Rio Tinto Protest: Seen by Executives

Posted on 29 June 2015

I am receiving such kind support from The Society of Friends in helping to protest Rio Tinto’s grab of Apache land. After the vigil for the First Peoples of Australia, three of us went to the Rio Tinto offices and held signs.

One gentleman came up to us and wanted to know more. I spoke at some length about what our Australian company was doing to vulnerable peoples overseas. We had a few genuine smiles and one thumbs up from passersby.

Just as we were about to wrap up, a group of executives came out of the Rio Tinto building. A couple of them individually came over to read the signs. Both just stared at us and then smirked before going back to their group, which closed in even tighter. It was odd and a bit scary. The others glanced at us until a large taxi pulled up and they all climbed inside and left.

I know of a number of stories about individuals and small groups who after standing up for what is right eventually succeeded. I also know of a number of stories where people were crushed and had to go into hiding. I have no idea how this will play out. Maybe nothing will happen…which would be sad, since we need all the many cultures that exist in this world. Not only is land being stolen, but the Apache spirit and our environmental future. I also know that I have a choice about whether or not I work toward raising people’s awareness and help to create change when it comes Rio Tinto’s mining ventures. The San Carlos Apache do not have that choice.

This planet is facing serious issues that will be threatening our ability to survive. The aboriginal peoples of this world may have insights critical to ensuring our children, grandchildren, and great-granchildren can live peaceful, sufficient, and meaningful lives. This is important to all of us no matter where we live or the colour of our skin.

Below are a couple more articles about the San Carlos Apache situation.

Apache Spring: The Fight for Oak Flat by David Zlutnick of Upheaval Productions (very moving)

The Apache Way: The March to Oak Flat By Roger Hill, Truthout

Congress Raids Ancestral Native American Lands With Defense Bill By
Michael McAuliff, Huff Post

Here is a site where you can help:

Apache Stronghold

2015-06-14 Katherine Phelps and spectators

Thank you again for the photo Lilybet!

Peace and kindness,

Katherine


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