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Defend Glen Cove, Defend the Salmon!

Defend Glen Cove, Defend the Salmon!

by Dan Bacher

The 45-day spiritual encampment of Native Americans and their allies to stop the bulldozers of the Greater Vallejo Recreation District (GVRD) from desecrating a sacred burial ground continues at Glen Cove (Sogorea Te) in Carquinez Strait in Vallejo.

I have been to the encampment several times and have been inspired by the dedication of Morning Star Gali, Wounded Knee, Corrina Gould, Mark Anquoe, Fred Short and the hundreds of Native Americans and their supporters who are standing up to the city of Vallejo and recreation district officials. I urge people who haven't been there or those have been there already have been there to support them in their battle for justice!

As the occupation continues, the state and federal water project export pumps upriver in the same Bay-Delta estuary are killing millions of native Sacramento splittail and thousands of threatened Central Valley chinook salmon in order to divert water to corporate agribusiness and southern California.

The latest update from the Glen Cove defenders details a number of ways that you can support the ongoing spiritual encampment.

"The spiritual encampment at Glen Cove is holding firmly – the sacred fire has now been burning continuously for 45 days and nights, carrying the power of all the prayer offerings that have been placed upon it," according to "We would like to state again that all who will stand with us in prayer to honor the ancestors are welcome at Sogorea Te. If you live near the Bay Area, please consider stopping by for a few hours, or a few days. Your presence will be very appreciated."

At this time the defenders are also putting out a request for donations to cover their ongoing expenses for food, supplies, portable toilet rental, etc, as our funds and supplies are starting to run low. Donations can be made online, or checks can be sent in the mail, with an option of being tax-deductible. Food donations can also be brought to Sogorea Te at any time.

"GVRD is continuing to threaten possible legal/police action against the ongoing prayer vigil at Sogorea Te," according to the update. "We are asking all our supporters to please be on heightened alert over the next two weeks and prepared to respond to a call for emergency on-land support."

Support continues to pour in from native and non-native communities throughout California and beyond. On May 24, another official tribal resolution was passed by the Pit River Tribe, in support of protecting Glen Cove from GVRD’s proposed development.

On Thursday, volunteers from the spiritual encampment handed out flyers at the Vallejo Farmers Market. Over the past week, thousands of “Stop the Desecration of Glen Cove” flyers have been distributed throughout Vallejo and the greater Bay Area.

Today, Saturday the 28th, a workshop on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples will be held at Sogorea Te between 2-4pm. Morning Star (Pit River) and Mark Anquoe (Kiowa) of the International Indian Treaty Council will be hosting the workshop, and Mark Anquoe will be giving a report-back from the 10th session of the the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues that he participated in earlier this month.

A know-your-rights and legal observation training will also be held at Sogorea Te on Saturday from 12-1:30pm, hosted by volunteers from the National Lawyers Guild. Those supporters who plan on standing with us in the event of an emergency are encouraged to attend this training.

Also this Saturday the 28th, Morning Star Gali (Pit River) will speak in support of Glen Cove at the annual African Liberation Day event in Oakland: 12 pm at the Per Ankh Praise House – 959 33rd Street (at San Pablo).

Then on Sunday, June 5, I urge you to support the Winnemem Wintu Tribe’s dance for the salmon at Sogorea Te. The Tribe has launched a campaign to restore endangered winter run Chinook Salmon to the McCloud River above Shasta.

“Salmon need the splittail to survive in the Estuary,” said Caleen Sisk-Franco, chief and spiritual leader of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, who just returned from the 10th session of the the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues with her husband, Mark, the Tribe's headman. “The Estuary is necessary for the survival of Chinook. The Chinook are necessary for the water to be drinkable, and for the People. Climate change will come in to balance once we follow the salmon runs. This is why the Winnemem will dance for the salmon and the Estuary on June 5th at Glen Clove in Vallejo!”

During the 8-day period from May 16 though May 23, the federal pumps killed 4,241,089 Sacramento splittail and the state facilities took 157,349 fish. That’s a total of 4,400,073 splittail.

During the same 8-day period, the federal pumps killed 1935 threatened spring run Chinooks and the state facilities took 1,660 salmon. That’s a total of 3,595 spring Chinooks prevented from ever getting to the ocean.

The pumps killed over 13,500 chinooks from January 1 to May 23, with the take of both splittail and Chinooks accelerating over the past two weeks.

The massive slaughter of salmon and splittail has continued over the past few days, with the federal pumps killing 242,348 Sacramento splittail and the state pumps killing 18,272 splittail on May 26. On the same day, the federal pumps killed 96 salmon and the state facilities took 164 salmon.

“What good does it do for the government to sponsor programs, funded with millions of dollars, to restore endangered species when the simplest of acts, shutting down the pumps, would do so much for the preservation of endangered species and those other fish that rely on the endangered species for their survival,” said Mark Franco.

We must stop Greater Vallejo Irrigation District officials from bulldozing the Glen Cove burial site!

We must stop the Obama and Brown and administrations from killing millions of Sacramento splittail and thousands of Sacramento River Chinook salmon in the pumps of death!

For more information, photos, and previous updates, visit: