Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
EMERYVILLE, CALIFORNIA - After several American Indians attended the Sunrise Ceremony on Alcatraz Island, they showed up for a noon rally and march to the headquarters of Nady Systems, Inc. in Emeryville.
A group of 100 were in Emeryville to protest and deliver a declaration to business magnate John Nady urging him to stop the desecration of Rattlesnake Island.
Located on the eastern end of Clear Lake in northern California, Rattlesnake Island has been the ceremonial center of the Elem community of Southeastern Pomo Indians for thousands of years. The island was stolen from the Pomo in 1877, when it was deeded to settlers as private property in a supposed "clerical error". Ever since that time, the Elem Pomo have been fighting to regain their traditional ownership of this sacred land, which is now privately held by John Nady.
With blatant disregard for the wishes of the Elem people, John Nady is attempting to build vacation homes on the island, and has already illegally installed a septic tank, and thousands of feet of roads, trails, and utility trenching. He has now strong-armed his way out of conducting the required environmental impact report and is poised to begin further construction at any moment.
Police Await Protesters in Front of Nady Systems
On Monday, the business closed down shortly before noon and the building was cordoned off by Emeryville Police officers who attempted to dissuade the protesters to leave since there was no one on at the property.
"They must have gotten word that we were coming, because in several phone calls to the business, we were told they would be open as business as usual on Columbus Day," said Mark Anquoe, Kiowa.
Protesters March to Protect Elem Pomo Rights
"I went there to present Mr. Nady, to present him with a declaration on behalf of my tribe to exercise our aboriginal rights," Jim Brown, traditional leader of the Elem Pomo Tribe.
Protesters Show Support for the Protection of Sacred Lands
Since there were no one on premises, the declaration was given to an Emeryville police officer who said he would make sure it got to Nady.
“This guy (referring to Nady) is an out and out racist who has publicly indicated he does not care about what Indians think,”
said Anquoe. "There is no question about it."
Brown indicated that more legal action is being considered to stop the development.
March Proceeds Inspite of the Weather
“The fight has just begun,”
The organizers are asking American Indians and other supporters to boycott the purchase and use of the Nady System products, which include wireless microphones.
A call was placed into Nady Systems for comment on the protest by the Native News Network. The company representative said someone would return the call. No one has called back by press time.
updated October 12, 2011 9:30 am edt; posted October 11, 2011 6:00 am edt
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