Since the inception of the Occupy Wall Street movement in September of 2011, the word occupy has been used in quite a few protests, both Stateside and abroad. One of the latest occupy incidents involves the U.S. mining industry, the Federal government, and the Apache nation.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, Apache protesters calling themselves Occupy Oak Flat have already put in several weeks of quiet and peaceful resistance at the projected site of a new copper mine, a site that will allegedly disturb sacred ground:
Music, food and religious ceremonies have accompanied the encampment, where about a dozen die-hards are living full time. Hundreds of others have attended weekend events organized by the protesters, including non-tribal members from Tucson, Phoenix and the surrounding area.
Although the land is not currently part of any protected land act, it’s considered sacred to those on the nearby San Carlos Apache reservation, and is allegedly the home of one of their gods and the site of traditional Apache ceremonies. Groups with a vested interest have been lobbying for Washington to get involved, but thus far their efforts have been unsuccessful.
Remember, though, that the Apaches aren’t alone in expressing concerns regarding the deal. The situation has raised concerns in the broader community:
The San Carlos Apaches aren’t alone. Hundreds of supporters attended the gathering, while some tribe members pitched tents to signal their intention to occupy the land. Environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Arizona Mining Reform, and more than 500 other tribes have voiced opposition to the land exchange (Aljazeera America).
Naturally, it’s our desire to see the U.S. mining industry continue to grow and thrive. We hope, however, to see new sites developed in harmony with local communities. We will keep a watch on this situation in the weeks and months to come to see how the situation develops. Let us know what you think about the situation in the comments.
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Image credit: Tucson.com