Poor People’s Campaign: Save Apache Sacred Place, Oak Flat.

My name is Reverend William J. Barber II, of the Poor People’s Campaign. I’m a preacher—and I’ve dedicated my life to the pursuit of social and economic justice as part of my faith and a moral obligation to counter injustice.

I’m writing to you because, unless we act, one of the most sacred places of the Apache Nation in Arizona will be destroyed by Resolution Copper, a corporation that is planning to create a crater below Oak Flat two miles wide and 1,000 feet deep.1 To Christians and Jews, this would feel like a desecration of Mt. Sinai.

Will you sign the petition in solidarity with the leaders of the Apache-Stronghold and demand Congress do everything in its power to stop the destruction of Oak Flat?

We demand Congress return the full rights and religious protections to the Apache of Oak Flat in recognition of their religious freedom and stop the destruction of Oak Flat.

Sign the Apache-Stronghold’s petition

When I first visited the Apache Nation in Arizona years ago, I heard how the Apaches, a people who had lived in the hills, were forced onto a reservation down in the river basin. And then the Army, at night, opened the dam and flooded the river basin, in an attempt to wipe them out.

Their story—and their trauma—is not isolated. First Nations, the indigenous peoples who once populated this land, were almost wiped out in the Indian Wars of the first two hundred years of what would become the United States. And these attacks, despite the resiliency of First Nation tribes, continue today.

Apache-Stronghold members at Oak FlatMembers of the Apache-Stronghold.

Oak Flat is a sacred place to the Apache people. But the U.S. Forest Service has moved forward with an environmental impact statement on this proposed plan from Resolution Copper—and has refused to consider the Apaches’ religious freedom claim, which would stop this destructive mining project.2

I’m writing to you as a preacher, hoping you will join me in demanding Congress stop this sale and condemn this immoral, racist, and unconstitutional seizure and sale of Oak Flat.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.

Thank you.

–Rev. William J. Barber II, Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

Sources:

1. “The Forest Service Ignored Apache Religion in Its Review of Oak Flat Copper Mine,” Phoenix New Times, October 15, 2019
https://act.moveon.org/go/113021?t=11&akid=250143%2E41035463%2E8fDtdl

2. Ibid.

Arizona: Prosecutors to Investigate Child Abuse at Immigrant Prison

JAN 02, 2019

H5 immigrant prison child abuse

In Arizona, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office referred apparent evidence of abuse at a children’s immigration prison to prosecutors Monday. Last week, a local publication posted surveillance video, reportedly dating from September, from the Hacienda Del Sol detention center in Youngtown, showing staffers dragging, slapping and pushing children. The facility, run by Southwest Key, was shut down at the end of October. The Arizona Department of Health Services had accused Southwest Key in September of failing to provide evidence of staff background checks.

Border Patrol Agents Detain Migrants Near US-Mexico Border

Senator John McCain faces brain cancer; may the Source be with you, John.

Analysis: Warrior faces a new battle

By James Cook, BBC North America correspondent

John McCain is known in Washington as a tough, independent-minded senator – a warrior who is now facing another battle against cancer.

He earned his reputation the hard way, being shot down as a US Navy pilot over Vietnam where he was held as a prisoner of war for more than five years, including two in solitary confinement.

Repeatedly beaten and tortured, Mr McCain was never again able to raise his arms above his head.

During the most recent presidential election campaign, Donald Trump belittled the senator as “not a war hero” saying “I like people who weren’t captured”.

Many Americans were horrified.

Mr McCain may have annoyed many Republicans by arguing for reforms to campaign finance and immigration laws.

He may have irritated opponents of America’s many wars with his forceful arguments in favour of the projection of US military might.

But this country reveres its veterans. The attacks on John McCain’s personal sacrifice were roundly condemned then – and millions of Americans will be praying for his recovery now.

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