Eddie Webb/YouTube
Scene from the protest at Oak Flat.

Video: Oak Flat Protesters Talk About Land Grabs and Copper Mining


Land grabs are as common today as they were during the colonial era, say the Apache and other Indigenous Peoples in this video of the February 7, 2014 daylong protest of potential copper mining on the sacred site.

RELATED: Hundreds Gather at Oak Flat to Fight for Sacred Apache Land

“It’s still going on. It’s not in the past. It’s still here with us,” says Naelyn Pike, San Carlos Chiricahua Apache, to the camera, the teen’s braces flashing earnestly in the sunlight.

She’s referring to the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act in December. It carried an amendment turning over 2,400 acres of sacred Apache land in the Tonto National Forest to a giant international mining corporation, Resolution Copper, that has been salivating over ore deposits for decades. The deposits lie 7,000 feet below the ground, and the method that would be used to extract them is called block-cave mining, which involves setting explosives off under the ore so that it collapses into the newly created space, after which it’s extracted.

RELATED: AZ Copper Miner Draws Ire for Block-Cave Method

Environmental considerations aside, the method seems likely to destroy the sacred sites above it. In this video, the people themselves speak.

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