Indians invade Alcatraz again

By United Press International

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Indians invaded Alcatraz today for the second time within two weeks, proposing "profitable negotiation" with the federal government on taking over the "Rock" for an American Indian cultural center.

"They're all over the place," said Mrs. John Hart, wife of the caretaker on the nearly abandoned island.


Five boatloads of 78 demonstrators landed on the island between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. equipped with bedrolls and, a spokesman said, "enough supplies for at least two days."

An official of the U. S. General Services Administration, which now administers the island in San Francisco Bay, went over to talk with them.

But Hart said he got nowhere and returned to San Francisco.

At a news conference at the American Indian Center at San Francisco, spokesmen said the invasion was to dramatize how the white man stole Indian lands. They said the demonstrators also were asserting their claim, under an old law, to occupy all unused federal lands.


Since the federal prison was abandoned in 1962, Alcatraz has been a white elephant. The government has offered to sell it to San Francisco but the city has not decided how to use it.

Several proposals has been submitted, including one from Texas millionaire Lamar Hunt to build a "space-age museum" and Disneyland-type amusement park.

"They are not out there for confrontation," said Dean Chavers, a Lumbee Indian, at the news conference. "They are out there for profitable negotiation. They have a legal and moral right to be there, certainly as much as H. L. Hunt.

"Nobody is armed, nobody will be armed. We hope there is no violence."

Because the permanent headquarters of the Indian Center had been destroyed by fire, Chavers held the news conference in makeshift quarters decorated by a sticker: "Custer Had It Coming."

Tom Hannon, regional administrator for the General Services Administration, tried to get the Indians to leave at 8 a. m. but Mrs. Hart said "they wouldn't talk to him."

"They just ran off in all directions," she said.

Hart finally gave up and returned to San Francisco to plot the government's next move, during a previous foray by Indians on Alcatraz Nov. 9, the government threatened to send U.S. marshals to arrest the invaders if they did not leave. That time, they did.


"Indian people will use the island for the good of the entire nation," a spokesman at the Indian center said. "This intention stands in direct contrast to the plans of the rich people who want to make themselves richer by turning Alcatraz into a museum of American garbage.

"The takeover of Alcatraz is the start of a fight against the stealing of Indian land."

He said the group includes 34 women, 41 men and three children, with enough provisions for two days.

On Nov. 9, 14 demonstrators landed on the island in San Francisco Bay, but left the next day at the request of an official of the federal General Services Administration.

This time, the spokesman said, the Indians intend to stay.

Their plans, announced before the first "occupation" of the island, include establishing facilities for native American studies, an Indian medical center, an ecology research center, and an Indian museum.

In a proclamation Nov. 9. the Indians offered to buy the island for "$24 in glass beads and red cloth, a precedent set by the white man's purchase of a similar island 300 years ago."

Alcatraz was closed down as a federal prison in 1962. Several possible uses for tne island in the future are currently being studied, including desipating it a national park.


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