– On the biggest shopping day of the year, known as Black Friday, Ohlone descendants and other San Francisco Bay area American Indians and allies gather to protest the construction of Bay Street Shopping Mall, which sits on site where an Ohlone village and shellmound once was.
The sacred shellmound once stood over 60ft high and 350 ft in diameter and it was considered the largest funerary complex of the Ohlone people.
In 1999, the City of Emeryville decided to create the mall that now sits on the corner of Shellmound St and Ohlone Way. Some of the same people involved in today’s protest went to Emeryville’s city council and asked them to not destroy any more of the sacred site, but the developers and the businesses won.
The mall opened in 2000, amid massive controversy.
Every since, the American Indian community has protested on the day after Thanksgiving to organize an educational protest to talk about sacred sites and to educate the public on why this kind of desecration should never happen again.
Organizers believe It is only through the recognition of the rights of Indigenous peoples to have their sacred places accessible and intact that historical injustices can begin to be addressed.
This year marks the 14th anniversary of the education protest.
All are invited to join in this family-friendly event.
Meet at the corner of Ohlone Way and Shellmound Street from 12 noon to 2:30 pm PST to educate shoppers about the history of the mall and pay respects to the ancient burial ground upon which it sits.