2008 Longest Walk 2 Spiritual Gathering
Berkeley, CA February 11, 2008
The first stop for the 2008 Longest Walk 2 was Berkeley's endangered Memorial Oak Grove on the university campus and site of a Native burial ground. They gathered to call attention to the tree sitters who have protected the grove and burial ground from the university's plan to cut the trees and develop the site. Wounded Knee De Ocampo and others spoke to the group of over one hundred outside the two barbed wire fences blocking entrance to the grove. The Mewuk elder called for the crowd to join the struggle to "protect sacred sites, our sovereignty, the environment, peace, justice" Wounded Knee then led the group to a 200-year-old Coastal Live Oak at the north end of the grove. He encouraged participants to offer their prayers. Save Mother Earth!
They also addressed the current court actions to protect the Native site and of the UC Regent's plans to further desecrate the burial ground. Ayr, Oak Grove ground supporter since the beginning, spoke briefly about the Native history of the area. He praised the courage of the tree sitters and commitment to the grove occupation. The tree sit was in its 437th day.