Sunday, November 02, 2008

Aparthied Wall @ Lake Merritt draft

I don't know how many of you have been to Lake Merritt recently, but here is an apartheid wall erected which keeps us from being able to walk on the Lake front. Last Saturday as I walked the Lake after the Oakland Community School Reunion, I wasn't aware that this would be the last time I'd be able to walk completely around the Lake. The net time I walked, early during the week, there was partial fencing which I knew would be completed before I probably got back, but it was such that even though signs said to walk on the sidewalk, we could ignore it.

Not anymore. It is complete. The trees encased in orange netted fencing. I think they are slated for execution. The others on the opposite end of the Lake--Oak and 14th Street are already gone. There are bulldozers and other vicious looking equipment that has already uprooted trees, grasses and anything that once called this particular portion of Lake Merritt home. The necklace of lights on this portion of the Lake front is also gone.

So, it's dreary and I have my umbrella, but I'm walking anyway. It's October 31 and I planned a quick walk around the Lake, to document this invasive presence--the fence and the orange netting and the doomed trees.

It was sad.

Unlike Berkeley where people tree sit and have to get carried away, no one sits in these trees and over the past two years...or what feels like two years, hundreds of trees have been reduced to kindling. We are a first world nation and supposedly should know better, yet we are chopping down trees...killing an organism which manufacture air.

Crazy. And the killing has just begun. Trees are slated for felling in the median or intersection between Lake Merritt Bakery and Lakeside. The trees at the old Kaiser Auditorium are also on the hit list, not to mention what's left of the tea trees, many already gone.

If there is a hell, the murderers will not be sleeping well for long. I agree with the protagonist in the film, Lemon Tree. Trees are like people...they have feelings, they bleed...what is sap but blood and they are have spirit which when reduced to a stump survives.

I even noticed new growth where the old trees once stood. The work is supposed to be complete by August 2009. The rendering has new trees planted where the old one once stood. This is like getting rid of a people and replacing them with new people without a history, who after several generations might not even be aware that once where they reside, once stood a nation.

Sounds like Palestine. History is getting lost because the historians disagree on what really happened and since possession is half the battle. Israel is in possession of Palestinian land, but the absent Palestinians have no right to return to claim what is theirs.

Just like the trees...yet they keep coming back anyway..even when all that's left is a root.


Post a Comment

<< Home