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Tule Lake Pilgrimage @SaveTuleLake
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Yesterday, the Tule Lake Committee filed a lawsuit in federal court, seeking a preliminary injunction to stop the city of Tulelake from giving the Tulelake airport to the Modoc Tribe of Oklahoma for $17.5k -- the cost of the city's legal fees in the land transaction. /1
The land consists of 358 acres of historic concentration camp property -- 2/3rds of the WWII Tule Lake incarceration site.

In 1951, the federal government, ignoring the concentration camp’s historic significance, transferred it to the City for use as an airport. /2
Today, survivors and descendants of the incarceration seek healing through pilgrimages to the incarceration sites. Pilgrimages to Tule Lake began as solitary visits, with individuals seeking solace at the place that had caused them deep psychic wounds. /3
Organized pilgrimages to Tule Lake now occur every two years, as 4-day events that accommodate hundreds of pilgrims who come to honor the memory of those who were imprisoned and the more than 331 people who died there. /4
The trauma experienced at Tule Lake makes this historic site hallowed ground to Japanese Americans. Tule Lake’s preservation is part of the healing made possible when the government acknowledged what President Reagan described as a “great wrong" in 1988. /5
But on July 31, 2018, the City Council of Tulelake, CA unanimously approved the sale of these 358 acres to the Modoc tribe of Oklahoma. The City of Tulelake gave the Tule Lake Committee scant notice and no
meaningful opportunity to be heard. /6
The City’s lawyer, Michael Colantuono, repeatedly referred to the historic site
as “a piece of dirt.” The tribe’s representative, Blake Follis, emphasized the
tribe’s priority would be to do “anything to support aviation.” /7
As set forth in the legal complaint, the July 31 vote was part of a secretive process by the City and a mere formality for an already-made decision. /8
The tribe that the City selected to buy this hallowed ground markets and promotes its sovereign immunity as a way to help businesses, including payday loan companies, avoid the "burdens of regulations." /9
The Tule Lake Committee, rather than viewing government regulation as
something to avoid, believes in the value of environmental regulations and historic preservation laws. /10
To prevent irreparable harm to the Tule Lake site, the lawsuit asks the Court to halt the land transfer pending further court proceedings, and to nullify the sale and enjoin any sale to the tribe. /11
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