Rest in Power Klee Benally – 1975-2023

“The anarchist principle of mutual aid has long been an influencing factor in my work and as an Indigenous Anarchist, it’s part of what drew me to an affinity with anarchism. I’ve sought ways to express mutuality through everything I do in my life.”

Klee Benally

Klee Benally, a Diné (Navajo) musician, traditional dancer, artist, filmmaker, and Indigenous anarchist died on December 30, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Agency project is heartbroken by the sudden loss of our dear friend and comrade. A constant source of inspiration and creativity, Klee was dedicated to fighting for total liberation and was a prolific creator of art, provocative writing and graphic design, and fierce socially conscious music. He worked across multiple disciplines, movements, and communities and was well respected and renowned for his work internationally.

Klee was living in Flagstaff, Arizona at the time of his passing. He was born October 11, 1975 in Black Mesa and worked nearly all his life at the front lines of struggles to protect Indigenous sacred lands. Klee was a driven organizer with projects such as Indigenous Action Media, Kinlani Mutual Aid, and Indigenous Mutual Aid. He also helped establish Táala Hooghan Infoshop, Protect the Peaks, Outta Your Backpack Media, and volunteered with Haul No.

Klee produced numerous documentaries and facilitated strategic planning for Indigenous justice campaigns and worked for decades as an entertainer with Native American Music Award winning rock group Blackfire and the internationally acclaimed traditional dance group, The Jones Benally Family.

Heralded as a cultural advocate and land defender, The Navajo Times, Associated Press, Democracy Now!, and others have reported on Klee’s passing.

Agency interviewed Klee about Indigenous mutual aid, the pandemic, and his recent music project, Appropriation, in August of 2021.

The essay Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing the Ally Industrial Complex, by Klee and Indigenous Action Media has become an important and frequently cited analysis and critique of the concept of allyship in political organizing and social movement work since it was published in 2014.

In December 2023, Detritus Books published Klee’s book, “No Spiritual Surrender: Indigenous Anarchy in Defense of the Sacred”. Klee also recently completed work on Burn the Fort, a board game where each player takes the role of a historic warrior fighting to stop colonial invasion of their lands. 

For more on Klee’s life and work, please visit his personal website, and those of his many projects linked throughout this article.

Image: Solange Aguilar

Klee Benally quotes from Agency’s August 2, 2021 interview:

“The “U.S.” and these other settler colonial nation states stand as monuments to the ongoing legacy of colonial violence of an entire civilizational order. Our work is to dismantle this order and shatter these monuments of colonial violence and replace the principle of political authority with the principle of autonomous Indigenous mutuality.”

“We urge towards an organizing that is based on our cultural knowledge systems, that is anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-heteropatriarchal, that abolishes white supremacy and that extends our ways of mutuality towards a future that honors our ancestors and coming generations. This is what ‘solidarity and ceremony not charity’ means.”

“Anarchist principles and ideas such as Direct Action, Mutual Aid, and anti-authoritarianism have been powerful mechanisms in the ongoing global counteroffensive to neo-liberalism/capitalism, outright fascism, and colonialism. We need to keep building on that in meaningful ways regardless of how the State and corporate media frames and vilifies us.”

Call for Donations & Support from Indigenous Action:

The family extends their appreciation for the fierce outpouring of support. We cannot thank you enough. Ahééhéé.

If you would like to make a donation, we are currently accepting them for a few immediate needs. These donations will ensure that he is returned to the earth through our cultural protocols and that the projects that he was recently working on & volunteering with can be financially eased.

Donations For Family Expenses

Family expenses will be utilized for burial expenses.
Zelle: Princess Benally, pbenally11@gmail.com

Donations For Taala Hooghan Expenses

Property related costs and utilities are due at Táala Hooghan. Donate here to help offest those costs.
PayPal: Princess Benally, pbenally11@gmail.com

Donations For Haul No!

Klee was deeply involved in Haul No! to stimulate actions of resistance against Energy Fuels’ Pinyon Plain/Canyon Mine uranium mine, Energy Fuels’ White Mesa Mill, and related transport. Donate here.

Cash donations can also be accepted in person.

IA will continue the protection and fight for Mother Earth & human rights that Klee passionately fought for.

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