Friday, November 25, 2011

unThanksgiving, Alcatraz Island

Hopped out of bed at 3:33am Thursday and prepared to meet a friend, Smadar, at 4:30am for the drive to Pier 33. It was dark, damp, and drizzling when we reached the Embarcadero. Judging by the limited parking, many more people than we expected were heading to Alcatraz and the Sunrise Ceremony. 
It was still dark and the rain still fell when, about 45 minutes later - car stowed safely at Art Academy parking lot - we joined the by-now much longer line of people waiting to purchase tickets, then waiting for a ferry to Alcatraz.
An hour later we were still the rain...waiting for a ferry; by now the sky was much lighter and both Smadar and I were wet through. Clearly we'd missed the sun rising - it was light when we finally landed on Alcatraz but we caught the last dance...and found some tobacco to throw into the sacred fire with thousands of others.
The Indigenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony, aka unThanksgiving Day has been held annually on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay since 1975. It honors and promotes the rights of indigenous peoples of the Americas and also honors the 1969 protest when Alcatraz-Red Power Movement (ARPM) occupied the island.

Dancing in the sacred circle.

Detail of head-dress...

Looking toward San Francisco

Skeletons of the past against the morning sky.

(All photos, above, Susan Galleymore, Nov 24, 2011.)

Listen to audio: Clyde Bellecourt on Alcatraz 2011

Other photographs, same day, different photographer(s).

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