The Two Rivers Tribune reported recently that certain rock-headed word wags have been sneaking onto the broad river bar that swings into the Trinity River outside of Hoopa and rearranging the "Fish On" that for years has been spelled out in large rocks there.
Yes, they're making cute little cuss words. Notes the TRT:
The first occurrence the rocks were rearranged by an unknown party to read "F&%$ On," the second "F&^% Off," and the third "F&%$ Off" again. Each time the Carpenter family and friends have fixed the vandalism by placing the rocks to spell "Fish On" again.
The rock-spelled "Fish On" is not some groovy kickback sentiment, not a simple "Rock on, dude" kinda deal. Rather, as the TRT's Manuel "Warrior" Sanchez noted in a 2009 story in the TRT, it's a symbol of the 1970s fish wars in which tribal families had to fight the federal government for their traditional fishing rights. The TRT has republished that story, explaining:
We hope republishing the article ... will remind those in our community who may have forgotten, or never learned, the solidarity and importance of "Fish On" to the Hupa way of life.
An excerpt from Sanchez' story underscores the seriousness of those sometimes deadly events that "Fish On" memorializes:
The biggest and bloodiest part of the fight happened on the Klamath River. Federal agents were stopping people from gill-net fishing in the mouth of the Klamath River. There were people being beaten with billy-clubs, their boats were being swamped by federal boats, and some lost their lives.
See? Not funny to mess with that. Vandals, educate yourselves.