Klee Benally on Sacred Sites, Haul No!, & Anti-Colonial Resistance
For decades, Klee Benally (Dine’), has been at the forefront of anti-colonial, environmental, and indigenous struggles while working to build up autonomous and grassroots media. In this episode we were lucky enough to catch up with this long time organizer, musician, film maker, and all around bad ass. We cover a lot of ground in this interview, starting with the recent anti-colonial and anti-fascist demonstrations in so-called Phoenix, Arizona on occupied O’odham land. We then discuss the limitations of antifascism, as well as the need to incorporate an anti-colonial understanding and analysis within it.
We then switch gears and talk about some of Benally’s current organizing work, which includes the ongoing Haul No! campaign which seeks to stop uranium mining and transport. From the campaign website:
Haul No! is a volunteer Indigenous-led group collaborating with Indigenous communities and leaders, environmental organizations, and community-based advocates working to stop nuclear colonialism in the Southwest. We intend to spread awareness and stimulate action to ensure sacred sites, the Grand Canyon, and our communities are safeguarded from this deadly toxic threat of the proposed uranium haul route of the Canyon Mine (owned and operated by Energy Fuels Inc.).
We then discuss both Idle Not More and the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) at Standing Rock, as Klee offers some reflections and analysis of these movements. We also discuss what Benally is up to musically as well as his recent film which he wrote and directed entitled, Power Lines.
We end by talking about the momentum that has been generated in the post-Charlottesville moment as well as the need for an anti-colonial analysis outside of and against the ally-industrial complex to proliferate.
Music: Appropriation “Going in Circles,” from Power Lines soundtrack.
This post was written by It's Going Down