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Stop the Proposed Fence at the Tulelake Municipal Airport, site of the former Tule Lake Segregation Center, California
  • Petitioning Michael P. Huerta

This petition will be delivered to:

Administrator, Federal Aviation Administration
Michael P. Huerta
Environmental Protection Specialist, FAA San Francisco Airports District
Douglas R. Pomeroy

Stop the Proposed Fence at the Tulelake Municipal Airport, site of the former Tule Lake Segregation Center, California

    1. Petition by

      Satsuki Ina with Stop the Fence at Tulelake Airport

During World War II, more than 120,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry were forced from their homes and unjustly imprisoned in ten concentration camps across the United States, solely on the basis of race. The Tule Lake camp in Modoc County, California (near the California-Oregon border) became a maximum-security Segregation Center to incarcerate 12,000 inmates who resisted their imprisonment and branded by the federal government as disloyal. Today, a small airport used primarily by crop dusting planes cuts through the center of the Tule Lake site.

I need your help because the Federal Aviation Administration is proposing construction of an eight-foot high, three-mile long fence around the perimeter of the airport that will cut off our access to the Tule Lake site. Besides being utterly unnecessary in such a desolate place, such a fence would desecrate the physical and spiritual aspects of Tule Lake, which has great historical and personal importance to me and many others. 

I am shocked by this insensitive and disrespectful plan. This massive fence will interfere with the desire I and visitors to Tule Lake have --- to mourn the unjust imprisonment and to heal the scars of the past. Instead, we will be assaulted with a reminder of rejection, exclusion, and emotional pain.

I was born in the Tule Lake Segregation Center. My parents were American citizens who protested their unjust incarceration and answered "no" to the government-imposed "loyalty questionnaire.” As punishment for their dissidence, the government removed them from the Topaz concentration camp to the maximum-security Tule Lake Segregation Center. From there, my father was taken from us and interned as an "enemy alien" in a Department of Justice camp in North Dakota. Incarcerated for no other crime than having the face of the enemy, my family lived behind barbed wire for 4-1/2 years.  

I’m part of a group of survivors, their families, and friends who organize tours and educational events at the Tule Lake Segregation Center. If this fence is constructed, it will send a strong message to Japanese Americans that they are not welcome at the site where they walked long distances to eat meals, attend school, and use the latrines. A fence will prevent all Americans from experiencing the dimension and magnitude of the concentration camp where people experienced mass exclusion and racial hatred. 

The FAA has the power to protect Tule Lake, a sacred site. In doing so, it has the power to honor, rather than desecrate, the remembrance of one of the darkest chapters in American history. 

According to the FAA, in an effort to be more "sensitive" to our concerns, the proposed fence would not be topped with barbed wire -- but that’s just not enough. Our nation’s history of the unjust incarceration of those of Japanese ancestry during WWII is often forgotten. We must be able to remember what happened to our ancestors to be sure this never happens again. 

I’m calling on the FAA to respect our community’s needs and wishes and reject this proposal. Please show your support for the most sensitive solution: DO NOT BUILD THE FENCE AT TULE LAKE.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 25,000 signatures

    Supporters

    @GeorgeTakei

    Aug 07, 2013

    Please join me in asking @FAANews to ensure that the camp where I was interned as a boy is preserved: http://t.co/TJHUYF40lI

    George Takei
    766k followers

    @aaldef

    Jul 18, 2013

    Petition to stop proposed fence at Tulelake, site of former Japanese American incarceration: http://t.co/ZRoSvcFXZr h/t @18millionrising

    AALDEF
    2.17k followers

    @NCAPAtweets

    Jul 09, 2013

    Stop the Proposed Fence at the Tulelake Municipal Airport, site of the former Tule Lake... http://t.co/Rp4KQIhbZN

    NCAPA
    584 followers

    Reasons for signing

    • Terry Anderson ELK GROVE, CA
      • 2 days ago

      Historic sites should be left alone and maintained as is.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Vicki Luttrell BAKERSFIELD, CA
      • 3 days ago

      History is so very important. We need to preserve physical reminders so that we may teach new generations about both the beautiful and ugly periods of this country's past. The United States is a great country because we believe in the freedom of ALL PEOPLE! We must NEVER try and erase the evidence of our failure to live up to what our country stands for!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Natalie Katayanagi RICHMOND, CA
      • 13 days ago

      I was imprisoned there in 1942

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • terry betti MT. GILEAD, OH
      • about 1 month ago

      Because no matter how much of a stain this is on our government's history, it needs to stand for all to see as a reminder of what did happen and what should never happen again. It needs to be where those of us who care can go and see how things actually were. Would we let them close the camps in Europe where the jews were interned at and killed? No we would not, and yes the people of this country were not killed it still stands as a symbol of how a people of our country was gravely wronged. Believe me if it happened once i believe it could happen again. Only with these reminders can we hope to never see something like this happen again. If I repeated myself I am sorry but this is too important and I just get to rattling on and on.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Nora Jensen PADUCAH, KY
      • about 1 month ago

      So many people came to this country to escape inequality and interference with their basic human rights. They came for freedom and positively contributed to the patchwork that makes up the USA today. It is critical that we don't hide those moments moments of horror from our history. We must remember these aberrant occurrences to avoid repeating them. Just as important as any celebrated time in America's history, these camps should be preserved as national historic sites honoring those who suffered there. The very least we owe them is the education historic sites could provide in an effort to prevent future mistakes caused by similar misjudgements.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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