February 1, 2007

If you are the big tree ...

If you are the big tree, we are the small axe, ready to cut you down, well sharp to cut you down - so goes a song line from Bob Marley's "Small Axe." Two recent events remind me of this political song line as well as song lines from Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" (see below) and activist philosophies like "act locally," "the grassroots," "small is beautiful," and "it only takes one ...." 1. On January 29, 2007, Alameda Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller barred UC Berkeley from proceeding with plans to remove a grove of oaks and other trees in order to retrofit and expand its athletic facilities. News stories Save the Memorial Oak Grove Berkeley Daily Planet, Jan. 31 Alameda Times-Star, Jan. 24 Contra Costa Times, Jan. 23 Mercury News, Jan. 23 San Francisco Chronicle, Jan. 23 The New York Times, Jan. 23 2. This week, Pacific Steel Casting, located in Berkeley, settled a lawsuit filed by Communities for a Better Environment, an Oakland-based health and justice advocacy organization. News stories Oakland Tribune, Feb.1 Camelia Street Blog, Feb. 1 East Bay Business Times, Jan. 19 They took all the trees Put em in a tree museum And they charged the people A dollar and a half just to see em Dont it always seem to go That you dont know what youve got Till its gone They paved paradise And put up a parking lot (Joni Mitchell, see LyricsFreak)

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