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  • The General Assembly was getting going. A big dreadlocked man who might have been Cuban was on the human mic.

    “For those of you,” he shouted.

    “FOR THOSE OF YOU!” answered the crowd.

    “Who are new...”

    “WHO ARE NEW!”

    “I have...”

    “I HAVE!”

    “Two announcements.”

    “TWO ANNOUNCEMENTS!”

    “The first...”

    “THE FIRST!”

    “Is about the oak tree.”

    “IS ABOUT THE OAK TREE!”

    “Don’t fuck with the tree.”

    “DON’T FUCK WITH THE TREE!”

    “It represents life...”

    “IT REPRESENTS LIFE!”

    “Springing from the concrete...”

    “SPRINGING FROM THE CONCRETE!”

    “Of Oakland.”

    “OF OAKLAND!”

    “Just like us.”

    “JUST LIKE US!”

    And the crowd rumbled, and people turned to their neighbors and nodded, and the feeling gave you a chill.
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