March to Santa Cruz City Hall to Save the Knoll

Ohlone descendants have asked for a halt to any earth movement or development on the 6,000 year old village and burial site.

It has been over three weeks since KB Home contractors unearthed the skeletal remains of a young Ohlone child at the Branciforte Creek construction site in Santa Cruz. The City Council has yet to meaningfully address this situation or take action to honor Ohlone requests to protect the area by halting KB Home’s planned development.

On August 25th, 75 people marched in downtown Santa Cruz from Laurel and Pacific to City Hall on Center Street in an action organized by the Save the Knoll Coalition. One person maintained an indigenous chant throughout the march, many people carried signs and banners, and several distributed educational flyers.

The march was urgently organized for 10am on a Thursday because the Santa Cruz City Council was holding a special closed meeting, but the Branciforte Creek development was not on their agenda. However, prior to the closed meeting, twenty minutes were allocated for public comments about the pending Branciforte Creek development.

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Save the Knoll Gathering at Grant Street Park

On August 21st, dozens of people participated in an informational social gathering and barbecue hosted by the Save the Knoll Coalition at Grant Street Park in Santa Cruz. The Knoll is part of a wild area in Santa Cruz, locally known as Market Street Field at Branciforte Creek, which is also the location of a 6,000 year old Native American burial and village site. Despite the Knoll’s cultural significance, it is threatened with imminent development by KB Home as part of a 32-unit residential subdivision being advertised as “Branciforte Creek – the Comfort of Green Living”.

Indigenous Ohlone peoples were the featured speakers at the gathering, including Ann Marie Sayers, who as been designated as the “Most Likely Descendant” (MLD) of native peoples who have been dug up during the construction which has already begun, and Charlene Sul, an artist, activist and newly-appointed Professor at CSU Monterey Bay.

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