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Temporary Agreement Allows Glen Cove Spiritual Gathering For 24 Hours
by Dan Bacher
Tuesday Apr 19th, 2011 8:24 AM
The Native Americans are highlighting the fact that public statements by the Greater Vallejo Recreation District in the last few days have been very misleading, with GVRD representatives claiming they want to protect the burial site but failing to mention their plans to dig into a hill that likely contains human remains with bulldozers.

Photo of occupation courtesy of Sacred Site Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT).
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Temporary Agreement Allows Glen Cove Spiritual Gathering For 24 Hours

by Dan Bacher

Native Americans occupying a burial ground facing development by the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD) reached a temporary agreement last night with GVRD that allows the spiritual gathering at Glen Cove to continue for the next 24 hours without threat of arrest. More than 150 people responded to the call for support.

"GVRD's plans to desecrate the sacred burial site have not been called off and we ask all our supporters to please remain on alert," emphasized Morning Star Gali from the Sacred Site Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT). "We continue to invite all who will join us in prayer to stand with us at Glen Cove as we continue to work on all levels to protect the ancestors from further desecration."

The occupation of the ancient burial site at Glen Cove in Vallejo by Native Americans and supporters entered its sixth day on Tuesday, April 18, 2011 as dozens remain at the site to guard it against desecration by bulldozers.

"We did remove some of the tents we had set up as the CVRD requested, due to complaints they received about us not having camping permits,” said Gali. “However, we didn't move our sacred fire as they requested. There is supposed to be an agreement drafted today on a cultural and religious permit to stay."

Gali also noted that she met with traditional Patwin Tribe elders yesterday and received their blessing for the occupation.

"Don't believe the media lies that we are 'unaffiliated;' desecration for recreation is a reaccuring theme with Indigenous Peoples' sacred places and burial sites!" said Gali.

Vallejo police lieutenant Joel Salinas told the Vallejo Times Herald Monday that "our position is to not arrest anyone unless there's a court injunction or it's a matter of public safety. Even if we arrested anyone, it would be a cite and release case."

On Friday morning, over 100 people participated in a spiritual ceremony, followed by a march on Vallejo City Hall and the GVRD. An amazing amount of media coverage was generated from the occupation by Sacred Site Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT) and their allies.

On Sunday, Native Americans and their supporters conducted a cleanup of the beach at Glen Cove, and also painted over Nazi graffiti that the City had allowed to remain on the old Mansion at the site. Dozens of local residents visited the occupation over the weekend and expressed their support for protecting the burial site.

Many expressed outrage that the City was wasting money fighting the Native Americans over this site when other City parks are dilapidated due to several budget problems. Supporters brought food and supplies.

The Native Americans are highlighting the fact that public statements by the Greater Vallejo Recreation District in the last few days have been very misleading, with GVRD representatives claiming they want to protect the burial site but failing to mention their plans to dig into a hill that likely contains human remains with bulldozers.

The U.S. Department of Justice met with the Native American leadership on Saturday to lay the groundwork for a possible mediation meeting with Greater Vallejo Recreation District on Monday or Tuesday.

The history and cultural value of the site has never been disputed. 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 attempting 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.

Before the occupation began, SSP&RIT filled an administrative civil rights complaint on April 13, 2011 with the State of California against the Greater Vallejo Recreation District and the City of Vallejo.

The group filed the complaint under California Government Code § 11135 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 the decision-making regarding this project.

Native Americans are a class of people protected from unlawful discrimination in state-funded activities and programs. Intentional discrimination against minority populations is prohibited under Cal. Gov. Code § 11135(a). As recipients of state funding, GVRD and the City are subject to this law and cannot violate the civil rights of Native Americans.

"Everyone has the right to a final resting place. Our ancestors deserve to have a resting place on their original land without the threat of being removed for the sake of a park,” said Corrina Gould, Ohlone resident of the Bay Area. “Other countries realize the significance of ancestors and honor the ancient cemeteries by not disturbing them. Who does it ultimately serve to complete this project? Let our ancestors rest."

Native American activists are requesting people to call the City of Vallejo and GVRD to protest their plans to desecrate Glen Cove: City of Vallejo: 707-648-4377, GVRD: 707-648-4600.

Glen Cove is located near the intersection of South Regatta and Whitesides Drive in Vallejo. For more information and directions: http://www.protectglencove.org.

Contact: Morning Star Gali (510) 827 6719, Mark Anquoe (415) 680 0110, Corrina Gould (510) 575-8408, or Norman "Wounded Knee" Deocampo (707) 373-7195.