[There was a wave of insecurity during the first year of the Treesit. Distrust and infiltrators was what people were talking about. We wrote an ahimsa guide to address these issues and the challenge was to do it without saying a single time the word “undercover-cop”. This gave us oxygen for many more months to come. Unfortunately, some of us were not completely aligned with nonviolence and that hurt the movement.]
A message for tree-sitters, the police and authorities….
Dear beloved sisters and brothers, citizens of the World,
1. We are here to save this URBAN FOREST.
2. We are here to challenge the culture of violence and aggression with courage, compassion, community, UNITY and FUN!
3. The antidote to treason is LOVE.
Let go of your fears! Love is fed by TRUST and RESPECT. Be yourself and speak from the HEART.
4. When all we hear are the echoes of our MUSIC and laughter we win!
We don’t want people yelling at fans, police or each other. Remember how we defeated the police with their rope-cutting knives by singing “food and water”; how we crossed the second fence, flying with the wings of nonviolence to provide our friends with nourishment; how we changed the mood of angry fans by letting them join our circle of guitars, harmonicas, dancers and drums.
5. We are here to provide a culture of SAFETY and INTEGRATIVE POWER for all: our athletes, fans, police and tree-sitters.
Building a new sport facility center on top of a geological fault is irresponsible; not reinforcing the structure of the stadium is irresponsible; not checking the knots, ropes and gear frequently in the trees is irresponsible; arresting people by following orders that attack human dignity, and making a show of physical power and threat power is irresponsible.
6. We are not here as warriors to fight for our own glory.
We are unique members of a community, a FAMILY, held together by a desire to save these trees, to save our HOME; we are held together to demilitarize, decorporatize and democratize the University of California, an institution which affects not only the students, the faculty, the staff, the community, the city, the state and the country but also the whole PLANET; we are here to represent the EARTH COMMUNITY.
7. We are here in SOLIDARITY, to send a message to the World: we are thinking globally and ACTING LOCALLY. Both old trees and new sport facilities can exist together. Let’s use our IMAGINATION.
8. Our duty is to “DE-FENCE”!
It is our duty to de-fence the oaks and red woods; to de-fence the tree-sitters; to de-fence the police; to de-fence our people. It is our duty to defend our planet with the tools of heart and knowledge. We are here not to build fences nor walls but BRIDGES.
9. We are here to convert relationships of oppression into relationships of PARTNERSHIP.
There is no need to waste energy and resources to build fences; no need to use electric generators to light the trees at night; no need to fly police officers to Berkeley from all over the state; no need for morning raids to steal and dump the tree-sit library and art supplies. Who is paying? How much? It is not only money and energy that has been wasted but also emotional capital. We want the police officers to spend more time with their families. We are here to liberate the police and authorities from oppressing us.
10. We are here to liberate even the people of the corporations! Corporations that are behind the construction of the sport facility center (happening on the wrong spot) and we are liberating them from devastating Earth’s BIODIVERSITY and HUMAN RIGHTS. It is not only about to save 43 trees, but also to turn the Empire into the Earth Community. We are here to liberate these people from their greed, because with our TRUTH we will draw closer in our relationship with them.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”–Gandhi
Our SIBLINGS, the police, want to lose the current fight because the fight is not between people, it is between ideas. We are almost there. PATIENCE, DETERMINATION and WILL.
ONE people, ONE planet, ONE future.
SOME TIPS for tree-sitters and The Police (not the band…)
- Have you met: Mitch, Nicole, Rick, John, David, Kevin, Veronica, Gabriela, the brothers Sean and Brandon, Dennis, Wade, Quinsy, Pedro…? Learn the names of the police officers and call them by their first name! They smile! They are humans! Some of them even shake hands and know really funny jokes! Some of them are dancing to the rhythm of our music! All of them feel our music in their hearts.
- Free Spanish lessons for the tree-sit crew and police: Beloved rebel, have you met a Latin or bilingual officer and you speak Spanish? Talk to them in Spanish! Sibling police officer, do you know a member of the Phoenix Coalition who speaks Spanish and you want to practice your second language? ¡Háblamos en español!
- Are you anxious or angry or frustrated and you don’t like meditation? Play some music! Drum, guitar, flute, sing! Run up the fire trail or somewhere else in the woods! Do some gardening! Plant some flowers! Do some Yoga! Quit that miserable job! Focus that amazing amount of energy into creative power, into jamming, into ARTivism!
- What do we do when someone starts acting in an aggressive way, like insulting the crowd and yelling? What is your approach to this violence? Seeing violence causes more violent thoughts, but what is my own violence, verbal or physical, going to accomplish? What are our long term goals? Sun Tzu reminds us that the greatest victory in any battle is to never take up weapons. With love and persuasion, we can win everything!
- Want to do some flyering? Love warrior Jason has some useful tips about quality vs. quantity: connect with the heart. Each encounter is unique.
- Are you overloaded? Are you getting burned-out? Need help? Tell your fellow tree-sitters how your mind and heart are doing! We are all here to help you!
- We need more jamming!