Disgraced Native American activist Nathan Phillips participated as a speaker at Monday’s protest against President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall and national emergency declaration.
“I come to you this morning, humbly, request[ing] that you help resist this wall, this national emergency,” Philips began. “[President Trump’s] calling for this wall on the Southern border. Our indigenous people have been here for a memorial and the wall that is planned separates families, separates our nations. We don’t see where it’s necessary. We have so many crises here in our country.”
Philips went on to cite homelessness and “low job reports” as issued the president should tackle instead of illegal immigration. “We need to build up this country instead of building a wall,” he said to applause from attendees.
— Sara Pearl (@skenigsberg) February 18, 2019
A list of participants in the protest includes the ACLU, MoveOn.org, Hamas-linked CAIR, and dozens of other far-left activist organizations.
Congress approved a border security compromise last Thursday that would avert a second government shutdown, allotting $1.3 billion, far less than the $5.7 billion requested, to build a border wall. To bridge the gap, Trump announced that he will be spending roughly $8 billion on border barriers — combining the money approved by Congress with funding he plans to repurpose through executive actions, including the national emergency.
Phillips made national headlines after a video of his encounter with Catholic high school students during a pro-life march in Washington, D.C. went viral. Investigators hired by a Kentucky diocese have found last week that the students of Covington Catholic High School did not instigate a confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial that went viral on social media.
Lawyers representing Nick Sandmann, a teenage boy who silently smiled as Phillips chanted and banged a drum in front of him, made a video several weeks ago suggesting that Phillips falsely claimed to have been obstructed by the Covington students, falsely claimed to have heard the students yell “build that wall,” and falsely claimed he served in the Vietnam War — which Phillips routinely danced around with the vague phrases “Vietnam-era veteran” or “Vietnam-times veteran” but occasionally strayed from that line.
Lin Wood, a lawyer for Sandmann, said on February 9: “Nathan Phillips will be sued for his defamatory lies.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.