For Immediate Release, February 25, 2020

Contact:

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

Wednesday Border Wall Action Planned at Arizona’s Organ Pipe National Monument

LUKEVILLE, Ariz.— Activists will gather Wednesday morning near Monument Hill to protest the Trump administration’s blasting of a sacred mountain to build the border wall through Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a UNESCO biosphere reserve.

Customs and Border Protection scheduled a media event Wednesday, including detonations on the hill, at the same time that Tohono O’odham Chairman Ned Norris will testify at a congressional hearing about the administration’s destruction of sacred sites and cultural heritage.

“Blowing up sacred land is horrifying enough, but now the Trump administration will hold a dog-and-pony show to brag about it,” said Laiken Jordahl, borderlands campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity. “It’s heartbreaking to watch them butcher this spectacular national monument and desecrate sacred indigenous lands. We’ll continue to fight Trump’s despicable border wall every step of the way .”

What: Protesters from environmental and indigenous groups will protest Trump’s border wall and destruction of Organ Pipe’s Monument Hill.

When: Wednesday, Feb. 26, at 10 a.m.

Where: Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, base of Monument Hill, South Puerto Blanco Road

Media availability: Activists with the Center for Biological Diversity and Sierra Club and members of the Tohono O’odham Nation will be available for interviews.

Background

The Trump administration is blowing up Monument Hill in Organ Pipe National Monument, home to endangered species and Native American burial sites, to build the border wall. Contractors are extracting millions of gallons of groundwater to mix concrete for the wall, imperiling Quitobaquito Springs. This rare desert oasis is home to two endangered species, the Sonoyta mud turtle and Quitobaquito pupfish.

More than 100 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 Center and allies have sued to challenge Trump’s emergency declaration, which is funding this construction.

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Blasted area at Monument Hill in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Photo credit: Laiken Jordahl/Center for Biological Diversity. Images are available for media use.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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