In the fall of 2014, Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake (along with U.S. Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick and Congressman Paul Gosar) teamed up in subterfuge to underhandedly attach a land swap measure, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act, to a must-pass National Defense Authorization Act bill in which 2,400 acres of Apache holy land in and around Oak Flat Campground near Superior was covertly exchanged for 5,300 acres already owned by Resolution Copper.
On Friday, McCain spoke at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and the Thunderbird School of Global Management about politics, national security and media issues.
Since McCain didn't mention a single word on Oak Flat, a group of community members and students took it upon themselves to remind him of the ongoing issue. The protest was also against Kirkpatrick, Flake and Gosar.
From a press release:
These Arizona state representative gave away protected National Forrest and sacred land to a foreign mining company through a midnight rider in the National Defense Authorization Act, December 2014. “It is important we keep calling out these politicians who do nothing but spit rhetoric then do corrupt acts against the people,” stated Laura Medina an ASU graduate student in the American Indian Studies masters program.
“Arizona needs to fully understand the environmental destruction that will entail if the biggest open pit mine is only an hour away, Rio Tinto has one of the worst reputations for disrespecting environmental and indigenous rights around the world,” Ms. Medina continued.
Watch the video of the student confronting McCain: