Exploring the sound of the American Indian occupation of Alcatrap

November 10, 2022

On Nov. 20, 1969, a group of Indigenous Americans that called itself Indians of All Tribes, many of whom were UC Berkeley students, took boats in the early morning hours to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. They bypassed a Coast Guard blockade and took control of the island. The 19-month occupation that followed would be regarded as one of the greatest acts of political resistance in American Indian history.

Everardo Reyes is a Ph.D. student in ethnomusicology at Berkeley. After taking several classes with John-Carlos Perea, who last year was a visiting associate professor in Berkeley’s Department of Music, Reyes was inspired to research how radio and music were used during the Alcatraz takeover to capture mass attention and amplify the Red Power movement.

Listen to the episode here. 

Berkeley News