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The town of Mahwahhas levied fines in excess of $1,000,000 --and counting-- for
zoning violations. These fines have been levied because the tribe erected
"structures" without a zoning permit.
These "structures" in question are tepees, sweat lodges and a prayer circle with a stone alter.
The NJ court ruled that the prayer circle objects were "structures" erected
without a permit because the wooden objects carved with
masks were "painted" and had "copper slits" in place of eyes were a violation of zoning laws and that tepees are also "structures";
This constitutes religious persecution. The Ramapough have been praying on this
land for decades. Imagine if a town were to go onto private land to
cut down a cross because the carved figure of Jesus on a cross was painted and had copper slits on the eyes!
The land sits in the middle of the "Polo Club," and exclusive development of
mansions and high end-homes.
These home owners resent the presence of indigenous people amidst their aerie;
should be noted that the 3,000 plus member tribe consists of people of color,
primarily the result of blacks being
the only people who could be counted as friends for the ensuing 100 years after
the civil war,
the Ramapough Lenape were the 1st people to be enslaved in the state of New Jersey when there were no sizeable African presence on the continent.
· Many of these indigenous people are veterans, including Chief Perry a Vietnam veteran.
For news coverage and other information on the Ramapough, click here-->http://niany.com/VeteransCamp-SplitRockSweetwaterPrayerCamp.html