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Protect The Peaks Benefit

Concert Finds New Venue

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San Francisco Peaks in the winter. Photo by Bob Blasi and used by permission of the USDA Forest Service, Coconino National Forest.

Scheduled Lineup Protect The Peaks Benefit Concert

Shining Soul (O'ohdam soul/hip-hop)

Cultura Libertaria (latin anarcha-ska/punk)

The Blood Feud Family Singers (gothic alt/folk)

Scrupulous (melodic alterna-punk)

Requiem (Gila River ska-core)

live native art by BREZ (O'odham)

Thomas Greyeyes (Dine')

Out of respect to the indigenous communities and their struggles, this will be an alcohol-free event.

First Venue Became Untenable Thanks To Last Minute Enforcement Of City Codes By Tempe Police, So The Rusty Spoke Will Host Rescheduled Event


By Jeff Moses and John Guzzon
Modern Times Magazine

Sept. 21, 2012 —  A group of conscientious musicians and volunteers will get to hold a benefit concert for the Protect the Peaks campaign against expansion of the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort and the company’s use of wastewater to make snow, after all.

Arizona Snowbowl, located north of Flagstaff in the San Francisco Peaks, had been trying to expand the resort for decades and was finally granted clearance in 2005.  Construction began this summer. Indigenous groups — including the Navajo Nation and Hopi — and others fought the expansion in court, where eventually, they lost on appeal. The mountain has religious significance for 13 tribes. Snow-making from wastewater began in March.

View graphic of scheduled Snowbowl expansion plans

The Sept. 21 event at the Rusty Spoke, 1023 NW Grand Ave., was supposed to be held Sept. 7, but according to an organizer of both events, Tempe police warned that the venue would be shutdown if the concert was held.

According to Garyn Klasek, one of the organizers for the event, the day before the curtain was set to go up at the Meat Market Garment Factory, 724 W. 10th Place, Tempe, police Det. Derek Pittam informed the venue operator that if the concert happened, he would be in violation of city code 26-70.

That code requires any business that hosts a concert to have a security plan in place, according to Tempe police spokesperson Jeff Glover. Some of the requirements of a security plan are hours, parking and other plans. That plan must be approved by Tempe Police.

In a comparable incident, the operator of The Clubhouse,
1320 E. Broadway Road, Tempe, was arrested March 9 after a shooting at the venue a week earlier for violating the security plan. The Clubhouse closed permanently less than a week later.

According to Glover, determining if establishments are in accordance with city code 26-70 falls to Pittam — who is also on the homeland security squad — and that there was no intent to stop the Protect the Peaks event.

“As a city, we want events. They provide revenue,” he said.

Concert organizers, however, said they don’t believe the coincidence was by happenstance — that Pittam just happened to contact the operator of the Meat Market Garment Factory the night before their event.

“We know from documents released by Anonymous that the Feds are really afraid of the anarchist movement and indigenous struggles linking up. So on one level it wasn't a huge surprise that they would try to disrupt the concert, since it was a solidarity benefit to raise funds for the anti-Snowbowl resistance up north. In addition, the Tempe police have their own particular history of surveillance of anarchists and ridiculous attempts to label them terrorists and gang members, probably because they want to jump on that post-9/11 homeland defense gravy train. It's also known through police reports that the TPD probably maintains some sort of activist/anarchist database. Or at least they did at one point,” said an organizer who wished to remain anonymous.

Regardless, the alcohol-free event will happen Sept. 21 at the Rusty Spoke, beginning at 7 p.m.

For more information about the event, visit

For more information about the Protect the Peaks fight, visit

John Guzzon is editor of Modern Times Magazine.
Jeff Moses is a freelance writer and photographer from Teaneck, N.J. and is currently living in Mesa, Ariz. He has been published in The Mesa Legend, and The Highway Herald. Contact him by calling 727-385-0624.

Editor's note: An earlier post of this article incorrectly identified Garyn Klasek as the source of a quote. The source for that quote was not Klasek and the source wished to remain anonymous. Those changes are reflected in this revision.
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