Sacred Land or Parking Lot?

Monday, Apr 18, 2011  |  Updated 6:24 PM PDT
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Sacred Land or Parking Lot?

Save Glen Cove

Bay Area Native Americans Monday continued to protest the construction of a parking lot on an ancient burial site in the Glen Cove Waterfront Park in Vallejo.

Mark Anquoe, a member of the Kiowa tribe, said the protesters were  told they had to be off the property by sundown.

"We plan to stay until the situation is resolved," Anquoe said.

Another protester, Norman "Wounded Knee" DeOcampo, said there were about 60 protesters Monday morning and that there could be arrests this evening  for "camping in the park."

"This is not a park. This is the sacred burial site of our  ancestors," DeOcampo said.

  Vallejo police Lt. Abel Tenorio said this afternoon that police do  not plan to make any arrests unless there is a public safety issue or a court  injunction.

Glen Cove Waterfront Park, a 15-acre stretch of land and water in  the southern part of Vallejo, is slated to have its natural trails enhanced  and receive a new parking lot sometime this year, according to the Greater  Vallejo Recreation District.

But the area, which features a protected shoreline and groves of  eucalyptus trees, is also the final resting place of many Native Americans  dating back more than 3,500 years, according to DeOcampo, a Vallejo native.

Shane McAffee, general manager of the Greater Vallejo Recreation  District, said today the protesters have to leave the area by sunset but that  construction on the site is not imminent.

"We're still trying to work out a schedule with our contractors,"  he said.

District officials were to meet this afternoon with a mediator  from the U.S. Department of Justice, McAffee said.

  "(The mediator) has been led to believe there have been civil  rights violations," McAffee said. "We are willing to negotiate with anyone  who has legal standing," he said.

"We have park rules. The park closes at sunset. We have been  lenient the past few days," McAffee said.

The Sacred Site Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes said  Friday it has filed a civil rights complaint against the recreation district  and city of Vallejo.
 

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