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Congressman Tom O’Halleran will not Defend Apache Land
By Apache Stronghold
French translation by Christine Prat:
On Thursday Night, June 6th, Congressman Tom O’Halleran of District 1 in U. S. House of Representatives which includes San Carlos Apache spoke in a Flagstaff town hall meeting where he received a mixed reception. Majority of the time was spent on his vote for Kate’s law, a bill that ups maximum penalties for undocumented immigrants who reenter the country illegally after being deported. The audience questioned the costs of incarcerating undocumented immigrant for longer periods of time (contained in the bill). It was also pointed out to O’Halleran, that he is the fifth most Trump-friendly Democrat in the House of Representatives and his voting has showed that.
He did get support from the audience for opposing the new healthcare legislation. As for climate change, O’Halleran stated he would look into a carbon fee. He said he was a strong opponent to Trump’s decision regarding opening up the national monument areas, but stated that he isn’t supporting a bill that would reverse the land swap that allows Resolution Copper to mine under Oakflat. He stated that he will act as an arbitrator in that situation.
Wendsler Nosie Sr. stated, when asked about the Congressman’s responses, “What is there it arbitrate? Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, is a technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts where the parties agree to be bound by the arbitration decision. Resolution Copper’s own documents state that they will destroy Oak Flat and over the Lifetime of the mine, Apache Leap will also be destroyed. The lands offered for trade, except the land in the Audubon Research ranch in Cochise county is all land that has little or no water. O’Halleran is supporting a land trade that rips off the public, allows a mining company to take all the water from the area (according to Resolution Copper, it must de-water the area completely before it can mine), totally destroy Oak Flat, and leave Arizona with toxic tailings as it leaves back to its foreign country. The Congressman needs to clarify! The need to act as an “arbitrator” shows he is not taking a position, even though he stated he would give the Apaches a voice when he asked for their votes. I believe he will be coming to meet with Tribal leadership in the near future. What we need to understand is an illegal act took place, where a foreign company was allowed not to follow American Law. The Laws that protect the water, the land, the priceless minerals and Native Peoples is ignored. This puts our future at risk. Remember that whoever controls the water, controls our Future.