On April 15, 2011, approximately 150 Indigenous People and supporters occupied the ancient burial site at Glen Cove, Vallejo, California, blocking the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD) from gaining entry to the site with bulldozers to begin work on their new public park. The GVRD’s plans, which involves grading a hill and building toilets and a parking lot in the area, would deface the landscape and desecrate the sacred site.
Indigenous People at the protest, including Members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), have said they will remain at the site until the GVRD and the City of Vallejo agree to not carry out their plans.
The federal government has reportedly stepped in to mediate talks between the Indigenous People and the park district.
See Below for a Press Release from Sacred Site Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT).
Media Contacts: Mark Anquoe (415) 680 0110; Morning Star Gali (510) 827 6719; Norman “Wounded Knee” Deocampo 707-373-7195; Corrina Gould 510-575-8408.
Please Urge the GRVD and the City of Vallejo to respect the Ohlone Peoples wishes of preserving Sogorea Te. They do not have to desecrate the site. They are choosing to desecrate it.
Greater Vallejo Recreation District
Shane McAffee, General Manager
395 Amador St.
Vallejo, CA 94590
Osby Davis, City of Vallejo Mayor
555 Santa Clara St
Vallejo, CA 94590
Current requests from the group: shade structures, tents, paper towels, banner/sign making supplies, rope, moist hand wipes, Bronners soap, honey, and most of all, more people to stand with us. We do not need any more bottled water!
An Emergency Defense Fund has also been set up to sustain the ongoing effort.
To send a message to the group, just leave a comment on any of the articles at http://protectglencove.org.
Directions: If you’re in the Bay Area, you are invited to stop by for a few hours, or a few days. Directions to Glen Cove can be found here.
April 15th: Occupation underway, demonstrations at City Hall and GVRD Headquarters
Native Americans and supporters have successfully occupied the ancient burial site at Glen Cove, Vallejo, preventing the Greater Vallejo Recreation District from beginning work that would desecrate the sacred site. Beginning with an early morning spiritual ceremony attended by over 100 people, protesters vowed to block bulldozers and prevent any work that would desecrate the site from taking place. The occupation will continue until there is an agreement to protect the burial site. Dozens will camp at the site tonight.
At 11:30 am today the protesters held a peaceful rally and ceremony at Vallejo City Hall and then marched to the offices of the Greater Vallejo Recreation District.
Last night the United States Department of Justice sent a senior conciliation specialist to Glen Cove to meet with Native American leaders. The Native Americans asked the DOJ to help facilitate a meeting with the GVRD to try to reach an agreement to protect the sacred burial site. It is possible a meeting between the sides, mediated by the US Department of Justice, may occur Monday. The State Attorney General’s office has also become involved after the organization SSP&RIT filed an administrative civil rights complaint against the City and GVRD on Wednesday.
Native American activists and supporters have begun the occupation of Glen Cove as an escalation of their struggle that has been going on for over a decade, since the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD) first proposed plans for a “fully featured public park” including construction of a paved parking lot, paved hiking trails, 1000 pound picnic tables and a public restroom on top of the 3500 year old burial site.
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.
The history and cultural value of the site has never been disputed. Human remains have been consistently unearthed as the area around the site has been developed. Native Americans continue to hold ceremonies at Sogorea Te just as they have for thousands of years. The Glen Cove Shell Mound 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 they are moving forward as early as Friday with plans to build a toilet and parking lot on this sacred site and to grade a hill that likely contains human remains and important cultural artifacts.
SSP&RIT have asked GVRD to reconsider their plans to grade the hill and build toilets and a parking lot at the site.