Is there any land not stolen by the “White Man”


Tiny - Posted on 15 April 2011

(Photo Credit: Toby Kramer, Andy Kreamer and PNN staff)

URGENT UPDATE: April 19,2011: Devil-Opers & Po'LICE At Sogorea TE HAVE BEEN STOPPED - NO REMOVAL FOR NOW- NOW BACK TO THE REAL WORK OF STOPPING PLANS TO BUILD PARK ON OUR ANCESTORS LANDS... KEEP THE PRESSURE ON THE CITY OF VALLEJO AND KEEP UP THE SUPPORT OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES IN RESISTANCE !

 

 

Indigenous leaders and community members resist the theft of Sogorea (Glen Cove) Sacred Ancestral Land on Turtle Island

 

 

“is there any land the “white man” hasn’t stolen from us,” My 7 year old son’s words sailed through the POOR Magazine van as our family of indigenous, poverty scholars drove up 1-80 to join the resistance at Sogorea Te (Glen Cove) a place of commerce, culture and life for indigenous peoples for the last 3,500 years. Sacred land for our ancestors which has been under attack from the City of Vallejo and developers for years who have plans to redevelop this ancestral land into a “park”. 

 

“Thank-you brothers and sisters for coming here, for joining us in this fight to save this sacred space for Creator, for our ancestors, for our children,” said Wounded Knee Deocampo, a Miwok elder who has been at the forefront of the battle to keep Glen Cove, un-harmed, de-anthropologised, and safe from the looming jaws of redevelopment administered by The Greater Vallejo Recreational District (GVRD). Deocampo spoke to a group of community members, indigenous leaders, legal supporters who gathered to begin a prayer ceremony Thursday night to resist an impending threat of bulldozers by GVRD on Friday morning.

 

“The history and cultural use of the site has never been disputed. Native Americans continue to hold ceremonies at Sogorea Te just as they have for thousands of years,” said Mark Anquoe, Indigenous organizer with Indian Treaty Council who has been one of the groups organizing the media, legal and community work for this Sacred Site resistance.

 

The Glen Cove Shell Mound (Segorea Te) spans fifteen acres along the Carquinez Strait.  It is the final resting place of many Indigenous People dating back more than 3,500 years, and has served as a traditional meeting place for dozens of California Indian tribes.  The site continues to be spiritually important to California tribes. The Glen Cove site is acknowledged by GVRD and the City to have many burials and to be an important cultural site, yet as of Thursday night they were still were planning to move forward with plans to build a toilet and parking lot on this sacred site.

 

“We filed a civil complaint which had a powerful impact,” said Bradly Angel, with GreenAction, another organization which has been working with indigenous leaders to halt this desecration. “We even got a call from the Mayor of Vallejo, saying he might join our resistance.”

 

On Wednesday, April 13th, Sacred Site Protection and Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT), a Vallejo-based community organization, filed an administrative civil rights complaint to the State of California alleging that the City and GVRD are discriminating on the basis of race in threatening to destroy and desecrate significant parts of the Glen Cove Shellmound and burial site, for harming Native Americans’ religious and spiritual well-being, and effectively excluding Native Americans from their right to full participation in decision-making regarding the site.

 

“It’s a beautiful morning, and so far no bulldozers,” I got a call this morning (Friday) from Poverty and disability scholar Bruce Allison, who along with other members of POOR’s family and many other indigenous leaders and supporters camped out over-nite with plans to hold a prayer-ful  and peaceful resistance ceremony if the bulldozers came as planned this morning.

 

Andy Kreamer, another POOR Magazine extended family member who camped out over-night to re-port and sup-port, explained that they were going to march to City Hall in Vallejo and also go by the offices of GVRD.

 

“The Department of Justice got involved and have committed to mediating a discussion between indigenous organizers and the GVRD on Monday,” said Mark Anquo by cel phone from Sogorea Te this morning. He went on to explain that people will remain camped out over the weekend and so they need as much support from ALL community members to keep up this effort  and stave off the omni-present threat of GVRD, but that so far they are safe and it is because of our community-wide resistance and the pressure of media and legal action.

 

As father moon rose above the soft grass and elder trees of Sogorea Te, I walked quietly with my son and fellow poverty, youth and indigenous scholars from POOR’s family, Vivian Thorp, Queenandi Iris, Queena, Zosia and Janina  to a place where we held a quiet prayer circle for all of our ancestor spirits, Creator and Pachamama before we had to leave on Thursday night.  After our prayer, I remembered my sons conscious plea and the desecration by developers of sacred sites in Emeryville and the Presidio, just to name two, and we asked for the strength to resist yet another theft of our land by the “Man”.

 

Editors Note: Your support is STILL Needed to keep the pressure on - Food, Money and Prayers for Indigenous resistors on site and/or make calls to Vallejo City leaders - go to www.protectglencove.org for directions and information.

Watch the PNN-TV video of Sogorea Te Resistance by clicking on this link:

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