Big Mountain Residents Experience More Harassment; Ask for Support
According to Tom Bedonie, he stated that "On March 27, 2002 he was followed by a Hopi Tribal Ranger to his home" in Big Mountain, AZ upon arriving at his home where he and his sister were then pepper-sprayed and Tom arrested. Tom has been charged for speeding but there are no posted speed limits on HPL Range Unit 26-2. Tom will be having a trial by jury on August 28th 2002. Harassment has continually escalated since Big Mountain residents have resisted by maintaining a Lakota Sun Dance which resulted in several acquittals and one conviction in early 2002. People are not permitted to have sweat lodge or Sundance ceremonies, or even collect wood on this land they've lived on for generations.
Emergency funds for Toms case was requested a few months ago. Tom thanks you for your financial support on his legal retainer fee of $750.00. The Center for Indian Law has requested an additional $500.00. No other assistance is available and Tom is requesting your monetary support on his case. It is urgent that funds are raised, as his hearing is on August 28th.Summary of what happened on March 28, 2002 according to Tom Bedonie
Update on Tom Bedonie's Trial in Hopi Tribal Court
A motion to dismiss for lack of probable cause was filed. The charges are as follows:
1. Civil Violation: Speed Greater than Reasonable and Prudent
2. Criminal Violation: Unlawful Flight from Pursuing Law Enforcement Vehicle
3. Criminal Violation: Reckless Driving
4. Criminal Violation: Fail to Stop on Peace Officer Command
5. Criminal Violation: No Valid Driver License
Even though this is a simple traffic violation, this is definitely a form of harassment and the courts may not or allow it to be heard that way but in the spirit of resistance we have to maintain the fight for justice on Big Mountain and Black Mesa, Arizona.
If you can help,
Tom has requested you send a check or money order to: Byron Clemens
Families on Black Mesa who are resisting forced relocation, religious persecution, and/or the effects of mining activities are also asking for supporters to come and stay with them as caretakers and human rights observers. Fall is just around the corner and once again families, many elderly, will need wood chopped for the cold winter months. Wood runs and work crews are greatly appreciated. Consider joining up with the Beauty Way Tour for the Annual Black Mesa Thanksgiving Food and Supply Run / Benefit concert tour by the band Clan Dyken.
Even though BMIS has temporarily closed down the supporter program until October due to lack of resources, we are still doing what we can to assess families needs and to help supporters meet up with Black Mesa residents. Our truck which we use to transport supporters on the back country roads to families was in an accident and is in need of vehicular repair or we need a new vehicle. If you are interested in coming to Black Mesa to lend your support, please make arrangements with BMIS prior to your stay and we will do the best we can to accommodate your needs. With prior arrangements, families may be able to pick up supporters at a border town with the help of some gas money. BMIS requires that all direct, on-land support please read the Cultural Sensitivity Packet. Also see the Black Mesa Needs List
Black Mesa Indigenous Support (BMIS) is a group of individuals acting to support the sovereignty of the indigenous people affected by mining activities on Black Mesa, who face forced relocation, environmental devastation, and cultural extinction at the hands of multi-national corporations, and United States and tribal governments. http://www.supportblackmesa.org