Prayer Vigil Protests Construction on Sacred Land

January 24, 2002

Source: Star Tribune

On January 24, 2002, the Star Tribune reported that "protesters who want the University of Minnesota to pull out of the Mount Graham telescope project in Arizona are holding a 24-hour prayer vigil outside the university president's house... The group, including representatives of the American Indian Movement (AIM), the Mount Graham Coalition and local activists, set up a red tepee Wednesday afternoon outside the fence bordering Eastcliff, the St. Paul home of university President Mark Yudof. They say construction of the telescope threatens the environment and desecrates land that is sacred to the Apache Indians... Dwight Metzger, a representative of the coalition, said that while construction on the telescope may not stop if the university pulls out, the withdrawal would send an important message... 'The Apaches view this as active desecration of their mountain, and they are appealing to the university not to participate,' he said. 'It would send a message of respect for religious freedom and the integrity of the laws of this country.'"