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Land Defenders Take Streets Rejecting ‘Empty Declaration’ of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in ‘Flagstaff’



Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Report issued by the Ad-hoc Anti-Colonial Agitation Committee of Occupied Flagstaff
Photos by Ed Moss & anon


OCCUPIED FLAGSTAFF, AZ — On Monday night, more than 45 people gathered at “Heritage Square” in occupied so-called “Flagstaff” to rally and call for indigenous liberation on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Speakers at the rally strongly rejected the recent “Indigenous Peoples’ Day” declaration by Flagstaff politicians as a hypocritically symbolic measure, as Indigenous people in the area continue to face cultural genocide, disproportionate incarceration, homelessness, extreme racial profiling and state violence.


The rally centered voices of Indigenous womxn and two spirit relatives, speaking to their stories of resistance to hetero-patriarchy and state violence. The crowd donned red bandanas with the hashtag #MMIW to honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), a movement which confronts the fact that one-third of Indigenous womxn in the so-called “U.S.” are either missing or murdered.

Nicole Joe, who was part of the local Indigenous unsheltered community, died on December 25, 2017 after her boyfriend, Vaughn Seumptewa, beat her and left her outside in the cold for several hours before dragging her inside an apartment, where she later died.


The crowd called for justice for Nicole Joe, Loreal Tsingine (who was murdered by police in Winslow in 2016), and Vanessa Lee, who was recently found deceased in Flagstaff with no cause of death known at this moment.

“If communities are to put an end to missing and murdered Indigenous womxn, there must be better supports for womxn to leave abusive relationships, as opposed to turning to the current system that is inherently racist against Indigenous womxn, often not believing their stories or put on waiting lists for the same supports non-Indigenous folx receive,” stated Bonn Baudelaire.


Bonn further stated, “We have been resisting this narrative for 500 years. And that’s why we are here today, to see the future reimagined by the hands of the feminine. So what does it mean when we say Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn? That’s what we mean, we’re reimagining the future, in our own hands. What happens when womxns’ bodies are assaulted? That’s just the same thing as assaulting Mother Earth. Womxn literally recreate life on this earth and when we’re assaulted, we’re assaulting the very core of what it means to be alive.”


Vulnerable stories were shared at the rally from people who are directly suffering from state violence, I.C.E. raids and detentions, and white-supremacist heteropatriarchy. The rally connected the many different struggles of violence against womxn, racial profiling and incarceration, desecration of sacred land, and of unsheltered relatives, with banners that read “No justice on stolen land” & “Before 1492, no one was unsheltered.”

City of Flagstaff politicians have refused to repeal their notorious “Anti-Camping Ordinance” which has previously earned the city the 10th spot of The National Coalition for the Homeless’s report on “meanest” cities in the so-called “U.S.” Capitalists in Flagstaff continue to outright discriminate and deny services to unsheltered Indigenous Peoples.


Ale Becerra, a representative of the Repeal Coalition stated, “We’re talking about the same issue: which is state violence against communities, Indigenous communities, undocumented folks who are here without proper documentation. We have the same struggle. The State is what we’re up against. We need to learn to recognize that.”


The Repeal Coalition has been demanding an immediate end to the City of Flagstaff’s collaboration with I.C.E. attacks on the undocumented community.

The rally eventually escalated to a march in the streets, blockading various intersections in downtown Flagstaff. A heavy police presence throughout the night, including cops physically grabbing people and pushing them, demonstrated that the City of Flagstaff is only committed to “honoring” Indigenous people symbolically, but will still unleash state violence on them even on “Indigenous Peoples’ Day”.


This treatment came as no surprise as the disproportionate number of Indigenous People arrested in Flagstaff demonstrates a severe issue of targeted policing of the Indigenous community. According to the most recent census, Indigenous Peoples comprise 10% of the population but account for nearly half of all the annual arrests each year. That one in every two Indigenous peoples living in Flagstaff, regardless of age, faces threat of arrest is a serious problem. (Source: Flagstaff Police Department Annual Report 2009-2017)

Chanting “Boycott Snowbowl” and “No Columbus, No KKK, No Fascist USA”, the crowd took to the streets. The sound carried throughout downtown, drawing passersby in to join the marchers. The march lasted for more than an hour, occupying multiple different intersections and stopping traffic throughout the night.

On October 2, 2018 the City of Flagstaff hastily passed a resolution to recognize “Columbus Day” as Indigenous Peoples’ Day. However, this resolution does nothing to change the continued cultural genocide of Indigenous people which the City remains complicit in and profits from. The City of Flagstaff refuses to cancel their contract to sell treated sewage for snowmaking on the San Francisco Peaks, which are held holy by more than 13 indigenous nations. The ongoing fight to protect the Peaks has lead to precedent-setting legal cases negatively impacting all Indigenous Peoples religious freedom.

There were cops waiting at the rally site before the organizers even arrived, and after the march ended, approximately 20 uniformed cops circled around the remaining crowd, surveilling and trying to identify people. Cops followed people to their cars and took pictures of their license plates.

Despite the intensity of police intimidation and aggression on this night, the marchers held their ground and ended the march with singing the AIM song while occupying the intersection of Beaver St. and Leroux.


As calls for next steps and ongoing actions were made, an “American” flag was set-alight and someone in the crowd stated, “Indigenous resistance will never be state sanctioned. Everyday is Indigenous Peoples’ Day and everyday we have to continue to fight for our existence.”


Organizers call for these immediate actions:

  • continued boycott of Arizona Snowbowl and for the City of Flagstaff to cancel their contract with the ski resort,
  • end to racial profiling & I.C.E. collaboration and further work to abolish police in our communities by establishing community support networks and transformative/restorative justice options,
  • repeal the anti-camping ordinance and all anti-homeless policies
  • donations of sleeping bags and winter clothing for unsheltered relatives at Táala Hooghan Infoshop (1704 N 2nd St),



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Indigenous Action Podcast Episode 17: Decolonization isn’t a Holiday




Rejecting Indigenous Peoples’ Day of Tokenism

Indigenous Action Podcast Episode 17: Decolonization isn’t a Holiday

Hosts Klee and Bonn talk with some awesome guests & revisit our 2017 ‘zine “Uprooting Colonialism: The Limitations of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” We dig into the questions, “How do whitewashed celebrations of Indigenous Peoples Day undermine decolonization?” and “What does it mean to be an anti-colonial abolitionist?”


Amrah Salomón J. is a writer, artist, activist, and educator of Mexican, O’odham and Tohono O’odham, and European ancestry.
@oodhamantiborder, @defendoodhamjewed, Cashapp: $DefendOodhamJewed,, Venmo: @DefendOodhamJewed

Kittie Kuntagion, @kittiekuntagion

Andrew Pedro, @desert.dweller.58 Got tired of seeing disapointing activist bullshit, now focused on music. Organizes metal/punk shows on and of the Rez.

Bonn: @bonnabella.xvx, Venmo: bonnabellaxvx 
Klee: @kleebenally

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About the podcast: Indigenous Action is an autonomous anti-colonial broadcast with unapologetic and claws-out analysis towards total liberation. We feature radical frontline Indigenous voices and dig deep into critical issues impacting our communities. So take your seat by this fire and may the bridges we burn together, light our way.

Email us at 

Subscribe, like, share on iTunes | Spotify, and Youtube.

Read the ‘zine here

From the 2017 ‘zine: “…if the state dismantles these statues and proclaims Indigenous Peoples’ Days, what do we actually achieve if the structures and systems rooted in colonial violence remain intact? Is it merely political posturing or window dressing to diminish liberatory agitations? Our senses are heightened as most re-brandings of Columbus Day into IPD appear to whitewash ongoing colonial legacies… If the goal is for Indigenous autonomy, liberation of the land, people, and other beings, then why plead with our oppressors to merely acknowledge or recognize our existence?…To claim Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an act of decolonization is a failure of liberal assimilationists… Symbolically ending Columbus’ legacy while continuing to perpetuate and benefit from the violence of the ‘doctrine of discovery’ is just one more dead-end direction of Indigenous liberalism. If we understand that colonization has always been war, then why are we fighting a battle for recognition and affirmation through colonial power structures?… Indigenous Peoples’ Day, as a process of collusion with occupying state forces, risks becoming a colonial patriotic ritual more than anything that amounts to liberation.”

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Indigenous Resistance Teach-in Oct 13, 2023 




Direct action training, workshop, & panel discussion with Haul No! Protect the Peaks, Indigenous Action, & Louise Benally.

Friday, Oct 13th, 4p-8p 

Free (bring a warm clothing/sleeping bag/tent donation for unsheltered relatives). 

At Mayan Winds Coffee Emporium

2144 N 4th St. Flagstaff AZ

*Masks required!*

How do whitewashed celebrations of Indigenous Peoples’ Day undermine decolonization?

What ways can you directly support regional anti-colonial struggles?


4:00p-5:30p – Direct Action training

5:30p – Haul No! Resisting Nuclear Colonialism workshop

6:15p – Break for food (Provided, w gluten free & vegan options avail.)

6:45p – Panel Discussion: Supporting Regional Indigenous Resistance Struggles

8:30p – end

Celebrate and support ongoing frontline Indigenous resistance struggles!

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Indigenous Peoples’ Day of Rage 2022




This is a call for an Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage Against Colonialism on Sunday, October 9, 2022, everywhere.

We heard that mass actions are a bit out of fashion this season & lone wolfs or affinity groups are all the rage.

Counter the spectacle of the “good, respectable Indian” and their mundane celebrations of assimilation. Your ancestors invite you to embrace the veracious criminality of anti-colonial struggle and be smart (don’t get caught).
A banner drop? An attack on colonial symbols, monuments, etc. Spray paint? A broken window here, a burning xxxxxxx there? Be fierce and fabulously unpredictable and strike in the darkest part of the night (points if you use glitter). Even the smallest Indigenous dreams of liberation are greater than the settler nightmares we live everyday.

We won’t be making any lists or asking for emails this year due to a heightened sense for the need of greater security culture. Though we will post any securely and anonymously sent reports and pics in the aftermath.

In the spirit of Jane’s Revenge, abort colonialism. Colonizer (c)laws off our bodies!
– The insurrectionary anti-colonial invisible council of IPDR.


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