Indigenous Water & Land Protectors and Allies Halted Transnational Traffic Monday In Support of O’odham Nations Resisting Border Wall Construction Threatening Sacred Site:
White Drivers Attempt to Kill Protestors With Vehicles – Hundreds of White Supremacists Attack O’odham Social Media with Death Threats Demanding Indigenous Water Protectors Be Run Over
Action Planned This Friday in Tucson to Defend Indigenous Lands and Lives Against Border Violence and White Supremacy
Lukeville, AZ— Before sunrise on Monday October 5, 2020 supporting allies, including individuals belonging to other Indigenous nations, blocked traffic in a solidarity action on State Route 85 near Puerto Blanco Dr., the roadway leading to the O’odham sacred site of Quitobaquito Springs (A’al Vappia in the O’odham language). The temporary road blockade was set up to raise awareness and prevent construction workers from further desecrating this specific area upon unceded Hia Ced O’odham territory in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The construction of the border wall in this region has caused irreparable harm to the land, waters, delicate ecosystem and sacred sites of the O’odham.
The mixed group of Indigenous sacred water & land protectors and non-Indigenous supporters against the border wall prevented traffic from traveling both north and south bound upon SR-85 beginning at 6am and held the area until 10am. The group of 25 water and land protectors set up shade canopies and held banners with messages against sacred site desecration such as, “No Wall on Stolen Land,” and sung traditional prayers from multiple Native American nations. The group held a peaceful spiritual ceremony to pray for the land. At times south bound traffic had over 50 cars waiting in line and north bound traffic was held up towards the Lukeville Port of Entry. Protestors chanted towards onlookers in their vehicles, “Whose land? O’odham Land!” “The bodies of O’odham ancestors are being dug up in this very area to build this wall!” A protestor yelled this morning. The sacred Hia Ced O’odham site of Monument Hill was also demolished by construction for the racist border wall. At the sacred springs of A’al Vappia (Quitobaquito Springs) border construction is pumping thousands of gallons of water a day from the springs and ground water in one of the driest deserts of North America and wall construction will prevent highly endangered animals from accessing the only water source for over forty miles. Border residents have documented dead animals such as deer and rare antelope piling up along the wall as endangered wildlife perish from thirst due to the expanded barrier.
Amid this morning’s action some drivers responded with violence, ploughing their vehicles through the crowd, as water and land protectors scrambled to avoid being run over or killed. In addition, hundreds of white supremacists launched a social media attack on the O’odham Anti Border Collective’s pages and on the pages of the broad spiritual campaign Defend O’odham Jewed (homelands) – demanding that vehicles run over Indigenous peoples, issuing death threats, and engaging in harassment and hate speech. Many of the social media profiles spewing hatred and death threats at O’odham social media on Monday were visible supporters of the Trump administration, border patrol, police, and white supremacist organizations. Social media platforms have not responded to reports of death threats nor have they provided assistance to Indigenous peoples targeted by white supremacist violence.
While white supremacists responded with violence to the minor inconvenience of temporary traffic delays, O’odham and other Indigenous peoples have endured centuries of ongoing violence since settlers first arrived and their nation was divided in half by the U.S.-Mexico border. The hundreds of death threats against O’odham peoples for peacefully advocating for the protection of sacred sites and the environment is a continuation of genocide against Indigenous peoples.
Even though there were several aggressive acts of hatred there were also may supporters in the traffic and on social media who sympathized and understood why the action was taking place to protect O’odham land and water. The protest ended without any arrests and the group of allies declared they would continue to support O’odham in their ongoing struggle against the wall.
Update / Up-Coming Action:
Another action in solidarity with O’odham land and Quitobaquito Springs against the wall is planned for Friday October 9, 2020 from 5pm to 8pm at Armory Park in S-Cuksoñ (Tucson, AZ).
Rally and Winter Mutual Aid Supply Drive for O’odham Communities. Bring banners, signs, and noisemakers. ***masks and covid precautions mandatory***
Donate: blankets, pet food, winter clothing in good condition, PPE, non-perishable food items, gas cards, phone cards, cash cards / store gift cards
Here is a link to download video for use in news and reporting on the Monday Oct. 5th action in Lukeville, AZ. It can be credited to the O’odham Anti Border Collective:
O’odham Anti Border Collective is a grassroots collective of Akimel O’odham, Tohono O’odham, and Hia Ced O’odham tribal members and descendants committed to the unification of all O’odham peoples, regeneration of O’odham himdag (traditions, spirituality, language, and culture), and the protection of O’odham jewed (homelands) through the dismantling of colonial borders.
Defend O’odham Jewed* is an O’odham u’uwi (women) led grassroots movement and direct action campaign to protect the sacred O’odham homelands from desecration and violence.
*jewed means homelands in the O’odham language.
Spread the word:
Instagram: @OodhamAntiBorder, @DefendOodhamJewed