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Derek McMillan

Jack London Oak

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I got this message today. I do not live in America and cannot verify

all the details. However it seems a bitter irony that people should

seek to protect an oak tree planted in memory of a one-time tramp and

socialist....from homeless people and people seeking social justice!

>Dear Fans of Jack London Everywhere




>Tonight, with a plea from the bottom of my heart, as one of Jack London's

>great grand daughters -who usually shies away from the role for personal

>reasons: I appeal to your basic humanity - please step forward and give

>whatever support you can muster *right now* to the good

>people who are on a hunger strike for social justice, equity and

>education shelteringbeneath the Jack London Oak Tree

>at 14th & Broadway in Oakland. They are there, sheltering in place,

>beneath the Jack London oak tree (see below) because their

>basic rights to protest are threatened. Their basic rights under the

>first amendmendent of the constitution of the United States of the

>people to peaceably assemble is again threatened. Their protective

>equipment (sun shade etc) has been confiscated by the police, so

>logically, they have taken shelter under a tree.

>In spite

>of promises by Oakland City Council Members, they have been harrassed by

>the Oakland Police Department and tommorrow they are threatened with

>being fenced or evicted or whatever to save the "sacred tree". The sacred

>tree was planted in honor of my great grandfather, Jack London in

>1917, a year after his death(see below). I will be there starting

>at 6 am tommorrow to say that Jack L ondon would have supported this

>heroic effort and more. There will be a community support rally Saturday

>(5/15/04 at 11 am, I will be there then too, as soon as I can.

>Please someone get the press there?


>The harrassment of Cesar Cruz & the March4education.org folks by the

>Oakland police is certainly reminiscent of my town's (RICHMOND)

>"anti-camping" ordinance which begs to be repealed. It is reminsicent

>of one of Jack London's pivotal political

>turning point when after deserting from Coxy's Army of the Unemployed,

>he went bumming, got educated by radical "bums" (unemployed"), was

>arrested for vagrancy, denied the right to self representation by a

>judge, sent to the penitetiary for 30 days where he witnessed horrific

>brutatlity against a black inmate. Oakland police department's

>confiscation of portable toilets (paid for in advance), sun/wind shade

>equipment , right to sleep in the public park etc. is just the same old

>"bum's rush" that <bold>Jack London</bold> was given when he was on the

>road. Cesar Cruz and the other hunger strikers are making this sacrifice

>to <bold>save the education of the children of Richmond whose education

>is compromised by budget cuts</bold> (www.March4education.org for

>details). They marched on foot 70 miles (including 4th graders through

>adults) from Richmond to Sacramento, during the spring break, where

>they were denied audience with Governor Schwartnegger, who at the same

>time, purportedly , met with school children from an affluent distrcit


>I am a librarian at the City of Richmond Public Library where half of the

> library staff is laid off effective tommorrow(5/14/04). We will go from

>a proud and healthy 58 open hours a week to a paltry 24 hours a week

>(branches closed) starting Monday May 17, 2004. <bold>A light goes out

>in Richmond. Don't let it be permanent. The cities and counties of

>California are being fiscally raped by the state, Richmond is simply in

>the forefront, we are all being raped by the cost of the war in Iraq.

>The physical abuse of the people of Iraq is being paid for by us. Our

>financial ruin is paying for this outrage, We must stand and say NO MORE

>to this war. Eating our children is not acceptable.


>JL Oak tree history :



></bold>THEY are survivors, every one. They have eluded the ravages of

>time, the forces of nature and the wrecking ball of mankind. They have

>stood and watched as history traipsed beneath their branches, from the

>quests of early explorers to the high jinks of turn-of-the-century

>college students. Some have endured battle scars still visible on their

>trunks; others even bear the last remains of their owners. In honor of

>Arbor Day, an annual holiday dedicated to the planting of new trees, we

>offer a salute to the historic Bay Area trees still standing right in our

>back yard, trees that have defied expections and inspired devotion.idents

>still like to post birthday and anniversary messages ... \


>Jack London Oak -- Oakland Dan Gallagher, Oakland's city arborist,

>bristles at the thought that the Jack London Oak might be an also-ran to

>the Danville Oak. "I'll put up our tree against their's any time," he

>shouts indignantly, in a call placed on his cell phone from beneath the

>oak tree in Oakland's City Hall Plaza. In 1917, the year after Jack

>London's death, the oak was dug up from Mosswood Park and replanted at

>its current location as a form of commemoration. When the plaza was built

>several years ago, there was extensive design work to preserve the tree,

>including a specialized drainage system and a concrete wall. This

>afternoon, Gallagher reports, Oakland's denizens are basking in the

>tree's shady ambience, strumming guitars or eating an afternoon snack. "I

>bet you don't see anybody sitting under the Danville Oak tree," he

>chortles, referring to the tree's location on a roadway median. And

>although it's not much of a boast because his tree is probably a couple

>of centuries younger, he is also confident the Oakland oak will be the

>last one standing. "I bet the Jack London Oak will outlive the Danville

>Oak," he says. "I'll bet my career on it."

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The March4education website is back up and the story which it tells is remarkable.


The state starves education of funds and parents go on hunger strike to support the teachers.

Read it.

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