Stop fighting with each other; unite and fight colonization!

It seems like every shellmound that people have been organized to “save” has already been destroyed, or mostly destroyed, or leveled, or are not–in any way, shape, or form–recognizable as a mound.

The land under Bay Street was desecrated way before the mall was built. First for an amusement park and dance pavilion in the 1870’s … then for a pigment plant in the 1920’s.

Rob Arias, “2005 ‘Shellmound’ Documentary Exposes the Truth Behind, and Under, Bay Street Development“; JAN-15 2014
The mound on Bay Street, in Emeryville–right now–is not a Shellmound. It’s a memorial to the shellmound.

So I’m actually a little confused as to whether or not these people are serious about protecting heritage sites.

My point is: Stop wasting your time on things which have already been destroyed.

Focus on saving the things we still have.

Can we change our vision to include actually celebrating the beauty of the natural world around us, and the resources we still have, instead of wallowing in the pain and destruction of something which has already happened?

Maybe the job of these protests was completed the first time,

which was: visibility & representation.

There is visibility. People know about the Emeryville Shellmound, fewer about Glen Cove (even though that effort was more recent), and only a select, elite group of Bay Area Residents know about the Drake’s Bay Shellmound. But the Drake’s Bay Shellmound is an old story. And the area around Glen Cove was already leveled, and graded for tract housing in the 90’s. By 2011, the landscape was completely unrecognizable.

There are protests every year, at the Bay Street Mall. A vigil. But it’s not like the Sunrise Ceremonies on Alcatraz Island. Because the sunrise ceremony, though laced with the bittersweet, is still a celebration of life, and a prayer for the future. It offers hope, and fellowship.

With every year, these protests get smaller, and smaller. Because every year, people wake up to the same realization: which is that the Bay Street Shellmound is lost; and no one wants to show up for a ‘lost cause’ year after year, when there is no hope for change.

A cold, hard take that no one asked for. But it’s the truth.

A vigil is like a wake. It’s completely different. It offers no way forward, no hope for life beyond colonization.

That doesn’t have to be the end of the story. There is a way forward. There’s always another way; and we can do it.