Watch Native American Activists Literally Chase John McCain Off Navajo Land

August 17, 2015   |   Derrick Broze

Derrick Broze
August 17, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) On Friday, August 14, Arizona Senator John McCain was confronted several times by Native activists and elders while visiting the Navajo Nation. McCain and Arizona Governor Doug Ducey were meeting with the Navajo at the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock for an event honoring the Navajo Code Talkers of World War 2.

The governor and senator were also meeting with local Navajo officials to discuss their concerns about a new proposal regarding the Little Colorado River rights. Navajo Nation President Russell Begay told the Navajo Times that water was going to be a part of the talks.

We’re going to talk about it,” he told the Times. “The message we want to convey to Arizona is a discussion. We want to begin dialogue on securing our claim.

McCain has recently received criticism for his role in passing the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange bill as part of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015. The law allows for the sale of the Oak Flat campground to international mining company, Rio Tinto. Oak Flat is historically important to the San Carlos Apache. MintPress News recently wrote:

“The Apache Stronghold formed in December in response to a last-minute legislative provision included in the the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015. The provision at issue in the annual Defense Department funding bill grants Resolution Copper Mining, a subsidiary of Australian-English mining giant Rio Tinto, a 2,400-acre land parcel which includes parts of the Tonto National Forest, protected national forest in Arizona where it will create the continent’s largest copper mine.

Some of those lands are considered sacred by multiple Native American communities, including the Oak Flat campground. The area is not recognized as part of the San Carlos Apache Reservation, but it has historically been used by the Apache for trading purposes and spiritual ceremonies.”

While McCain met with Ducey and the Navajo nation, activists with the Apache Stronghold — and other groups and nations — rallied outside the museum, holding signs that read “McCain = Indian Killer” and “McCain’s Not Welcome Here.” Eventually, the activists made their way inside the building, locking arms and chanting, “Water is life!

Inside the museum, John McCain was rubbing elbows with Navajo leaders and snapping photos with the community. One person decided to take an opportunity to confront John McCain with a message about Oak Flat. That person was Adriano Tsinigine. Tsinigine, a high school senior carrying a “Protect Oak Flat” card, walked up to McCain for a picture. Tsinigine told the Phoenix New Times about his experience:

“‘I pulled out my [Protect] Oak Flat card,’ he says. When McCain noticed it, ‘He took it, looked at it, and threw it back at me. How disrespectful to me and to the Apache people. I fully respect McCain as a veteran . . . and as a POW and for sacrificing [what could have been] his life, but I do not respect him as a U.S. senator. As an elected official, he should listen to all of the voices of people, [even] the people who are protesting against him.’”

Senator McCain would later be interviewed about the Oak flat controversy. “Historians have attested to the facts that Oak Flat is not anything to do with sacred grounds,” he told 12 News.Several historians have attested to that. I respect people’s right to disagree.”

As McCain attempted a backdoor exit, the activists chanted in the hallway with their arms linked. Once they noticed McCain’s convoy making an escape, the group began chasing on foot. They were temporarily blocked by law enforcement but eventually made their way out of the building, chasing the cars as they exited the Navajo nation.

Once news reports began circulating that John McCain was chased off Navajo land, the senator’s office released a response to the Phoenix New Times:

“Senator McCain was honored to be invited by the Navajo Nation to meet with tribal and community leaders and to speak at the celebration of the Navajo Code Talkers on Friday. It was a great visit and he received a very warm reception from the Navajo community in Window Rock. He certainly wasn’t ‘chased off’ the reservation – this small group of young protesters had no practical impact on his productive meetings with top tribal leaders on a range of key issues, including the EPA’s recent Gold King Mine spill which threatens to contaminate the Navajo Nation’s water supply.”

Despite the senator’s office denying that the protesters had any “practical impact” on his meeting, it is clear that a new community of Native activists is on the rise. This is only the latest in the reemergence of an active resistance to the colonization of Native peoples and First Nations.


This article (Watch Native American Activists Literally Chase John McCain Off Navajo Land) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune in! The Anti-Media radio show airs Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: Donovan Shortey. Help us fix our typos: edits@theantimedia.org.

Author: Derrick Broze

Derrick Broze joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in July of 2014. His topics of interest include solutions to the police state, the surveillance state, economic inequality, attacks on Native communities, and oppression in all its forms. He was born in Houston, Texas.

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86 Comments

  1. Rhino and Progressive movement with the Demorats. All the same movements people don't even know about.

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  2. Love it, love everything about it! And in paticular, great to see the local Navajo police not shooting tasers or pepper spray, and yes NOT threatening their citizens at all for protesting!! Pathetic how the original white settlers (theives) called them "savages"!

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  3. why are some the Native Americans shaking his hand, and snapping pictures with him?

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  4. power to native americans for defend thier land peace to them i belize in them
    together all can bring peace among the native people

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  5. And when we are having a debate on illegals in this country. Think about where all that money ( housing, child care, education, medical care, prosecution of crimmials, food, and etc…) could be going. We should take care of our people. Not someone elses. Where is the mexican government responsiblity in this ( to feed, provide jobs, house, and educate their people)? And I know. We are all one people. But let's be honest. That's not how it works. We have to live in the world we are in and try make make changes from that start point. How about we work our way out. Shore up who we are and then extend a hand to our neighbors.

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  6. Stephanie Elaine DeGraw You didn't even read what I wrote did you? Reread it. Maybe it will make sense the second time.

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  7. Stephanie Elaine DeGraw My point was… Why do we allow Native Americas to exist in poverty when our cup runneth over for an illegal.

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  8. see how they feel the need to belittle them? "this small group of young protesters had no practical impact on his productive meetings" trying to make them feel SMALL because they're YOUNG and make them believe they had NO…IMPACT. what cowardice and malevolence. their stupidity will be their undoing. these young warriors are strong and will not fail.

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  9. Whether the land is sacred or not is not the issue; it's Navaho land and cannot be sold out from under them.

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  10. WHEN ARE ARIZONA CITIZENS GOING TO SEND THIS M—-RF–KER BACK TO HIS BAMBOO HUT. McCAIN AND OTHERS WILL BURN IN HELL. 2015 AND STILL TREATING THE INDIAN PEOPLE LIKE ANIMALS. FILTHY SCUM!!

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  11. Joe Krug Because you have been doing this since 1492,it's very hard to listen to a white man.Your all talk.look how many treaty you people broke.Lot of warriors died for your goverment and we still get treated like crap when we come back.

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  12. As if these greedy ass holes haven't taken enough, and what they have taken for land they don't repect it, they just destroy it for profits. This government is a Corporatocracy, we need the Republic back.
    #FeelTheBern

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  13. I await the day when the people of Arizona send this malfeasant rat bastard to an unearned retirement.

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  14. Good to see that he made an organized retreat off of Native American land. Low life scumbag ran like a dog with it's tail between it's legs off of the reservation. That poor excuse for a human being had the audacity to insult that young man while he was on reservation land when it became evident that the brother was not going to play the role of good little "Indian" for the sake of the McCain political agenda. Once off the reservation McCain begins sqwaking in a futile attempt to limit the political fallout for having behaved disrespectfully. He and his gangsters in Congress "included" a last-minute legislative provision in the the National Defense Authorization Act of 2015. Outright theft, plain and simple. Let the world see how fecal matter rises to the top in the good old U.S. or A.. I can smell the stench of putrid fecal matter all the way to Washington DC.

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  15. The whole system are greedy pigs who deserve nothing but the gutter. I'm white with no Native American heritage but I can say this, these scum bags that run this planet need to be taken down. I'm hoping like most good people of this earth, that there will be a mass awakening and things will change. It breaks my heart daily to see what this filth does to is all far and wide.

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  17. They have every right to be angered at legislators like McCain. How many times does history have to repeat itself before we actually start LEARNING from it?

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  18. I'm not Navajo, but I support my Navajo brothers. I'm part Native and this last minute clause to take Oak Flats is slimy. We will no longer just sadly smile, nod and then sigh when people try this. These protestors are just the start. As a whole, Native Americans are getting pushed too far on too many things. Our politeness, our backing down from confrontations and our desires for peace won't last forever, especially against crap like this. A people can only be pushed so far before we start pushing back.

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  20. McCain is a senator in Arizona. Nothing personal, he was confronted by the Native community in that he should not forget Oak Flat. The Natives are simply apprising him of their stand against this controversay and government's great disrespect for the Native Indian community. It's about land, water, resources, and Colorado River/ EPA contaminated water spill is an example. Still Oak Flat is one that is of great interest and it plays great witness to how federal and state governments labels it as South East Land Exchange, saying that its for purpose of enhancing national defense; however politicians and key players have been exclusive when it comes to settling this political issue. And this promotes great distrust from the Natives, and not just the Navajo people. It seems like a repeat of "president Jackson's" 1880s rule of law to resettle Native Indians.
    Activisim among Natives has always been present, just on a low key; so for the media to say that "activism among Naves is rising again" is an incorrect assumption, like as if "Geronimo" was again on the war path. The national media is responsible for setting fire on controversial political issues and I hope they aren't doing it again to set a stage of hate against American Indians– First Nations.

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  21. JOHN MCCAIN IS A VERY BAD PERSON HE SHOULD GO TO JAIL FOR THE DISRESPECT HE SHOWED THAT YOUNG MAN ID HAVE NATIVE AMERICAN BLOOD BUT HAVE NEVER LIVED ANYTHING BUT A CAUSIAN LIFESTYLE I HAVE RESEARCHED THE INDIAN LIFESTYLE AND THEY GOVTS OF DFFERENT TRIBES..EXTREMELY INTERESTING! I HOPE THIS LAND GRAB WILL BE STOPPED BUY SOMEONE HAVENT THE INDIANS HAD ENOUGH OF THEIR LIFE DISRUPTED AND LAND STOLEN BYT THE GREEDY?? CAN ANYONE HELP THEM??

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  22. THERE IS AN AWAKENING IN THE MAKING NOW TOYAH,,,RESEARCH DOANLD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT HE IS AWESOME AND GOING TO STOP THESE OUTREGEOUS ATTEMPTS TO ROB AND CHEAT OUR NATIVE FRIENDS..CHECK HIM OUT.

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  23. Uranium mining has destroyed much of the ground water on the Navajo Reservation and many of the water wells are now contaminated. Tribal members have water trucked into their homes.

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  25. YES!!!!I am so happy that the Navajo are pushing back..I wonder how much McCain got in brokers fee's for brokering the mining deal to Resolution Copper, a subsidiary of the Australian-English mining company Rio Tinto, which co-owns with Iran a uranium mine in Africa and which is 10-percent-owned by China. How much did you get McCain? You freakin criminal!!!

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  26. This from our war hero – NOT – he's a scum bag RINO like all the rst of them

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  27. Doris J Kerns do you really believe that? Donald Trump is know for the complete opposite over here in the UK. He made a very dodgy purpose on the quiet with dodgy politicans of public protected wildlife land (classed as a area of high natural importance) in Scotland and literally bulldozered through the land and peoples homes to build a massive golf course, against a lot of protesting from local people. This is not the action of a man that is going to protect the rights of people over profit.

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  28. Doris J Kerns Trump?? You got to be kidding me! He's one of those greedy scumbags that would've backed this legislation and has no intentions of being president. He's cares about his fame, expanding his brand and his fortune. He's a game show host, clown man with a weird haircut.

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  30. Oakflat was preserved by President Eisenhower, and it should reamian that way.

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  31. Bernie Sanders isn't going to give you the republic back…He is an avowed socialist.

    -Oz

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  32. Indian nations need to band together and stop the rape of what lands they have left, Lakota stopping Keystone pipeline.

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    And Kissinger has been a sell out since the Nixon years……

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  42. I HAVE LOST SO MUCH RESPECT FOR ARIZONA GOING FROM A TRUE AMERICAN HERO, BARRY GOLDWATER TO THE FAKE PATHETIC PISS ANT JOHN MCCAIN. mccain is a true fraud, his love affair with himself is totally pathetic. to replace SEN. GOLDWATER WITH THIS FRAUD IS LIKE REPLACING BABE RUTH WITH BARNEY FIFE.

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  46. as Native American, we have sat quietly, silently, "do as your told" situation. We have let our land go, our livestock decreased, and much more that I'm not aware of. Yes, someone said to give a lending hand, that's what Navajos have been doing. One thing, not suprising to me is there was no police violence, which I have to give congrats to the officers and Navajos. They all knew how to conduct themselves through the teachings of their Elders.

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  47. Mr. Krug was referring to The Mexican aliens, not Navajos are aliens. I believe he was referring as to where the government OF Mexico is, because we as Americans are taking care of their people in welfare and medical needs in stead of putting the needs to the Navajos. We see the rest of this country in the same turmoile, poverty stricken Americans, we seem to forget and give to someone who are not of this country. Other countries wouldn't do it for us. You are so right Mr. Krug, "Why do we allow Native Americas to exist in poverty and ignored when our cup runneth over for an illegal."

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  48. another example of how you cannot believe politicians. Not my idea of an honest man with integrity.

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