Apache women warriors removed from Gosar’s Congressional office building
WASHINGTON — Feeling threatened by a small group of Apache ladies – mostly grandmothers and young women—Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Arizona-4th District) had the group removed from the Canon Congressional Building and threatened with arrest on Wednesday afternoon.
The group journeyed to Washington, D.C. to voice their displeasure on the add-on legislation tugged into the $585 billion National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 that gives land at Apache Leap and Oak Flat in southeastern Arizona to Rio Tinto, foreign mining company, to mine. Part of a larger group called Apache Stronghold, the women earlier rallied on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol to call for the reversal the add-on legislation.
The Apache and other American Indians consider Oak Flats as sacred land, where they have conducted ceremonies for centuries. Earlier this year Oak Flat was named as one of the 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in the United States by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The purpose of the Apache ladies visit to Gosar’s office was to address a “Dear Colleague” letter that Rep. Paul Gosar recently sent out to fellow House members regarding the “Save Oak Flat Act” introduced by Rep. Raul Grijalva, with 17 bipartisan co-sponsors. In his letter, Rep. Gosar insulted the Apaches and called them “liars.”
Mrs. Vonda Cassadore of Bylas, Arizona, requested that Rep. Gosar come out of his back office briefly so that Mrs. Cassadore could ask him some questions about his “Dear Colleague” letter.
Rather than speak with Mrs. Cassadore and the other ladies and Apache Stronghold members with her, Rep. Gosar responded by hiding behind a locked door and calling the Capitol Police, threatening to have Mrs. Cassadore and her friends immediately arrested.
Rep. Gosar then had the police escort Mrs. Cassadore and her Apache Stronghold associates and friends entirely out of the Cannon Office Building. Mrs. Cassadore stated that, “we’ll remember this when Election Day comes around. Sacred land means more than money.”
Gosar touts being a dentist on his name plate at this Congressional office. Hopefully, he treated his dental patients better than he does his constituents as a Congressman with legitimate concerns.
“Rep. Gosar has a record of intolerance and saying vicious things against Native Americans, but his behavior has now become stranger than ever,” said Apache Stronghold spokesperson Wendsler Nosie, Sr. “There is no excuse for his mistreatment of the Apache grandmothers and young ladies who came to his office. Cowering behind a locked door, refusing to come out, and then calling a squad of policemen to sweep those gentle ladies away is just terrible. Rep. Gosar should apologize for that, as well as for his strange and insulting ‘Dear Colleague’ letter.”