Apache Stronghold Rally in Tucson June 30
Caravan to Washington, D.C. Begins July 5 with Mount Graham Sacred Run
By Indigenous Alliance Without Borders
Tucson, AZ – Tuesday, June 30, 2015, at 7 pm, Apache Stronghold will hold a rally to support the efforts to protect Oak Flat, a sacred Apache site located on the Tonto National Forest which is threatened by a proposed copper mine. Apache Stronghold will begin a caravan to Washington D.C. the following week and will rally in the Nation’s capitol to ask the U.S. government and the public to support the Save Oak Flat Act, a bill introduced by Congressman Raul Grijalva in mid-June.
The rally is sponsored by Indigenous Alliance Without Borders and Tucson Supports Oak Flat to promote Apache Stronghold in their effort to restore this land to the people. Donations for the caravan will be accepted and information about how to get involved in this historic movement will be available.
Oak Flat, or Chi’chil Bildagoteel, has been protected from mining since 1955, when President Eisenhower recognized the importance of this site and used an Executive Order to permanently protect the cultural and natural resources for future generations. Senator John McCain, Senator Jeff Flake, Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, and Congressman Paul Gosar used late-night political maneuvering to trade away this sacred land to a foreign mining company by attaching the land swap to a must-pass defense spending bill in December of last year.
“Once again the U.S. government has turned its back on promises made to Indian people. We are left with no choice but to take our fight to this nation’s capital” said Jose Matus, Director of Indigenous Alliance Without Borders, adding “We need to show our elected officials that the people of Arizona want sacred tribal sites protected and to let Congress know they cannot get away with giving away public lands to corporations. If Oak Flat can be traded away to a mining giant, no sacred site is safe.”
Support for Apache Stronghold and Oak Flat has been growing steadily since February 2015, when members of the San Carlos Apache tribe began an encampment at Oak Flat to protect the site. Mainstream media has taken note with articles appearing in the New York Times, and on MSNBC. Thousands of people have signed petitions to repeal the land exchange or have the site nominated as a National Monument. Recently, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Oak Flat as one of America’s 11 most endangered historic places.
The rally will include music and members of the San Carlos Apache Tribe will be available for interviews.
When: Tuesday, June 30, 7:00pm-
Where: Global Justice Center, 225 E. 26th Street
Why: Rally support for Apache Stronghold caravan to Washington, D.C. and generate support for the Save Oak Flat Act.