Navajo Louise Benally at Occupy Midwest: 'No' to Peabody Coal and Indian water rights theft

By Brenda Norrell

Photo: Louise Benally during recent protest of Navajo Generating Station and Salt River Project in Phoenix. Photo Resist ALEC.

ST LOUIS -- Navajo Louise Benally, resisting relocation at Big Mountain, spoke out against Peabody Coal and the three decades of Peabody Coal's rape of the land, theft of Black Mesa aquifer water and the collusion with politicians devastating Black Mesa and its people.

Speaking at the Occupy the Midwest gathering, Benally urged support to halt the theft of Indian water rights and halt the ongoing push by non-Indians to steal Navajo water rights in Arizona. This includes the machinations underway by Arizona congressmen and non-Indian tribal attorneys.

In St Louis, the home city of Peabody Coal, protesters rallied against the coal giant that has left a dirty trail of disease and destruction on the Navajo Nation, and across America. Benally spoke out against Peabody's coal mine that continues on Black Mesa, providing coal for one of the nation's dirtiest and most polluting power plants, the Navajo Generating Station, on the Navajo Nation near Page, Ariz, one of the major contributors to climate change.

The Navajo Generating Station, one of three coal fired power plants on the Navajo Nation, continues due to the collusion of Navajo politicians with Peabody Coal and other corporations, including the Salt River Project which operates the power plant, and politicians such as Sen. John McCain.

McCain and Arizona congressmen worked behind the scenes to orchestrate the so-called Navajo Hopi land dispute. In reality, it was a manipulation by Peabody Coal, its attorneys and US congressmen to remove more than 14,000 Navajos from their homeland to make way for Peabody coal mining. Now, this power plant carries electricity to Southwest cities while many Navajos live without electricity. While Peabody and the two other power plants on the Navajo Nation near Farmington, NM, deplete pristine aquifer water, many Navajos live without running water and are forced to drive long distances to haul water.

In St. Louis, protesters also rallied against Bank of America and disrupted the St Patrick's Day festivities, Benally said. Benally said she is urging those gathered in St. Louis to join the fight against the tarsands, devastating the Cree homelands in Alberta, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline which would poison Lakota and other Indian country lands through the heartland.

Benally speaks again today, Sunday, March 18, 2012, at the Occupy Midwest gathering in St Louis. Read more:
http://www.occupystl.org/ 

More at www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

To request permission to repost: brendanorrell@gmail.com

About Brenda Norrell

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.

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About Brenda Norrell

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http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

Biography

Brenda Norrell has been a news reporter in Indian country for 34 years. She is publisher of Censored News, focusing on Indigenous Peoples, human rights and the US border. Censored News was created after Norrell was censored, then terminated, by Indian Country Today after serving as a longtime staff reporter. Now censored by the mainstream media, she previously was a staff reporter at numerous American Indian newspapers and a stringer for AP, USA Today and others. She lived on the Navajo Nation for 18 years, and then traveled with the Zapatistas. She covered the climate summits in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and Cancun, Mexico, in 2010.