For Immediate Release, November 6, 2019

Contact:

Laiken Jordahl, (928) 525-4433, ljordahl@biologicaldiversity.org

Saturday Protest Planned to Stop Trump’s Wall at Arizona National Monument

LUKEVILLE, Ariz.— Activists will gather Saturday to protest construction of President Donald Trump’s border wall at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. The new 30-foot-tall barrier will block the migration of wildlife, destroy archeological sites, and imperil endangered species and wilderness lands.

“Trump’s wall is being rammed through one of the most beautiful, sacred and biologically diverse places in Arizona,” said Laiken Jordahl, a borderlands campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “We demand that Congress take immediate action to rescind the funds Trump illegally stole for his racist vanity project.”

“I’ve personally witnessed the heartbreaking sight of bulldozers plowing down saguaros in Organ Pipe National Monument to make way for President Trump’s reckless, expensive wall,” said Kevin Dahl, Arizona program manager at National Parks Conservation Association. “Not only is a national park being destroyed, but wildlife will be blocked from accessing critical water supplies and migration routes. A wall that divides communities and destroys our country’s nature and heritage is not the answer.”

What: Protesters from environmental, humanitarian and indigenous groups will speak out against Trump’s border wall and destruction of the national monument.

When: Saturday, Nov. 9, noon

Where: Meet at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Visitor Center, 10 Organ Pipe Dr., Ajo, AZ 85321.

Media availability: Activists with the Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association, Tucson Samaritans and Defenders of Wildlife will gather at the visitor center before heading to the border wall construction site.

Background

More than 60 miles of new border-wall construction are planned or underway across Arizona, paid for with funds Trump diverted from Defense Department budgets. To rush wall construction, Trump waived dozens of laws that protect public lands, cultural resources, sacred sites and endangered wildlife.

The administration is extracting millions of gallons of groundwater to mix concrete for the border wall, imperiling Quitobaquito Springs. This rare desert oasis is home to two endangered species, the Sonoyta mud turtle and Quitobaquito pupfish.

The Center and allies have sued to challenge Trump’s emergency declaration, which would fund this border-wall construction. The Center’s first border-related lawsuit ― filed in 2017 in U.S. District Court in Tucson with U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) ― seeks to require the Trump administration to do a detailed analysis of the environmental impacts of its border-enforcement program. All of these suits are pending.

A 2017 study by the Center identified more than 90 endangered or threatened species that would be threatened by wall construction along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.

Beyond jeopardizing wildlife, endangered species and public lands, the U.S.-Mexico border wall is part of a larger strategy of ongoing border militarization that damages human rights, civil liberties, native lands, local businesses and international relations. The border wall impedes the natural migrations of people and wildlife that are essential to healthy diversity.

Border_Wall_Organ_Pipe_Cactus_NM_Laiken_Jordahl_Center_FPWC-scr.jpg
Trump’s border wall under construction at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Photo: Laiken Jordahl. Image is available for media use. Image is available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.6 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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