Saturday, February 09, 2019

Right now, two of the world’s biggest mining companies want to mine Apache sacred lands just an hour east of Phoenix in Oak Flat, Arizona.
If Congress lets them get away with it, they will be violating indigenous people’s rights and creating a toxic trash dump that will release airborne chemicals for miles around the site.
Activists and indigenous people had successfully stopped companies from mining Oak Flat for a decade before Congress snuck the sale of the lands into a bill funding the military.
After so many votes rebuffing pro-mining interests when the deal was debated openly, Congress sneakily put Oak Flat up for sale.
But the sale can still be stopped.
On Saturday, the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival joins the Apache Stronghold in Arizona on their Fifth Annual March to Oak Flat. Because:
  • The Apache Stronghold’s struggle is the struggle of families in Detroit whose water was shut off.
  • The struggle of disenfranchised people in Kentucky, where 9% of the state can’t vote.
  • The struggle at the border, where federal workers are pawns in a battle for a wall while land is secretly sold off to multinational corporations on the other side of the fence.
Corporate America has shown it is willing to ignore the needs of the poor in almost every way, including by dumping toxic chemicals on the poor and indigenous people again and again.
Meanwhile, the U.S. federal government acts unaccountable to its own treaties with native and indigenous people. From the Doctrine of Discovery that was used to justify the takeover of indigenous lands to the ongoing attempt to undermine tribal sovereignty and steal native people’s resources, the U.S. has been assaulting the very right of indigenous people to exist.
We are all people of conscience -- Apache, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, people of other faiths and not of faith -- who refuse to be silent while Congress and corporate interests attempt to destroy indigenous people’s right to political independence and their very right to exist.
We stand in solidarity with the Apache Stronghold. Our fight is one.
Forward together, not one step back!
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
Co-Chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival
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