WATCH: Indigenous Woman Arrested After Refusing To Put Out Burning Sage At Donald Trump Protest In Denver
By Black Powder | RPM Staff, July 4, 2016
In Colorado, it is legal to smoke marijuana, but not to burn sage in public, especially at a Donald Trump protest.
On Friday, both supporters and opponents of Trump gathered at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver for the Western Conservative Summit.
As two opponents ranting at each other in front of a crowd of onlookers, began pushing and shoving, an indigenous woman named Josie Valadez Fraire drifted around, burning sage to cleanse the “negative energy.”
Police in SWAT gear swarmed the crowd, ordered people to get out of the street, then led two men away. 3 people were arrested.
Josie, was also taken into custody, — as fellow protesters began shouting at police, “Let her go! Smudging is indigenous!” — she was cited and later released for refusing to put out a burning sage.
According to ICTMN, Josie, 22, is Xicana (Chicana) and a member of MEChA, a national Chicano/a activist student organization.
Her arrest was recorded on video and police are now facing criticism on social media for violating the woman’s indigenous right to practice her traditional spiritual beliefs.
Josie has a court date set for August 1 at 8 a.m. Room 160, Lindsey Flanigan Justice Center.
She plans to contest the charges.
Watch a Direct Message from Josie Valadez Fraire posted to YouTube over the weekend: