Friday, October 3, 2008

Caravan of support to Big Mountain 2008

Join the Caravan of Support to Big Mountain resistance, communities of Black Mesa, Arizona

November 22-29, 2008!

Greetings from Black Mesa Indigenous Support,

We are excited to inform you that we are currently putting together efforts to bring a caravan of work crews that will be converging from across the country to support residents of the Big Mountain regions of Black Mesa who, on behalf of their peoples, their sacred ancestral lands, and future generations, continue to carry out their staunch resistance to the efforts of the US Government, which is acting in the interests of the Peabody Coal Company to devastate whole communities & ecosystems, and greatly de-stabilize our planet's climate for the profit of an elite few.

At this moment the decision makers in Washington D.C. are planning ways to expand their occupation of tribal lands to extract mineral & other resources. The coal companies have a long history of and continue to fund both the Republican and Democratic parties because they have huge interests at stake. Peabody Coal, the world's largest coal company, is currently pushing through plans to massively expand dirty coal strip-mining operations which has destroyed land and water aquifers, completely dug up burials, sacred areas, and shrines designated specifically for offerings, preventing religious practices.

By assisting with direct, on-land projects with these Sovereign communities, you are helping families resist an illegal occupation and to stay on their lands, who serve as the very blockade to coal mining! "The Big Mountain matriarchal leaders always believed that resisting forced relocation will eventually benefit all ecological systems, including the human race." Bahe Keediniihii, Dineh organizer and translator states. "Continued residency by families throughout the Big Mountain region has a significant role in the intervention of Peabody's future plan for Black Mesa coal to be the major source of unsustainable energy, the growing dependency on fossil fuel, and escalating green house gas emissions. We will continue to fight to defend our homelands."

With the guidance of Black Mesa residents, the aim of this caravan is to bring support to their communities before the approaching cold winter months. We expect volunteer work parties to help with firewood chopping & hauling, do minor repair work, provide holistic health care, and a few days of herding sheep. Volunteer work crews are expected to be adequately prepared and self-sufficient prior to your visit on Black Mesa, which is a very remote area in a high desert terrain! (Be prepared for extreme weather, it will be cold!) Each participant will need outdoor camping equipment, food, water, and have appropriate attire for hands-on manual work. Please visit the BMIS website for an in-depth guide on how to prepare for your stay and what supplies are needed for work projects.

Host or attend regional organizational meetings in your area! The Caravans’ coordinators are located in Prescott, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tuba City, Colorado, Portland, Ohio, New York, and San Francisco’s Bay Area. The meeting locations and dates are being posted at the BMIS website as coordinators set them up. This caravan will be in addition to the annual Clan Dyken Fall Food & Supply Run. We strongly urge participants to attend regional meetings & to pre-register to help us estimate how many people to expect as well as to help us make necessary accommodations. You can download a registration form off of our website.

Ways you can help in the weeks leading up to the caravan:

- share information about the caravan & request materials from us and help spread the word in your area.

- arrange/organize outreach events and/or fundraisers for gathering supplies in your town or city with BMIS supporting you.

Ways you can help during the caravan:

- A number of volunteers are needed to help with shifts to be covered for the opening & closing circles with a variety of different responsibilities such as pre-setup, kitchen shifts, fire-wood duty at main camp, and cleanup. Please contact BMIS at

We are at a critical juncture and must take a stand in support of communities on the front lines of resistance now! Indigenous & land-based peoples have maintained the understanding that our collective survival is deeply dependent on our relationship to Mother Earth. Victory in protecting and reclaiming the Earth will require a broad movement that can help bridge cultures, issues, & nations.

BMIS wishes for this caravan to be an important opportunity for people of all backgrounds to listen & work with the families of Black Mesa to generate more awareness that relocation laws & coal mining need to stop, that these communities deserve to be free on their ancestral homelands, & to come together to strengthen our solidarity and find ways to work together to protect Black Mesa & our Mother Earth for all life.

We can't wait to see you in November!

Give Back To Mother Earth! Give Back To Future Generations!

In Solidarity,

Black Mesa Indigenous Support

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us:

P.O. Box 23501, Flagstaff, Arizona 86002

Message Voice Mail: 928.773.8086



Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is a grassroots, all-volunteer organization dedicated to working with and supporting the indigenous peoples of Black Mesa in their Struggle for Life and Land who are targeted by & resisting unjust large-scale coal mining operations and forced relocation policies of the US government.

--If we remain unable to imagine a world where love can be recognized as aunifying principle that can lead us to seek and use power wisely, then wewill remain wedded to a culture of domination that requires us to choosepower over love. ~bell hooks

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