On this day, Indian people once again came to Alcatraz Island when Richard Oakes, Akwesasne Mohawk, and a group of Indian supporters set out in a chartered boat, the Monte Cristo, to symbolically claim the island for the Indian people. On November 20, 1969, this symbolic occupation turned into a full scale occupation which lasted until June 11, 1971.
In actuality, there were three separate occupations of Alcatraz Island, one on March 9, 1964, one on November 9, 1969, and the occupation which lasted nineteen months which began on the 20th of November, 1969.
The 1964 occupation lasted for only four hours and was carried out by five Sicangu Lakota, led by Richard McKenzie and wife, Belva Cottier. This short occupation is significant because the demands for the use of the island for a cultural center and an Indian university would resurface almost word for word in the larger, much longer occupation of 1969.
The November 9, 1969 occupation was planned by Richard Oakes, a group of Indian students, and a group of urban Indians from the Bay Area. Since many different tribes were represented, the name \"Indians of All Tribes\" was adopted for the group. They claimed the island in the name of Indians of all tribes and left the island to return later that same evening. In meetings following the November 9th occupation, Oakes and his fellow American Indian students realized that a prolonged occupation was possible. Oakes visited the American Indian Studies Center at UCLA where he recruited Indian students for what would become the longest prolonged occupation of a federal facility by Indian people to this very day. Eighty Indian students from UCLA were among the approximately 100 Indian people who occupied Alcatraz Island.
It is important to remember that the occupation force was made up initially of young urban Indian college students. And the most inspirational person was Richard Oakes. Oakes is described by most of those as handsome, charismatic, a talented orator, and a natural leader. Oakes was the most knowledgeable about the landings and the most often sought out and identified as the leader, the Chief, the mayor of Alcatraz.
By early 1970 the Indian organization began to fall into disarray. Two groups rose in opposition to Richard Oakes and as the Indian students began returning to school in January 1970, they were replaced by Indian people from the urban areas and from reservations who have not been involved in the initial occupation. Additionally, many non-Indians now began taking up residency on the island, many from the San Francisco hippie and drug culture. The final blow to the organized leadership occurred on January 5, 1970, when Oakes's 13 year old stepdaughter fell three floors down a stairwell to her death. Following Yvonne's death, Oakes left the island and the two competing groups maneuvered back and forth for leadership on the island.
The federal government responded to the occupation by adopting a position of non-interference. The FBI was directed to remain clear of the island. The Coast Guard was directed not to interfere, and the Government Services Administration (GSA) was instructed not to remove the Indians from the island. While it appeared to those on the island that negotiations were actually taking place, in fact, the federal government was playing a waiting game, hoping that support for the occupation would subside and those on the island would elect to end the occupation. At one point, secret negotiations were held where the occupiers were offered a portion of Fort Miley, in San Francisco, as an alternative site to Alcatraz Island. By this time, mid-1970, however, those on the island had become so entrenched that nothing less than full title to the island, the establishing of a university and cultural center, would suffice.
The occupation continued on into 1971 with various new problems emerging for the Indian occupiers. In an attempt to raise money to buy food, they allegedly began stripping copper wiring and copper tubing from the buildings and selling it as scrap metal. Three of the occupiers were arrested, tried and found guilt of selling some 600lbs of copper. In early 1971, the press, which had been largely sympathetic to this point turned against them and began publishing stories of alleged beatings and assaults; one case of assault was prosecuted. Soon, little support could be found.
The success or failure of the occupation should not be judged by whether the demands of the occupiers were realized. The underlying goals of the Indians on Alcatraz were to awaken the American public to the reality of the plight of the first Americans and to assert the need for Indian self-determination. As a result of the occupation, either directly or indirectly, the official government policy of termination of Indian tribes was ended and a policy of Indian self-determination became the official US government policy.
During the period the occupiers were on Alcatraz Island, President Nixon returned Blue Lake and 48.000 acres of land to the Taos Indians. Occupied lands near Davis California would become home to a Native American university. The occupation of Bureau of Indian Affairs offices in Washington, D.C. would lead to the hiring of Native American's to work in the federal agency that had such a great effect on their lives.
When the Occupation began, it was the end of life as the Bajoran people formerly knew it. The D'jarra caste system, which had been an integral part of Bajoran culture for centuries, was abolished, as all Bajorans regardless of caste were called upon to struggle against Cardassian oppression. Vedeks were forbidden to preach the word of the Bajoran Prophets, and many such as Winn Adami were imprisoned for doing so. Further, the Cardassians strip-mined the planet, using Bajoran slave labor to perform the task. Secretary Kubus Oak and other officials of the occupational government routinely approved work orders forcing Bajorans to mine ore among other tasks. Such acts of cowardice gave way to a new term for those who participated with the Cardassians or used the Occupation as a source of profit: \"collaborators.\" (DS9: \"Accession\", \"Rapture\", \"The Collaborator\")
Bajorans were assigned occupations more or less arbitrarily during the Occupation. The most common jobs were mining ore and working in factories, and once assigned to a job, a Bajoran was forbidden from leaving it. However, Cardassian officers often \"selected\" Bajorans for random interrogations or forced relocation.
Any Bajoran with family or friends in the Bajoran Resistance was considered a suspect in criminal cases, which, after fifty years of occupation, was essentially all of Bajor. When a Bajoran was accused of a crime, his or her friends and family were often rounded up for questioning as well. There was virtually no court system, only special tribunals consisting of Cardassian military leaders. In the vast majority of cases, the evidence was circumstantial and questionable. This was of little importance to the Cardassians as long as someone was punished. (DS9: \"Things Past\")
The Cardassians interned entire families of Bajorans in labor camps for various purposes, the most common of which was to mine ore and other valuable resources. Conditions at these camps were so harsh that every Bajoran knew assignment to a labor camp was essentially a death sentence. The occupational government, however, continued to fulfill the Cardassians' requests for new laborers throughout the Occupation. (DS9: \"The Collaborator\")
After fifty years of occupation, the Cardassians withdrew from Bajor in 2369. The exact cause of the withdrawal is largely a matter of opinion; while the Bajorans attributed it to the efforts of the Bajoran Resistance, the Cardassians regarded it as an entirely political decision. In the days leading up to the withdraw, the Cardassians diverted warships away from Bajor in an attempt to annex Minos Korva, a disputed planet near the Cardassian-Federation border. (TNG: \"Chain Of Command, Part I\") After a round of tense diplomatic negotiations, Captain Edward Jellico dealt the Cardassians a humbling defeat at the McAllister C-5 Nebula. Under Jellico's terms of surrender, all of the ships were forced to eject their primary phaser coil, effectively rendering their ships defenseless. (TNG: \"Chain Of Command, Part II\") Regardless of the cause, all sides acknowledge that civilian leaders such as those on the Detapa Council made the decision, which was opposed by the Cardassian military. Gul Dukat, in particular, remained intent on reconquering Bajor for over five years. (DS9: \"Duet\", \"Cardassians\", \"Call to Arms\")
An uneasy alliance with the Federation complicated matters as Commander Benjamin Sisko attempted to balance Bajoran interests with those of the Federation. Major Kira felt that many Bajoran and Federation interests should be kept separate, sentiments shared by Tahna Los and later exploited by the anti-alien Alliance for Global Unity, which sought to expel all non-Bajorans from the planet. Tahna believed in Bajor for Bajorans, and like him, the Alliance (also known as the \"Circle\") saw the Federation presence aboard DS9 as another form of occupation. Tensions came to a climax when Minister Jaro Essa, leader of the Circle, attempted a full-scale coup d'etat in what was later discovered to be an elaborate Cardassian attempt to reclaim Bajor by ousting the Federation. (DS9: \"In the Hands of the Prophets\", \"The Homecoming\", \"The Circle\", \"The Siege\")
Also, in \"Things Past\", Thrax tells Odo in a telepathic reality that the Occupation has lasted fifty years. The telepathic reality supposedly takes place seven years before 2373, so in 2366 the Occupation had lasted fifty years, making the date of occupation 2316. However, this is most likely a flippant exaggeration, a flaw caused by Odo's imperfect memory, or a possible confusion between the varying lengths of Federation, Bajoran, and Cardassian years.
Recently a number of cities have adopted occupation taxes on a variety of business activities. DOR has prepared the following information to address the many questions and issues related to these types of taxes. 59ce067264