Monday, June 24, 2024

The Grandmothers Were Arrested

July 16, 2001 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

the Grandmothers were arrested
but the outside world stood silent,
the inside world’s reactions mixed.
“but the Big Mountain news
always sounds like the calvary is coming.”
it IS coming – the Grandmothers were arrested,
forced to suffer the indignity, the disrespect.
of a long night in a Hopi jail.
these are “dangerous” women,
in their sixties, seventies, eighties.
they are targeted for only one reason,
not signing the Accommodation Agreement.
ah yes, these are real dangerous women,
those who strive to protect the land
from the total destruction that threatens.

the Grandmothers were arrested,
but you say, they were released.
so does this mean this is of no consequence?
WRONG. they were arrested at Sun Dance
though no fault of their own.
since when is it a crime to pray,
especially on your own land? ah but I forgot.
there’s supposed to be a land dispute.
that’s what they would like you to believe,
the HTC, the BIA, Peabody Coal –
and they try to do whatever they can,
piling one abuse upon another in their relentless attempt
to squelch the support, to wear those down who stay.
so what is the reason for these arrests?
they’re calling them trespassers on their own land.

the Grandmothers were arrested
yet days later there is still little news,
but that which has appeared.
did they forget something? is something missing?
the Grandmothers were arrested,
yet most major newspapers remain silent.
to them, what is “noteworthy” news?
is it because they would rather deny the existence
of those who refuse to give up their land?
according to one news source, their own tribal council
calls them resisters. I wonder – resisters to what?
to stop the rape that continues in Peabody Coal’s
lust to remove the much coveted coal
to fuel the eccentric uses of the mainstream,
those who are suffering an energy crunch?

the Grandmothers were arrested
but they try to draw away the attention,
they being the HTC, the BIA, their puppets,
those guilty of visiting abuse on top of abuse,
which if the outside world knew,
it would think all Hopis are that way.
we know it is only a select few – the HTC, the BIA.
so their work continues – more wells to be shut down
water, the giver of life, being denied the People,
what was 40 miles away may now be even further.
those at Sun Dance are threatened now.
to leave the Anna Mae Camp, then try to return
means a $500 fine slapped on them for trespassing –
the reason given that they are not Hopi,
anything to disrupt the sacred Sun Dance.

but the Grandmothers were arrested.
this is the fact that remains,
and the repercussions are soon to follow –
a kangaroo court in keams canyon.
what excuses will be used?
what will be the new lies?
the grandmothers were arrested
the demonstrations will begin,
the voices of outrage will be heard across the land.
maybe then the mainstream news will listen;
maybe then everyone will know what is happening.
or will the HTC be successful in making this a tribal matter.
the question arises, when will the people
come together as one or will they play
into the hands of the government?

yes, the Grandmothers were arrested.
outrage and total disbelief tear at the spirit,
when will all this madness stop
that which has gone on for far too long?
more than a quarter century of abuse it has been.
it can continue no longer.
to listen to the wise words –
those of Chief Arvol Looking Horse who says
in order to restore peace and balance,
words must be voiced but in a peaceful, respectful way,
otherwise it will be playing into their hands again
should there be any violence.
the wise words of Leonard Benally tell us
“no court, no man-made or corporate laws,
will break our spirit. We shall remain and we shall resist.”

©July 16, 2001

Sara Hayes
Jefferson H.S.

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