A small group of six people barged into the lobby of the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) in downtown Phoenix last Thursday. The group; composed of O’odham, anarchist, and anti-authoritarian people; took the action as an act of solidarity with all the people who are fighting in defense of the sacred San Francisco Peaks outside of Flagstaff.
As ADEQ has made their decision to harm the environment, ensuring not quality of life, but quantity of profit for the owners of the resort, we made no demands of the agency. We carried a banner with the simple message “Fuck Snow BOWEL, Fuck Loop 202, Fuck ADEQ!” and made chants of a similar nature. The police were contacted by a security guard, but we left before the two Capitol police arrived.
The struggle to defend the Peaks from the ski resort Snowbowl have gone on for many years, the mountain is a sacred site to 13 indigenous nations in northern Arizona, and Snowbowl is building a system to use reclaimed waste water to make snow. The indigenous voices have requested for years that Snowbowl not construct this pipeline, nor expand its operations by clear cutting over 74 acres of trees for a new ski run.
However, Snowbowl couldn’t have constructed this pipeline if ADEQ hadn’t given the green light to snowmaking from treated sewage back in 2002. The ADEQ is not an environmental watchdog, protecting all of us from the nasty fallout from infrastructure, industrial, and recreation projects; no they simply manage the risks of this fallout for the rich and powerful. ADEQ was confronted because their claims to protect the people and environment is laughable. Who could imagine that environmental quality meant that snow made from waste water is a good thing for humans, animals, and the plant life on the mountain?
We also made this action in solidarity with the campaign against the proposed loop 202 extension that would be built through Akimel O’odham/Pee Posh land in Gila River Indian Community, and desecrate South Mountain, a sacred site to O’odham people. We see the attacks on indigenous people as a continuation of 500 years of colonialism, and make no difference between the damage against the Peaks up north and the potential for a freeway in Gila River.
For more information on how you can help to protect the peaks from Snow BOWEL and the poop snow, check out truesnow.org
For information on the campaign against the proposed loop 202 extension, visit nosouthmountainfreeway.wordpress.com