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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Environment & Forest Defense | Police State and Prisons
Memorial Oak Grove Cut Down
It is a time for tears. The trees are gone.
Starting on Friday (9/6/08) and continuing now the Memorial oak Grove has been cut and is being chipped up. All of the trees that they plan to cut are down except for the Redwood that still has four tree sitters in it. They have left a single line of trees along the road as an aesthetic screen. Please come by to support the tree sitters. They are getting no more food and water but are determined to hold out for longer. We need to support them if there is an extraction!
Now is the time for tears. We fought for the trees for 21 months. Many of us gave much of our time, energy and money to this struggle. Others were able to give less but it still meant so much to us. We loved those trees. We got to know them as individuals. There was lichen on the tops of the branches and fine white mold and insects on the bottoms of the branches. Now they are only names that a few of us remember; Atlantica, Koruna, In between, Okie Doke, Lower Diodar, Red Palace, Honamon, Little Oak, Twin and many more. I remember when the fox used to be around, the turkeys, the squirrels, the butterflies during the June 17 extraction. I remember the Chestnut-backed Chickadee that landed on me when I was sick. Now they are gone. The trees are dead and the animals have no home, no food or place to be. And where will we go, now that our healing space is gone. it meant so many things to so many people.
But all is not lost. The struggle was always about much more than 44 trees. Even when we loved those trees so much. The struggle was to change the world, and we started in an oak grove. It was beautiful and gave form to our hopes, our desires. Now we move on and like ripples in a pond our energy moves outward. There are many new place to fight for, to enjoy, to heal. Many of us thought that we might loose the trees. What we will never loose is the experiences, the skills we learned, the friends we made and the new ways that we learned to see the world. We saw things as much bigger than ourselves, we shared, we risked our lives and freedom. I fell in love with those oak trees, I fell in love in those oak trees. My passions and desires filled more than me, more than an oak grove. We have made but a small start. Now comes the time for the new struggle to begin.
Back hoes and the pile of chips that is now the Oak Grove.
Police guard an empty space where the trees used to be.
Police arrest Oak Grove organizer Ayr, for no reason.
Workers look into the space that was the grove.
The stump of Grandmother Oak and workers with heavy equipment.
The four tree sitters, strong in the redwood.
Logs from the trunks of oak trees. In the foreground are one oak that will be saved and the redwood, to be cut as soon as there are no tree sitters.
A back hoe and the pile of chips of the grove.
Supporters of the Grove share their feelings on this long struggle.
A tree sitter speaks about his feelings.
A videographer tells his story. See: youtube.com and type in bcitizen and go to channels (not videos) search for his page.
Another former tree sitter expresses her feelings.
The trees were fed into this machine and came out as chips.
The back hoe gathered branches and logs and brought them to the chipper.
The back hoe and chipper worked away for hours.
The parking lot full of tree trunks.
The redwood with tree sitters now stands above the mostly clear cut grove.
This is the giant pile of chips that was once a healthy grove of trees and home to many species.