We traveled South 100 miles to a small town in Baja California just east of Ensenada. Watching my two best friends feel so at home in a world they didn't know, is something I will never forget. They seemed closer to understanding a struggle that too often gets a one sided look by the American media.
We were in Mexico for less than 24 hours; appropriately enough a Mexican cop robbed us and escorted us out of the country as soon as we made it back to Tijuana. Unfortunately my camera wasn't rolling, if not I would have loved to have been able to highlight one of the many reasons why people in Mexico feel like they must leave the country.
As we rode home that night -- deported and without money- we were ready to come back to San Francisco to do the only thing we knew to do, speak truth to power.
And that's exactly what we did. We went to an array of protests of all shapes and sizes, colors and causes- from the Iraq war to immigrant rights to joining the famous Berkeley Tree Sit-In.
For those interested in knowing more about the Berkeley Tree Sitters, here goes: UC- Berkeley wanted to build a $125 million dollar state-of-the-art athletics training center but in order to do so they were going to have to cut down 38 live oak trees. One day 3 activists (one of which was a philosophy major at UC-Berkeley) decided to conduct a Tree Sit-In and vowed not to come down until the University changed its mind. Many other young people eventually joined their cause. To many, those 38 oak trees started symbolizing the greater environmental crisis facing the world. We were one of the few people allowed up to film them in their trees, 40 feet in they air. It was wild, especially because I'm terrified of heights.
Even though no one knew our names or our story, we were determined to change things, but something was about to happen that would stop our spirits dead in their tracks...