Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tohono O'odham Delegation Pepper Sprayed at ALEC Protest

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Probably the best account of what took place yesterday at protests against American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at the group's meeting in Scottsdale came from Censored News on police pepper spraying a Tohono O'odham delegation and the hospitalization of Tohono O'odham veteran David Ortega:

Tohono O'odham Veteran David Ortega remained hospitalized Wednesday night after being pepper sprayed at the protest of the American Legislative Exchange Council, ALEC, in Scottsdale. Doctors are undertaking tests to see if Ortega had a heart attack or stroke after police repeatedly fired pepper spray on an O'odham delegation and other peaceful protesters.

"It was like a cloud of pepper spray," Ortega said Wednesday night recovering in a Scottsdale hospital. "I was carrying the Veterans for Peace flag when another person was hit directly in the face with pepper spray. I rushed to the front to help him, like I always do as a Peacemaker."

Ortega said the pepper spray was fired at them several times. Ortega began experiencing shortness of breath and chest pains and was hospitalized, where he remained Wednesday night. Ortega has been serving as a Peacemaker at Occupy Tucson in recent weeks. He is known nationally as a Peacemaker at Indigenous rights events. He is the
third veteran to be hospitalized after police brutality in recent weeks.

Indigenous Peoples, including O'odham and Navajos resisting relocation at Big Mountain on the Navajo Nation, are now gathered in Scottsdale will continue their protest and resistance of the corporate influence of ALEC. They announced plans for Thursday.

The Phoenix New Times confirms cops brought out the pepper spray, but also provides the excuse police provided:

"Unfortunately a few Anarchist have joined the occupied movement and crowds tried to push their way through the police line on to the resort property," Phoenix Sergeant Trent Crump says. "OC spray was deployed twice on aggressive groups, which was effective in stopping their actions."

You can read the New Times post here.

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