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12 individuals taken into custody after border wall protest

Posted at 2:09 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 11:15:45-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — UPDATED at 11:20 p.m.

Video provided by activists and members of the Tohono O'odham nation from early Monday morning shows a protest at a Border Patrol checkpoint on State Highway 85 in southwestern Arizona.

In it, you can see Arizona Department of Public Safety police officers in riot gear, approaching demonstrators in the middle of the road.

KGUN9 spoke with a woman ​who says she's with the "O'odham anti-border collective.'

"Folks did get hit with tear gas and with rubber bullets, nobody was sent to the hospital. Eight arrests were made and folks are gathering in Tucson to congregate in front of the Pima County Jail in solidarity and support," the woman, who asked us to call her 'V,' said.

For their part, Arizona DPS told KGUN9 it is still gathering information and will have details available on Tuesday.

In their own statement, Customs and Border Patrol said 12 arrests were made, protesters were blocking Highway 85 and were given ample warning to clear the road.

The woman who says she's with the "O'odham anti-border collective' explained to KGUN9 why this demonstration against construction of the border wall was held on "Indigenous People's Day.'

"Honoring the treaties, which have not been honored and the desecration of the land. They're 'undigging' human remains of our ancestors, they're blasting our sacred sites, they're draining our water," she said.

Border Patrol added they support the right to voice concerns and express opinions lawfully.

Activists and members of the Nation have organized a bail fund for demonstrators who were arrested.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection say 12 individuals were taken into custody following a border wall protest Monday morning.

Organizers from the Tohono O'odham Nation say they held this protest to mark 'Indigenous People's Day.' They say they're protesting construction of a border wall on what they say is land that is sacred to their people.

Protesters blocked traffic on Arizona State Route 85 in both directions near the Tucson Sector Border Patrol Immigration Checkpoint, and were given warning to leave the roadway by Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers, but those individuals were then taken into custody.

We fully support the right to voice concerns and express opinions lawfully and peacefully under the first amendment.

There were no injuries reported.