STATEMENT OF REASON
It is my considered opinion that violence and oppression are the two
chief concerns facing humanity today. While violence results in nuclear
weapons, oppression results in suffering. In the final analysis
violence is the only problem, because without it oppression would not
exist. While violence continues to exist, the greater probability is
that humanity will cease to exist as the direct result of violence.
I maintain that there is no justification for violence. As long as
nuclear weapons exist it is inevitable that, either by intent or by
accident, one day they will be used. On that day it is probable that
humanity will be exterminated, and my point, that force is unjustifi-
able, will prove true.
I am in this country against my will. While I am here I have a
responsibility to scream out against the irresponsible activities of
this government. For the most part my screaming has been ignored, but
lack of attention has not been a factor in driving me away from the
White House sidewalk. Since June 3, l98l, I have fought to retain the
rights guaranteed by the First Amendment. I have stood my ground
against the police, against bureaucracy, and against the suicidal system
of this country. Perhaps one point made by this demonstration will be
to illustrate to the Federal courts that sleeping can be expressive
communication. It may also serve to show that, while it may be
necessary to go to ridiculous extremes to stand up for one's beliefs,
one's belief in freedom need not, cannot, be protected by destroying the
My experience has led me to conclude that ignorance, apathy, and a lack
of compassion abound in the United States. But experience has also
shown that not everyone here is dead. There does exist a definite trace
of intelligence, interest, and compassion in this country. My belief
that a little intelligence can overcome great ignorance is what I
presently rest my hope on.
While I am in this tree I will neither eat nor drink. My demand is that
the United States renounce nuclear weapons, or that either the
government or some concerned individual will assist me in exiting this
country. I have no desire to be part of an organization which would
employ total destruction in an effort to safeguard its vested interests
My death may result as a matter of this experiment. To say I committed
suicide would be like saying that a mountain climber who plunged to his
end as the result of a miscalculated leap committed suicide.
I climb ideological mountains. In this case my calculation is that
sufficient intelligence, interest, compassion, and humanity exist in the
United States to get me out of this moral dilemma. The legal
hocus-pocus of bureaucracy and jurisprudence have placed me here. All
it will take to get me out is a little reason, and logic.
If I should die up here, it was not me who was wrong, but America.
No hard feelings.
November l982 (reprinted October l986)