“This year has been a whirlwind of victory and perseverance for Loop 202 extension resistors. On February 8, 2012 GRIC members voted for the “No Build” option for the proposed 202 freeway to prevent desecration of South Mountain, which has been held sacred since time immemorial. South Mountain is an area full of cultural significance to the Akimel O’odham and the Pee Posh, the two tribes that comprise that Gila River Indian Community.
Despite this victory of a vote in support of no build, Limited Liability Corporation Pangea of Tempe Arizona has still taken a “no compromise” attitude in the face of those that resist the freeway. After folding deception and community tension into the recently formed assembly of “Gila River Indian Community Land Owners”; Pangea LLC is attempting to force the freeway on the valley.
Gila River Against the Loop 202 (GRAL202) has reported on this new face of the freeway backed by Pangea in their press release titled: Pangea continues to push for Loop 202, while GRIC leadership sits on the sidelines
GRAL202 also recently reported on a Gila River Indian Community meeting where youth wore dust masks to display a visual protest while in Attendance. They later shared this article with their feelings about the meeting and the freeway: Under the watchful eye of engaged youth and concerned GRIC members, Pangea and the PLA’s “City Concept” plan was halted by tribal council.
We share these stories to help paint the picture of vivid resistance that is happening in response to the proposed extension of the loop 202.”
Today, November 19 there will be an event about resistance to the freeway at the Chandler Gilbert Community College. The discussion will included cultural, environmental, and economic effects of the loop 202 extension into Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) lands. The panel will include Shannon Rivers of the American Indian Center; Lori Riddle-an environmental activist and member of the GRIC; Jezz Putnam who is the facilitator of the No South Mountain Freeway group; and Dr. Greg Swan, a Business and Sustainability professor at CGCC. The panel will be addressing blatant implications of cultural imperialism in land management, and a legacy of constructing freeways through less privileged populations. There will also be a discussion on the health and wellbeing of Arizona’s population, with a special emphasis on the importance of sustainable urban planning and a paradigm shift in public transportation and public policy.