fighting back, documenting the experiences of community members and listening to ideas on ways to slow the progress and stop proposed infrastructure projects like the Piñon Pipeline. By amplifying the voices of those affected by this boom (as well as coal and uranium extraction), the walkers hope to ignite a movement in an area often ignored by a mainstream and mostly white environmental movement.
Experiencing this journey through the lens of a food supporter gave an intriguing perspective. Working with elders along the way we were reminded of the truly powerful medicinal properties of preparing and eating traditional Diné foods – corn, squash, beans, mutton and even horse. We were able to add a bit of fusion to these traditional foods, like mutton pot pie and elk tamales, which was received enthusiastically by elders and youth alike. In most events that we support, the role of food is always pretty clear – we take care of feeding people so they can engage in other, often more “important” work. This journey was different. It was obvious how central these foods are in healing people and the land, and in the larger process of decolonization. Making food was honored as important work alongside prayer, ceremony, and engaging with the people affected by this oil boom. We were very grateful to do this support work. It felt like true solidarity, and folks made that obvious before and after every meal.
What was more striking about the journey was the response to the walk from the larger community. Most folks in Dinétah don’t have the time or resources to build and wage effective campaigns against the oil invasion. So, Nihígaal bee Iiná is doing just that. The response from elders and their families along the way was nearly unanimous – that these brave women and warriors are the generation that will turn the tide and decolonize a nation and tribal government deeply entrenched in resource extraction. Restoring the idea of Hózhó – living in a manner that strives to create and maintain balance, harmony, beauty and order- can best describe what this walk is doing. Their activism could not come soon enough.
Over the next year the group and their supporters will walk to each of the three other sacred mountains; Dibé Nitsaa (Mount Hesperus), Doko’oosliid (San Francisco Peaks) and Tsisnaasjini’ (Mount Blanca), beginning on the equinox (March and September) and the solstice (June). Seeds of Peace will be supporting some, but not all, of the subsequent walks. To find out more, or to possibly join us on this amazing journey send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay updated and find out more about Nihígaal bee Iiná at https://www.facebook.com/walkforexistence
Dear Friends and Supporters,
The Seeds of Peace Collective is seeking financial support for an upcoming walk across Dinétah, also known as the Navajo Nation. The walk is being organized by Nihígaal bee Iiná, a group of Dineh youth, to celebrate resistance and to “document both the beauty of land and people and how this is being desecrated by resource extraction.”
You can also, or alternatively, donate directly to Nihígaal bee Iiná, the group organizing the walk.
Donations to Nihígaal bee Iiná will also go towards food and other logistical expenses, as well as gear and media/educational materials.
For three weeks, starting January 6, 2015, participants will trek across the eastern portion of the Navajo Reservation – from Farmington, NM to Gallup, NM, approximately 120 miles. Seeds of Peace will be providing logistical support for the walk – including food, shelter, and water – but we need help to make it happen! We will be using our vegetable-oil-powered school bus on the walk, staying ahead of the group and providing hot meals and shelter for participants. It will be the height of winter on Dinétah, and conditions will be difficult for all parties, making logistical support that much more critical.
Any amount that you can contribute will be greatly appreciated, and will be used to directly support this important struggle.
We realize that you may be short on funds this time of year, but making contributions to small, frontline struggles like this is critical to building a powerful grassroots movement for climate justice. As you know, organizations working on the ground, like Seeds of Peace, do not have access to the halls of money and power and rely entirely on small donations from individuals like yourself.
*PLEASE HELP US MAKE THIS HAPPEN BY DONATING, EVEN A SMALL AMOUNT, OR FORWARDING THIS TO YOUR FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES AND PUTTING IT OUT ON YOUR NETWORKS.*
Thanks! And Happy Holidays,
The Seeds of Peace Collective
P.S.: We are also seeking volunteers to help with cooking and other logistical work for the walk! If you find yourself in the southwest around the new year, and want to come help make this happen, send us an email email@example.com, or call 406-241-9932 for more info.
The 40 year-long struggle to break the grip of Peabody Coal on the Diné residents of Black Mesa was honored this May at the Big Mountain Spring Healing Camp. The camp was held on Black Mesa, on the Navajo Reservation in so-called Arizona and brought together local resistors, community members, activists and trainers from around the region and country. Over the course of the camp participants attended workshops, exchanged stories, learned about the Diné way of life, went out on work crews and built connections across boundaries.
In solidarity with the continued resistance, Seeds of Peace made the journey to Black Mesa to provide food and logistical support for the camp. As always it was a humbling and inspirational experience. Unlike past caravans and camps we had a fairly slim crew, which made the work a bit more demanding. Not to mention four days of sustained 30 mph winds – it took a substantial amount of patience and work to make sure everyone was fed.
Fortunately there were a few very dedicated Diné grandmothers that took the time to help us out. At times we overlooked the most important part of the meal, the fry bread, which the grandmothers effortlessly prepared in time for the meal. In addition to being a huge help in the kitchen, they provided a salient example of how not to be stressed out trying to feed all the supporters and elders. More importantly, we gained invaluable knowledge about Diné food and life by watching the repetitive motion of forming fry breads, and listening to stories of their resistance. Even though few of us were able to attend the workshops or trainings, it felt like we learned just as much, or even more, working with the grandmothers.
For some of us in SOP it was our third or fourth time returning to the land. Certainly, we were aware that SOP had been supporting the resistance for many years. That history didn’t seem to sink in until morning circle one day when one of the elders talked about how SOP had been supporting Big Mountain resistors for 26 years – which for some reason gave it more relevance and power. Throughout the week we heard stories about gatherings from years past when it was much more difficult for resistors and supporters. In that context it made our participation feel sustained and part of a very real, and storied, resistance.
While the original intent of this camp had an action component, we learned on the first day that, for a variety of reasons (most notably concerns over potential repercussions to Big Mountain residents) post-camp actions were off the table for the time being. Organizers instead focused on healing – through ceremony, work, discussions and food. For us it was an honor to continue supporting the struggle for indigenous sovereignty on Black Mesa and we hope to return soon.
Click on the image below to access the full digital edition (PDF)
Please consider donating to support our work
BIG MOUNTAIN SPRING TRAINING CAMP MAY 16th-23rd, 2014 BIG MOUNTAIN, DINEH NATION
“What we are trying to save—the Female Mountain—is alive. She is alive, she has blood flowing through her veins, which is the Navajo Aquifer, and the coal they are digging is Her liver. They are destroying Her.”–Marie Gladue, Big Mountain Relocation Resister
“We need to exercise our right to be human. To gather on the land and have our words be heard by the ground, the trees, and each other.”–Louise Benally, Big Mountain Relocation Resister
During this moment of peak visibility around climate change, we extend this invitation for a training camp on Big Mountain. We’ll gather to honor 40 years of Indigenous resistance to cultural genocide, forced relocation, and large-scale coal mining.
*Application link can be found below*
The Elders Circle of the 40-Year Sovereign Dineh Nation Resistance, with Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS)–a collective working in solidarity with the Big Mountain and surrounding resistance communities–as well as Radical Action for Mountain Peoples Survival (RAMPS), Missourians Organizing for Reform/Revolution & Empowerment (MORE), and Save the Confluence are collaboratively organizing this camp.
Background on the Training Camp
Building on alliances made during last June’s gathering on decolonization, the collaborative planning process for this gathering has been a combination of conference calls and in-person meetings. Since September, there have been five community meetings on Black Mesa with elders, second generation resisters, and collective members from BMIS. Additionally, monthly meetings are held in Flagstaff with youth and local organizations. Through these meetings, community members have guided the tone, outreach, messaging, goals, and ceremonies necessary for the preparation of this camp. When asked what kind of action elders wanted to see, they shared examples of the different forms of action they have taken while defending their right to remain on their ancestral homeland. They expressed looking forward to sharing their stories as to inspire next generations.
Camp organizers are connecting with trainers and workshop presenters from organizations such as Multicultral Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE), Save the Confluence, Palestinian Youth Movement, RAMPS, MORE, No One is Illegal (Canada), Puente Human Rights Movement, Sixth World Solutions, Black Mesa Water Coalition, Anti-Uranium Groups, and the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission. The camp offers a variety of non-violent direct action (NVDA) skills and workshops grounded in legacies of land-based resistance. Spiritual, cultural, artistic practices and healing will be foregrounded.
The workshops and trainings will include:
Introduction and History of NVDA
The History of the Struggle and Land Dispute on Black Mesa
Cultural Work as Resistance to Colonialism
Frontline Movement Updates
Cultural Sharing and Storytelling
Art and prop making
People’s Media and Communication (including messaging, social media, and live-streaming)
Know Your Rights and legal training
…and many more
Exciting workshops and trainings keep getting confirmed for the Big Mountain Spring Training camp.
Narindrankura Nadine (To Nizhoni Ani): “Non-Violent Blockades”
Julius Badonii: “Strategic Organizing”
Leona Morgan (Diné No Nukes): “Our Nuclear New Mexico”
Janene Yazzie (Sixth World Solutions): “Water Rights and the Future of the Navajo Nation”
@Autumn Chacon: “Pirate Radio”
Andrew Curley (Navajo Times): “Coal Mining and Energy Policy on Navajo Land
@Amanda S. Lickers (Reclaim Turtle Island): “Media and Self-Representation”
“During this gathering, we want to re-create harmony between Indigenous peoples who have been harmed by relocation policies. We want to re-spark the cross-movement connections made at last June’s Gathering by taking action at the site of disruption–the coal mine itself.” – Danny Blackgoat, community organizer and son of Resister Matriarch, Roberta Blackgoat.
*To honor 40 years of resistance on Big Mountain and confront resource colonialism
*To build on strategic alliances between anti-extraction struggles in Appalachia and Black Mesa
*To strengthen connections between Indigenous communities on the front lines of land defense
*To build on cross-movement connections made at last June’s gathering for decolonization (on Black Mesa)
*To expand the solidarity network
*To center cultural and spiritual elements of resistance
The training camp is free, including all food, lodging and training. However, we are encouraging participants to fundraise and donate as they are able to help offset costs. BMIS has limited funds for travel stipends and we are prioritizing funding for Indigenous and frontline communities. There will be limited indoor space for sleeping; most participants will be camping. The camp will be in a remote area with no running water, paved roads, or electricity. More details are provided in the application (below).
Call for Sheepherders/ Human Rights Observers:
Resistance community members are requesting returning sheepherders/ human rights observers this spring. Because this camp is held on actively disputed land (see background), it will not be possible without human rights observation during and following the camp. Your involvement will make it possible for the resistance community to participate in the camp and will help mitigate further harassment.
Contact us if you are able to come a week early and help set up base camp!
Contact: BigMountainCamp2014@gmail.com with application questions
In Honor of 40 Years,
The Elders Circle of the Sovereign Dineh Nation, The BMIS Collective, RAMPS, MORE, & Save the Confluence
Everglades Earth First! is excited to be hosting the Earth First! Organizer’s Conference and Winter Rendezvous, February 19 – 24! For those of you who attended the last OC, remember how cold southern Ohio was? Well don’t fret, the 2014 OC will be held in the sunny subtropics, in the swamps, the land of the alligator and the gar, the cypress, the slash pines—the area known by its colonizers as Florida. Panthers, hand sized spiders, bird sized mosquitoes, saw grass, palmettos, pythons—its the one and only Everglades!
The exact location will be announced as we get closer to the date. There will be strategizing as the Earth First! movement, storytelling of past campaigns and actions as well as an exciting array of workshops, skill shares, and discussions.
For more information, visit Everglades Earth First!
There will be participants from a wide array of struggles: Palestinian Youth Movement, (Un)Occupy Albuquerque, Hawaiian Sovereignty movement, Ka Lei Maile Ali’i, Radical Action for Mountain Peoples Survival (RAMPS), Seventh Native American Generation (SNAG), Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance, Sixth World Indigenous Peoples Organization.*Participation for this gathering is currently full. There are, however, other ways to support.
*We are seeking financial support for the gathering. Funds will go to: Indigenous organizers and other frontline communities’ travel, documenting of the event by Native Youth Media Collective, Outta Your Backpack Media, sheep for meals, and supplies for on-land work projects. We are asking folks for help in spreading this Rocket Hub link around on social media to fund the travel for Rebel Diaz from NYC. To be clear, funds raised will be used more broadly for many other aspects of the gathering (like those listed above), but since Rebel Diaz is well-known and has high travel costs, we made a special initiative to get them to the gathering.As always, you can send checks to “Black Mesa Indigenous Support” at PO Box 23501 Flagstaff, AZ 86002 OR donate online here.If you donate online, don’t forget to put BMIS in the designation box.Thank you for your continued support!
With Gratitude,The Black Mesa Indigenous Support Collective: Berkley, Liza, Derek, Hallie, & Tree
LEARN MORE AND REGISTER AT CanyonCountryActionCamp.org
*July 24-29: A Direct action training camp in southern Utah (exact location TBA)
Other affiliated events:
*July 19-21: Downstream Community Leadership Training in Moab, Utah (sponsored by Before it Starts). Find out more at beforeitstarts.org
*July 18-20: Rising Tide National Gathering (location TBA). Find out more at http://www.risingtidenorthamerica.org
As the prospect of tar sands, oil shale, and other forms of extreme energy development threatens to wreak permanent havok on the health and wellbeing of Utah’s people and environment, grassroots organizations and community members from across the region are organizing to fight back.
Large energy corporations from out of state are flocking to Utah in an attempt to convert our public lands into a vast testing ground for extremely high risk extraction technologies like tar sands and oil shale mining. The Canadian petroleum corporation US Oil Sands, Inc is targeting the remote state lands of eastern Utah to be the first tar sands mining project in the USA. If companies like US Oil Sands can prove that these types of dirty extraction operations are economically viable in Utah, then more tar sands and oil shale projects will spring up across the region. Conventional political and regulatory avenues for public opposition have been nearly exhausted, and the proposed mine at PR Spring, north of Moab, has been given the green-light from the state to begin commercial operations, it is now clear that this project can only be stopped by organizing and taking direct action together as impacted communities.
Please join us late this July for a week of trainings, strategizing, and action to continue building the collective grassroots power we need to fight back against the corporate take-over of our public lands, our diminishing water resources, and our common wellbeing.