I am very concerned about the conflict at Oak Flat, which is just east of Superior.
As we all know, people make money from mining copper. After all, Arizona is “The Copper State.” I can’t help wondering if losing a beautiful place like Oak Flat for forever is worth the money to be made. Oak Flat is sacred to the Apache, so I say it should not be destroyed. I raise my fist and say “NO!”
Oak Flat is public land, which means that it belongs to every American, and it was protected from mining in the 1950s by Executive Order. Even so, a mining company wants to make Oak Flat private property, a company owned in part by the Queen of England. This disrespectful plan is supported by John McCain, as he made it easier for this company to steal from us by slipping a provision into the Defense Authorization Act. Everyone knows that corporate greed is a huge problem all over the world, and our government, unfortunately, helps them accomplish their goals rather than protecting the public interest.
I am also worried about the plan to keep the mine’s waste pile wet, forever, in a part of the world that is already in the middle of a water shortage What will happen if the pile isn’t kept wet, and a dust storm blows all that toxic dust into the Valley of the Sun? This toxic dust will make people sick and make it harder for people with asthma to breathe. The very best worst scenario is that we can expect to pay more for water to subsidize the mine’s water use.
There is a special story about the 700 foot cliff at Oak Flat, which is a big reason why Oak Flat must not be mined. Geronimo and his Apache brothers hid from the U.S. Military at Oak Flat. It took a while, but eventually the military found Geronimo and his party. Instead of surrendering to the military, some of the Apache jumped off the cliff. They bravely chose to jump into the unknown rather than face capture. At the bottom of the cliff you can find special ricks called “Apache Tears.” Legend says these rocks formed from the tears of the women who cried after the Apache leaped from the cliff.
When people demand what they want from their elected officials, we can fix problems. We need to show corporations that we won’t stand by and watch them ruin all the beautiful places in the world. We must demand together that they put carbon back into the ground and stop polluting resources that we need to share. We need to band together like Geronimo and his brothers did and see that greed is a spiritual illness that will never go away until we make it stop.