PRESS RELEASE: Flagstaff Police Harass Activists as ‘Preventative Maintenance’ Before Dew Downtown Event
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Free Speech Protest Zone Created at ‘Unsustainable’ Urban Snowboard Event
FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Armed plain-clothed City of Flagstaff cops showed up at a community member’s home and at a community center yesterday. The officers, Kevin Rued and Eric Greenwald, stated that they were doing “preventative maintenance” and that they’re going to “have the entire
front grassy area of the courthouse roped off specifically for protestors” as a free speech zone at the City of Flagstaff and Snowbowl sponsored Dew Downtown event.
James Kennedy, a community member who has been involved with efforts to protect the San Francisco Peaks was alarmed by the visit, “It’s chilling & terrifying. Armed men showed up at my house, I didn’t know if I was going to jail yesterday morning.”
“…our supervisors were saying that they got information from off of Facebook or Twitter…that people were going to chain themselves and cause this huge disruption.” stated officer Rued.
Mr. Kennedy questioned why he was being targeted and not Snowbowl supporters who have been known to be violent. He mentioned an incident at Dew Downtown last year when a drunk Snowbowl supporter attacked two Indigenous children. Mr. Kennedy stated, “It looks bad when police come to check in on us when at the last Dew Downtown the only thing that happened was the pro-Snowbowl lady came and attacked my friends.”
Police initially refused to charge the assailant.
Boycott organizers state reasons to boycott the event include:
- More than 300,000 gallons of drinking water for fake snow is unsustainable,
- It is unseasonably warm & Flagstaff is anticipating a drought,
- Arizona Snowbowl, a major sponsor, threatens public & environmental health, and violates human rights of Indigenous Peoples by desecrating the San Francisco Peaks with treated sewage snowmaking,
- At Dew Downtown in 2013, two native children were attacked by a drunk racist Snowbowl supporter. The City of Flagstaff has ignored this hate crime.
The boycott organizers state, “Flagstaff has so much more to offer than unsustainable & disrespectful recreation.”
On August 7th, 2011, Flagstaff police aggressively attacked a peaceful march through downtown Flagstaff. Six people were arrested with some tackled by law enforcement agents without provocation. Five of those arrested then had their charges dropped, only one person had made a plea deal.
For more information: www.protectthepeaks.org.