Seattle Times: Fish-camp raid etched in state history

Lynda Mapes at the Seattle Times has a story yesterday marking the 40th anniversary of the fish raid on the Puyallup that sparked the U.S. v. Washington court battle:

The banks of the Puyallup River are quiet now. But 40 years ago, this was the scene of a violent struggle by Indian people encamped to defend their treaty fishing rights against hundreds of law-enforcement officers, many armed.

By the time it was over, black smoke boiled into the sky as demonstrators set the creosoted timbers of a railroad trestle on fire. More than 60 Indians were arrested, and the site of their summer-long encampment by the river bulldozed.

No one was killed that Sept. 9 on the riverbank — but the encounter left an indelible mark on state history.

The raid on the fish camp at Puyallup was the culmination of many clashes in the Fish Wars from the 1960s into the ’70s between tribal fishermen and police, from Frank’s Landing at Nisqually to the Puyallups’ camp in Tacoma.