Wednesday, December 07, 2011

17 Arrested on Final Day of ALEC Summit, SRP Lockdown and First Friday Demo

From AZ Resist ALEC

Dec. 4, 2011 Anarchist News

“It’s a black bloc blur but I’m pretty sure it ruled… damn. Last Friday
On Friday, December 2nd, the final day of mobilization against the summit
of the American Legislative Exchange Council, 16 were arrested at an
action against Salt River Project. The action was led by Diné and O’odham
elders and had multiple stages of escalation.

Salt River Project is on the Corporate Board of ALEC, Louise Benally, a
resident of Black Mesa impacted by SRP’s operations, delivered a letter to
SRP that outlines critical concerns of her community. She expressed that
“My community is heavily impacted by Salt River Project’s coal and water
extraction activities. SRP has extensive ties to Peabody Energy’s massive
mining operations and the Navajo Generating Station which they co-own.
Coal mining has destroyed thousands of archeological sites and our only
water source has been seriously compromised. Their operations are causing
widespread respiratory problems, lung diseases, and other health impacts
on humans, the environment, and all living things.”

Five people locked down in the lobby and numerous others blockaded the
front entrance. Banners inside and outside read “Expose ALEC, Peabody
Kills”, “UnOccupy Our Lands” and “Shut ALEC Down, Relocation = Genocide”
in specific reference to the past forty years of forced relocation of Diné
people from Black Mesa. The police presence started out small and
increased to a massive collaborated effort between the Police Departments
of Tempe, Scottsdale, and Phoenix, including riot police and a bomb squad.
Streets on both ends were shut down and business was disrupted for
multiple buildings. Riot police snatched multiple individuals in the
crowd, who continued to chat, dance, etc. The numbers started out at
around 70 and continued to swell as others found out about it. The whole
action lasted 6 hours.

More information on the SRP action here:

As the day continued the undercover police presence was particularly
pervasive and obvious. Many people were monitored and followed throughout
the day culminating in the presence of more than a dozen known undercovers
after a police attack on the first Friday demo.

First Friday Demo

A call was put out for people to converge at a particular intersection in
downtown Phoenix during the monthly art walk and to take the street. Many
arrived in bloc with a ‘Class War!’ banner for a roving dance party
following a radical marching band. The police responded heavily about
twenty minutes in and pepper spray started to fly. Scuffles erupted as the
police tried to snatch people, and ultimately the pigs were only able to
take one person away.

From the AZ Resists ALEC call for legal support:
“Branson was snatched from the crowd of protesters during the initial
pepper spray of the crowd, and placed under arrest. Branson was then
brutalized by police who left him with cuts on his body and abrasions on
his face. The police also pepper sprayed Branson once he was cuffed and in
the back of the police car, completely unable to defend himself. The
unwarranted pepper spraying left him with chemical burns on the areas of
his body that had open sores from the brutal arrest. Branson is being
charged with 2 counts of aggravated assault on an officer. His bond is

Some portions of the crowd continued on as others scattered, some of whom
were followed by police. At this point, the presence of undercovers in
various spaces in downtown increased dramatically, though fortunately, no
further arrests were made.

Jail Support

During the three days of the ALEC summit, a total of 25 people were
arrested, two of whom face serious felony charges. All are now out of
jail. This comes two weeks after the state re-arrested one person on
felony charges from last year’s anti-nazi actions in Phoenix. During that
re-arrest, Phoenix Police photographed others present and interrogated
them as to whether they were anarchists. Long term support is needed for
all those under attack by the state in Arizona – indigenous people,
undocumented people, all people of color, trans and queer people, poor and
working class people and anarchists.

To support those arrested during the ALEC mobilization, see the Legal Aid
page from AZ Resists ALEC here:

Photos from SRP action:

Video of pepper spray at First Friday demo:


No comments: