Published January 15, 2018
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – Some 350 people attended a rally on Sunday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to protect the Ohlone’s West Berkeley Shellmound.
“This sacred Shellmound is 5,700 years old and it is sacred to our Lisjan/Ohlone people. I want to humbly thank community leaders,event organizers and volunteers for working tirelessly to organize Sunday’s beautiful program,” commented Corrina Gould, co-founder of Indian People Organizing for Change.
The Native peoples of Berkeley and other parts of the Bay are the Ohlone (there are many different tribes in the bay and many bands of Ohlone). They have all endured genocide and are fighting for recognition.
For that reason, the Ohlone embraced the writings of Dr. King, who in his 1963 book, Why We Can’t Wait, wrote“Our nation was born in genocide when it embraced the doctrine that the original American, the Indian, was an inferior race.” Dr. Kings statement was on display at Sunday’s rally.
The West Berkeley Shellmound lies underneath Spenger’s, Fresh Fish Grotto Restaurant parking lot . Even though the site was given historic landmark status by the city of Berkeley in 2002, developers were still able to put a parking lot over the site where Ohlone’s consider sacred. Ohlone descendants and Berkeley residents want a memorial park, a two acre green space to honor Ohlone history and culture.
Aztec dancers honor Dr. King
Tsering Yeangkyi (Tibet) and son blowing conch