Indigenous Peoples Day Protest.
Demand for University to Vacate Continent

by Chip Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday, October 13, 1998

BERKELEY -- Demonstrators at an Indigenous Peoples Day protest on the University of California at Berkeley campus demanded that university administrators vacate their offices -- actually the entire North American continent -- immediately.

The noon rally and march included a moment when two of the 25 or so protesters lowered the Stars and Stripes and hoisted them again -- upside down -- to applause.

Then a poster-sized eviction notice was placed over the little-used main entrance to California Hall, which houses the university's administrative offices.

It read: ``You have overextended your stay for 506 years. You are hereby notified that you have 0 days to evacuate yourself from indigenous territory, or you will be physically removed from sovereign land.'' It was signed generically by the Indigenous Peoples.

What happened to the 90-day appeal process?

That's not a lot of time, especially considering all the stuff a person, or in this case a continent, has acquired since 1492.

These guys make the upcoming new state restrictions on rent control look mild in comparison.

George Galvis, one of the student protesters, said yesterday's action was largely symbolic and was called to bring attention to the treatment of Native American students as well as the university's refusal to return artifacts and human remains of his people.

What's more, he charged UC- Berkeley officials with reaping millions of dollars in grants from the federal government and other sources as a reward for desecrating the graves and cultural history of Native Americans.

The proclamation was read by Maria Brenes, a fifth-year UC- Berkeley student. She told a Chronicle reporter that she is Xicana, which is the indigenous people's spelling of Chicana, and that she too is Native American.

Galvis described himself as a member of the Quechua Chibcha band -- which is a South American indigenous people.

Hey, if they can throw South America into the Columbus Day/ Indigenous People's Day debacle, it's only fair that at least a few Midwestern states get tossed in there.

That's when Galvis started saying something about a shifting paradigm and my eyes glazed over.


To see this original article on the S.F. Chronicle's web site, go to Indigenous People's Day Protesters Demand that the University of California Leave North America

Follow-up: The Board of Regents of the University of California has decided not to leave North America.

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