The final removal of Native Americans from Alcatraz Island • June 11, 1971

On June 11, 1971 Federal Marshalls unexpectedly came to the island and removed the last few Occupiers. The Occupation of Alcatraz Island by Native Americans had lasted for 19 months. The island was not given to the Indians, but word of their situation in the United States had been publicized all over the country and even abroad. 

The four Occupiers on this photo were at the "Alcatraz Receiving Depot" on a pier by the Bay. They had just arrived in two boats with the Federal Marshalls. When I asked them if I could photograph them, Oohosis raised his fist with the Red Power salute. Even at this moment of "defeat" he wanted the world to see that the struggle continues.

It was a great co-incidence that I was able to take the photographs of the removal.

On this day, I had made my way to San Francisco from my little town on the coast, about one and a half hours away, to meet with an art editor at a public television station. 

Just as I was opening my box of 8 by 10 pictures, a loud voice came over the loudspeaker, "The Indians are being taken from Alcatraz!" Everyone started running. I saw the film crew run by me and asked them if I could join them. "Just tag along and act as if you belong to us, someone said, such was the solidarity at the time, and so I grabbed my army bag with my cameras, got into the VW bus with the crew, looked from Treasure Island for the boats with the Indians and Federal Marshalls in them, found them, took some pictures and then greeted the Occupiers as they landed and climbed up to the the pier.

Additional photos from the 1969-1971 Alcatraz Occupation can be found here.

United Farmworkers and their supporters on their way to Salinas, California where Cesar Chavez was to speak • California Highway 101, Summer 1979.


In the summer of 1979 there was a big anti-nuclear strategy meeting with people from all over the state in Santa Barbara, California.

Gretta Goldenmann, Frances Stewart and I travelled together in Frances' car on Highway 101. We were all members of BAND, our town's affinity group which we had formed to protest the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant. Gretta and I had our little boys with us. Frances drove. She was beloved for her environmental work-she had stopped a harbor from being developed in our little town- and for her courage at Diablo Canyon where, at 73, she had climbed over a 10 foot fence, had gotten arrested and actually spent several days in jail. As we were driving along, we saw a group of marchers come towards us. Excitedly I asked Frances to stop. From the red flags and the Aztek Eagle, I knew these were the farmworkers of Cesar Chavez' and Dolores Huerta's United Farmworkers Union (UFW) that was fighting for the rights of the lowest paid, worst treated workers in the state.

I ran across the street with my camera and people waved to me, smiled, but kept on marching. The atmosphere was joyous. They were going to a rally where Cesar Chavez was going to speak. A woman carried flowers for him, it struck me as being such a womanly gesture. I had never seen that in the marches before. The virgin of Guadelupe was with them on a banner. I almost did not want to leave and would have rather gone the other way with the marchers.

In Santa Barbara, people were sitting under beautiful trees discussing ideas for the anti-nuclear movement of the region, but it was hard to hear. A group of German observers kept on murmuring quite loudly. It bothered me. Finally. I went over to them and asked them to be quiet. One of them was Juergen Engel. We became life long friends. He later was one of the first Greens and a member of the state parliament of Hesse where the Greens fought a big battle against nuclear power.

During the whole road trip I was terrified of Frances' driving and asked her several times to be more careful. Years later I learned that the Alzheimer's disease from which she later suffered probably already had begun then. How lucky we were with our little boys and all the other drivers on Highway 101!


Additional UFW photographs can be found in Gallery One