March 8, 1970. Re-occupation of Fort Lawton

American Indian Movement activists join with local Seattle-area Native activists and members of "Indians of All Tribes" to re-enter Fort Lawton, an active U.S. Army Reserve base in northwest Seattle, on March 8, 1970. Federal authorities serve eviction notices to the activists. The U.S. Army then takes 78 Indians into custody following the group’s second attempt to repossess Fort Lawton on March 15, 1970. Government officials identify Indians whom they consider to be leaders and agitators from the March 8 occupation and arraign these Natives before a federal commissioner. Although a preliminary hearing is set for April 2, 1970 charges are eventually dropped without prosecution. Cover stories in Time and Look magazines feature Alcatraz Island and Fort Lawton repossessions, referring to Alcatraz as “the symbolic act of Indian awareness.” The San Francisco Chronicle reports, “The Indians have demanded that Fort Lawton, an Army Reserve installation, be turned over to them for use as a cultural center. The Indians claim they have a right to the fort under terms of an 1855 treaty. To assert their claim, the Indians, many of them veterans of the takeover of Alcatraz Island, scaled steep bluffs facing Puget Sound and entered the fort by climbing over high wire fences Sunday.”

More information about this action can be found at the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation website.