USA: Dine' Establish Blockade Near Proposed Power Plant Site

SUPPORT NEEDED!

Burnham, Sanostee & Nenanezah Elders and citizens are braving the cold to protect the land from the encroaching Diné Power Authority (DPA) and Sithe Global LLC at the proposed Desert Rock site. Navajo residents confronted the Diné Power Authority/Sithe Global on Tuesday afternoon after learning of water drilling that had been occurring without the knowledge and notification of local residents.

Sithe Global & DPA are proposing to build the Desert Rock power plant, a 1,500 MW Coal Fired plant in the Four Corners area on the Navajo Reservation. This is an area already polluted by 2 other major coal power plants. Local Navajo residence and community members oppose this project for many harmful reasons!! This Desert Rock power plant is still in the environmental review process and has NOT yet been permitted.

However, Desert Rock company trucks have began moving onto the backyard of Alice Gilmore, an elderly navajo woman, and her family on wednesday to begin drilling efforts. Desert Rock officials and police have not shown any documents or permits to the local residents stating their purpose or permission to be there. Dine supporters and community members have joined Alice and her family to blockade the road. They are elderly women and youth, and they have been camped out on the road over night since Tuesday! Desert Rock trucks have repeatedly rushed them and have almost run-over people a number of times as they attempt to get by. Desert Rock power company is violating the lease rights of the local Navajo residences and is harassing elderly Navajo women and youth! This is an urgent time and support is
needed!!!

*Please read on to find out how you can help! and Please pass this onto others! (press release and additional article are included below)*

*SUPPORT NEEDED:
Dine' Establish Blockade Near Proposed Power Plant Site*

*Please send far and wide!!!!*

*URGENT Support is requested from Dine Elders and Youth!*

*What they need:
- More People Support
- Fire wood
- $$
- Attention!*

how You can Help!

*- More People!* More people are needed to sit in support! All are welcome!

*directions to the area:*
The site is between Gallup, NM and Shiprock, NM (northeastern, NM). Take the road between Gallup and Shiprock, the 491. at the Mustang Service Station (one of the only service stations between the two), turn East on road #5 towards Burnham Chapter. From Burnham Chapter turn North onto gravel road #5082. About 10-12 miles up the road turn West until you see the encampment..
There will be markers (balloons) out on the roads. (if you begin to see a dragline, you've gone too far)

*- Fire wood!* it is cold outside and many of the resisters are elderly
women. if you can get firewood to the site it is very very much needed! the directions to the site are above.

*- $ Money!* Resisters are in need of money for gas and food, and also for bail money if necessary. Please send donations to local resident and
supporter:
Elouise Brown
1015 Glade Lane 34
Farmington, NM 87401
Elouise can also be reached at: thebrownmachine@hotmail.com

*- ATTENTION!* the more media and observers are present the least likely Desert Rock is likely to run people over or harass them. contact the media, tell them what is going on. Contact Navajo Authorities, tell them you are extremely concerned. Be a legal observer. Spread this Alert!

###

*Contact the Following Authorities! Tell them you have heard about Desert Rock's harassment of Navajo elders and youth. Tell them you are extremely concerned!* If enough people contact these offices they will know that the world is watching.

Shiprock Police Department
phone: (505) 368-1350
fax: (505) 368-1293

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley's Office
P.O. Box 9000 Window Rock, Arizona, 86515
phone #: (928) 871- 6352

also: George Hardeen, Navajo Nation Communications Director Office of the
President
Office #: 928-871-7000
Cell #: 928-380-7688
e-mail: georgehardeen@opvp..org

Bureau of Indian Affairs (Gallup Office) they are conducting the
Environmental Impact Statement.
Harrilene Yazzi, NEPA Coordinator Bureau of Indian Affairs, Navajo Regional
Office
P.0. Box 1060 Gallup, New Mexico 87305
Phone: 505-863-8314
Fax: 505-863-8324

Be a Legal Observer - get to the site and help record/witness what is
happening

Send this Action Alert Far and Wide!

Thank you for your support!!!

Enei Begaye
Executive Director
Black Mesa Water Coalition
408 E. Route 66, Suite #1
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Office #: (928) 213-9760

============

*PRESS RELEASE
Wednesday, December 13, 2006*

Contacts:
Sarah Jane White, Doodá Desert Rock Committee (505) 860-6166
Dailan J. Long , Diné CARE, Doodá Desert Rock Committee (505) 801-0713
Elouise Brown, Doodá Desert Rock Committee (505) 974-6159
Lori Goodman, Diné CARE (970) 759-1908

*BURNHAM, SANOSTEE & NENANEZAH RESIDENTS BLOCKADE DESERT ROCK PROJECT*

Burnham, NM --Burnham, Sanostee & Nenanezah Elders and citizens are braving the cold to protect the land from the encroaching Diné Power Authority (DPA) and Sithe Global LLC at the proposed Desert Rock site. Navajo residents confronted the Diné Power Authority/Sithe Global on Tuesday afternoon after
learning of water drilling that had been occurring without the knowledge and notification of local residents.

"I have said 'No' over and over again and you keep coming over!" Nenanezah elder Alice Gilmore exclaimed to Sithe/DPA employees at the confrontation. For Gilmore, the issue is despicable and uncalled for since she gave no consent to allow DPA/Sithe into her grazing area. Members of the Doodá Desert Rock committee gathered to support her opposition and asked Sithe/DPA to disclose Drilling permits that allowed drilling activity to occur, to no
avail. The residents refused to leave after the Navajo Nation Police
attempted to give access to DPA/Sithe Global, claiming that permits for the Desert Rock project are not for public disclosure. The Burnham residents barricaded the roads to disallow traffic into the Desert Rock site and have remained in place since the Tuesday incident occurred.

Members of Diné CARE/Doodá Desert Rock Committee met this morning at the Shiprock Courthouse to get answers about drilling permits yet the Lieutenant Dempsey denied access to Gilmore and other concerned residents to view the permits.

Residents are asking for: 1.) A copy of the categorical exclusion that is allowing the drilling activities to commence. 2.) Copies of the Clean Water Act Sections 401, 402 and 404, that would prove compliance with regulatory requirements have been met. There are major disturbance taking place and according to the Clean Air Act, these permits are a pre-requisite for drilling activity.

The proposed area is home to extended families, but arbitrarily drawn political boundaries by the Navajo Nation and company representatives have the families separated into the three chapters: Burnham, Sanostee, and Nenahnezad. The boundary defining Burnham and Nenahnezad has been moved
south for benefit of DPA/Sithe as recently as two years ago.

"The local residents are not protesters but are resisters. Who would be happy if a well is being dug in their backyard especially when it is done in secrecy? So, how can those residents be considered protesters when they are simply standing up for their rights to have clean air, water, and environment." Stated, Elouise Brown of Sanostee.

Burnham, Sanostee and Nenanezah residents are not waiting for remedy; many have set up camp at the proposed site and are refusing to move until they get the needed documents. "We're fed up with them," states Sarah J. White, President of the Doodá Desert Rock Committee, "the grandmas and the grandpas are being walked over by these monsters and they're being denied
information. We're standing our ground now." This incident follows
accusations made against Sithe/DPA about environmental injustices, EPA's proposed issuance of prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit Air Quality Permit for Desert Rock Energy Facility and the creation of Navajo Nation Energy Policies without public input.

###

Lori Goodman
Dine' CARE
10 A Town Plaza, PMB 138
Durango, CO 81301
PH: (970) 259-0199
FAX: (970) 259-2300
Cell: (970) 759-1908
kiyaani@frontier.net
dinecare.org

###
*
Navajo traditional elders blockade power plant site*

*By Brenda Norrell
U.N. OBSERVER & International Report*

*BURNHAM, NEW MEXICO, USA* - Elderly Navajo women and their children formed a blockade, built a fire and camped at the site of a proposed power plant on tribal land in northwest New Mexico. The blockade of traditional Navajos halted site work in a region that is already toxic with air and water pollution from power plants, oil and gas wells and scattered radioactive tailings from the Cold War.

Facing the threat of arrest by tribal police at the blockade, Navajo
elderly, including one medicine man, said they are willing to go to jail to protect their land and way of life.

Most of the elderly are already ill from living in an area where power
plants have released 100 tons of coal combustion waste that is blowing in the wind. One of the Navajo elderly resisters is in a wheelchair and another has severe asthma.

For the second night on Wednesday night, Dec. 13, Navajo resisters camped in the cold at the site.

"I have said 'No' over and over again and you keep coming over!" said Nenanezah elder Alice Gilmore, who holds the grazing permit for the area of the proposed Desert Rock Power Plant. The Navajo Nation and Sithe Global LLC plan to build the power plant, which would be the third power plant in the Farmington/Bloomfield area.

Confronting Sithe and Navajo DPA employees, Gilmore was adamant that she has not given permission for the power plant on her land. Navajo elders from Burnham, Sanostee and Nenanezah chapter, all taking a bold action to fight the tribal government and corporate aggression, joined Gilmore at the blockade.

"We're fed up with them," said Sarah J. White, president of the Doodá Desert Rock Committee. "The grandmas and the grandpas are being walked over by these monsters and they're being denied information. We're standing our ground now."

White said Navajos at the barricade need everything in the way of food, firewood and supplies.

"We need everything from A to Z," White said.

The blockade was formed just 10 days after Navajo Nation elected leaders gathered with representatives from 14 countries and formulated a global ban on uranium mining on Native lands. The power plant blockade also comes as Navajo Nation leaders are fighting in the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to protect San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Ariz., from the desecration of snowmaking from recycled wastewater for tourism. The mountain
is sacred to 13 area Indian tribes.

However, both Navajo President Joe Shirley, Jr., and the Navajo Nation Council support the construction of the Desert Rock Power Plant and accompanying coalmine, which Navajos say would add more pollution to the air, land and water, already saturated with disease-causing toxins.

The Navajo Nation tribal government has attempted to censor the voices of Navajos speaking out against the Desert Rock power plant in New Mexico and the use of aquifer water for coal mining by Peabody Coal on the western side of the Navajo Nation in Arizona.

The proposed site of the new Desert Rock power plant is in the Four Corners Region, targeted since the 1970s as a national sacrifice area for energy production.

It is also the sacred region of Dinetah, the place of origin of Navajos. However, the air is so polluted in the region of Dinetah near Bloomfield that persons with asthma and respiratory diseases find it difficult to breathe.

Further, Navajos say while they struggle with respiratory diseases, cancer and the death of their loved ones in this region, many Navajos must also haul water and live without electricity, since the power plants on Navajo land primarily provide electricity for non-Indians.

The Navajo blockade comes as O'odham in Sonora, Mexico, challenge a secret plan by the government of Mexico, with the knowledge of the US EPA, to create a hazardous waste dump near the sacred site of Quitovac where O'odham hold ceremonies. The Navajo blockade coincides with an action by Pima on Gila River tribal land in Arizona to halt expansion of a hazardous dumpsite..

At the same time, Yaqui in Sonora, Mexico, gathered to prohibit the use of banned pesticides in agricultural fields, now resulting in cancer and deaths.

At the proposed new Desert Rock power plant site in New Mexico, Navajo residents confronted the Diné Power Authority/Sithe Global on Dec. 12, after discovering that water drilling was carried out without the knowledge and notification of local Navajo residents.

Members of the Doodá Desert Rock committee gathered to support Gilmore's opposition and asked Sithe/DPA to disclose drilling permits that allowed drilling activity to occur. However, no permits were provided.

The residents refused to leave after the Navajo Nation Police attempted to give access to DPA/Sithe Global, claiming that permits for the Desert Rock project are not for public disclosure. The Burnham residents barricaded the roads to disallow traffic into the Desert Rock site and Navajos remained at the blockade.

Members of Diné CARE/Doodá Desert Rock Committee met Dec. 13, at the Shiprock tribal courthouse to get answers about drilling permits. Navajo residents said a tribal police lieutenant denied Gilmore and other residents access to view the permits.

Navajo residents are asking for a copy of the categorical exclusion, which would allow the drilling activities to commence, and copies of the Clean Water Act Sections 401, 402 and 404, that would prove compliance with regulatory requirements have been met.

"There are major disturbance taking place and according to the Clean Air Act, these permits are a pre-requisite for drilling activity," Navajo residents said in a public statement.

Further, Navajos say tribal boundary lines were redrawn to accommodate the power plant corporation.

The proposed area is home to extended families, but arbitrarily drawn political boundaries by the Navajo Nation and company representatives have the families separated into the three chapters: Burnham, Sanostee, and Nenahnezad.

Navajo residents said the boundary defining Burnham and Nenahnezad was moved to the south for the benefit of DPA/Sithe within the past two years.

Elouise Brown of Sanostee said, "The local residents are not protesters but are resisters. Who would be happy if a well is being dug in their backyard especially when it is done in secrecy? So, how can those residents be considered protesters when they are simply standing up for their rights to have clean air, water, and environment."

Burnham, Sanostee and Nenanezah residents are not waiting for remedy; many have set up camp at the proposed site and are refusing to move until they get the needed documents.

Navajos said this incident follows accusations made against Sithe/DPA about environmental injustices, EPA's proposed issuance of prevention of significant deterioration (PSD) permit Air Quality Permit for Desert Rock Energy Facility and the creation of Navajo Nation Energy Policies without public input.

*For more information on the Navajo blockade:
Lori Goodman
Dine' CARE
PH: (970) 259-0199
FAX: (970) 259-2300
kiyaani@frontier.net
www.dinecare.org *

Comments

Navajo Nation

These corperate bastards keep on coming don't they. It seems it is not enough for them to deny people rights to their native land, but they have to invade the spaces the have cheated the people into accepting too. My grandfather and his fathers were half blood Navajo, many have dissappeared to walk the earth,following a strange call. Me and my half brother, both born in England, are the seventh generation of halfbloods, and I gotta say some pretty strange magick goes down when we come around. We hardly ever meet being from seperate families. I James Finnegan Wakeham have roamed across nineteen different countries so far, but never got across the pacific. I have been involved in tree protests in britain(Avolon) and we jump the diggers, build camps in the trees and occupy the forests to stop the corperate assholes from profiting from the desruction of great spirit. I hope this struggle goes well, and the lands are restored for the coyote to roam.