Protesters Come Back!
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.
There were no arrests on Tuesday. CHP officers were present in one squad car and one van, but did not tell protesters they were trespassing and did not ask them to leave, as erroneously stated by Caltrans Public Relations official, Phil Frisbee in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat on Tues. Sept. 23.
“We came back again today to insist on our demand for a less destructive, less expensive design for the northern interchange to protect cultural sites and wetlands”, said Naomi Wagner of Redwood Nation Earth First!