ABC’s affiliate in the San Francisco Bay Area, KGO, featured the following six-minute news segment last night:
Photos courtesy of Steve Eberhard and Maria Gilardin:
Despite impending rain, activists returned today for a second day of protest against the bitterly contested Caltrans’ Bypass, after shutting down fill operations on the northern interchange all day yesterday. On Tuesday, two groups of activists held long cloth banners with the messages: ”Caltrans Kills Wetlands” and “Caltrans: Paving the Road to Extinction” stretched across the entrance to two haul roads off highway 101, blocking ingress and egress from the construction zone.
A third group, including Priscilla Hunter, Tribal Representative for the Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians and other Native Americans of lineal descent to the area’s Pomo ancestors, succeeded in reaching the ancestral cultural site they want to protect, remaining there for some time with the American Indian Movement (AIM) flag, to drum and pray. The activists then blocked a third stream of dirt-filled trucks, effectively stopping work.
Protesters’ numbers have increased lately due to the participation of Native American Pomo Tribes, including those from Coyote Valley, Sherwood Rancheria, Potter and Redwood Valley, all of whom were represented at the protest. Continue reading
[Today, roughly 30 people blockaded dump trucks at both entrance gates to the Willits Bypass northern interchange construction zone, halting nearly all soil dumping for the day. At roughly 11 a.m., the dump trucks went home for the day. The California Highway Patrol took a light approach to policing the demonstration, making no arrests. We are gathering again tomorrow at 7 a.m. at The Tipi! Only serious rain will prevent us from gathering. Check out the KMUD News report filed by Annie Esposito, which begins at 6:00 into the broadcast.]
Native American Tribal members, including direct descendants of the Pomo peoples who once populated the Little Lake Valley where Caltrans is currently building an oversized freeway Bypass, will join environmental groups in a mass protest on the north end of the project today. Protestors will enter the construction zone north of town in the early morning hours, slowing and stopping the fast and furious flow of dirt-filled, double-belly dump trucks working from dawn to dusk to cover the wetlands and archeological sites the activists seek to protect.
Save Our Little Lake Valley will participate in a prayer ceremony led by American Indian allies in front of the Mendocino County Courthouse in Ukiah this Monday, September 8th at 9 a.m. We will have a rally
Carpool from Willits:
- Meet at Evergreen Shopping Center at 8:15 to attend the ceremony.
- Meet at Evergreen Shopping Center at 9:15 to attend the hearing.
We will have a rally and press conference at 11 a.m., or whenever the hearing is over.
Please dress appropriately and behave respectfully in court. Note: Shorts, sandals and hats are NOT allowed in the courtrooms.
On August 20th, Justice Cindee Mayfield issued a TRO [temporary restraining order] against Mendocino County and Mendocino Forest Products blocking soil excavation pending a subsequent hearing on September 8th. At this hearing, Justice Mayfield will rule on whether to grant a Preliminary Injunction for the Willits Bypass. The hearing is at 10 a.m. in Courtroom “F.” The judge is ruling on whether to maintain the status quo until the full trial, which is likely to occur in Dec. 2014.
In other words, if Mayfield turns down the injunction, then CalTrans and its contractors can proceed immediately with filling the wetlands. If she grants the injunction, the filling cannot proceed until the kick-off of the spring 2015 construction season, if ever — depending on the ruling in the trial.
The halt to work on the Northern Interchange for the season would allow time for a real, significantly downsized plan to be developed and adopted.
Even if Mayfield does not grant the PI, or the decision is delayed, we still need to support the tremendous effort that has gone into this last-ditch attempt to let reason and the law prevail to protect Mother Earth. Let’s let our presence in the courtroom show Judge Mayfield how much we care about our wetlands and ancestral places. Please dress respectfully.
The Willits Environmental Center ( WEC)
630 South Main Street, Willits, CA 95490
In the check memo, please write “Bypass Legal Fund”
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