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Concert to Aid Native American Activist

Supporters of Native American activist Paul Skyhorse Durant are sponsoring a benefit concert in Ventura on Sunday to help him pay off a fine stemming from his arrest last year for possessing hallucinogenic cactus buds.

Durant was never charged with a crime, and the 250 pounds of peyote buttons intended for use in Indian rituals was returned to him. But his arrest brought an outstanding 7-year-old misdemeanor warrant for a drunk driving charge to the attention of authorities, he said.

Durant served 60 days in jail as a result and still has $985 outstanding from a $1,750 fine. Once he pays off the fine, Durant said, he will be off probation and able to return to his Seattle-area home.

“I’d like to leave, I’ve had enough of Ventura County,” said Durant, a drum maker by profession. “The authorities have long memories and they are kind of vengeful.”

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Artists performing at the concert include blues guitarist Slidin’ Rene, the Ojai Blues Band, Aztec dancers Grupo Xitalli, Brazilian folk singer Joao Junqueira, Mexican folk-singing trio Los Cantantes and Xochipilli, a trio that plays contemporary Chicano music with indigenous roots.

The event is scheduled for 3 to 9 p.m. at Art City 2, 31 Peking St.

A silent auction for items that include a Native American drum will be held, and a variety of ethnic food and crafts will be available for purchase.

A $5 donation is requested.


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