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Saturday December 3rd, 1pm
Frank Ogawa / Oscar Grant Plaza
14th & Broadway in Oakland

1,000 Paper Cranes for Occupy Oakland

Despite the violent destruction of the Occupy Oakland encampment, people continue to sit and continue to find ways to contribute to peacemaking at Occupy Oakland.

One of our Occupy Oakland sangha members started this project prior to the first destruction of the camp early on a Tuesday morning. On Wednesday night, after all the colorful tents had been removed, I visited our regular meditation spot to reflect on the merit that had accumulated there from our practice. I cried when I saw that a few paper cranes had survived the demolition of the camp and were still hanging from the trees! Read the full story here.

We will continue to make paper cranes that symbolize peace, beauty, and compassion. We invite you to join us – either by making cranes to send to Oakland or by starting a paper cranes project at your local camp.

We are so excited to see 1,000 paper cranes flying peacefully at Occupy Oakland!

– Dawn

An Invitation to Participate in 1,000 Paper Cranes for Peace

Dear friends and family,

I recently wrote inviting you to participate in the Buddhist Peace Fellowship’s Senbazuru/1,000 Paper Cranes Project. In the email, I noted that we were working with a unique timeframe, as the threat of police takeover loomed imminently on the horizon. Soon thereafter, the Oakland Police Department, along with a several other Bay area law enforcement departments, raided the Occupy Oakland encampment. Following strategies of war, police moved in on the camp at 4:40am. Citizens of Oakland woke up to the sounds of helicopters as police aggressively tore down the camp, destroying the camp Kitchen, Medic Tent, and Children’s Village. Police violence continued throughout the day, resulting in irrational violence:
Many of us felt heavy hearts at the state of the situation.
When the encampment site was finally opened back up to the public, a Buddhist Peace Fellowship staff member visited the space where we held our daily noon time meditations. What she found brought tears to her eyes. Though the police had forced their aggressive mode of destruction upon the space and sanitation workers had come through with their high powered hoses to wash away any existence of the care and community created in the plaza, a few of our cranes were still hanging the tree (photo attached). They floated, still in the night air, demonstrating that though angry energy might pass through different moments of our collective in lives, care, compassion and peace always persists.
Thus, we are inspired to continue with our  Senbazuru/1,000 Paper Crane Project with even more resolve. We are asking that you PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD. Also, we invite you to START A Senbazuru/1,000 Paper Cranes Project IN YOUR COMMUNITY!
For more information:
1.Please visit for more information on how you can participate. We
   will be posting updates on public crane folding sessions on our Buddhist Peace
   Fellowship page.
2.Watch an interview on the Senbazuru/1,000 Paper Cranes Project at
As soon as we reach 1,000, we will be doing a public installation of our cranes to symbolize the beauty and mindfulness that is present in the movement.
Occupying the Present Moment,

Original Letter, With Paper Crane Instructions

Dear family and friends,

   You are invited to participate in a project of peace, beauty, and compassion for all sentient beings. 
    I’m working with the Buddhist Peace Fellowship to create a Senbazuru (1,000 paper cranes) Project at Occupy Oakland. We plan on hanging the cranes from a tree that sits in the space where the Buddhist Peace Fellowship has been holding their daily noontime public meditation. 

In thinking about connecting with other Socially Engaged Buddhist movements around the world, the Sarvodaya movement in Sri Lanka
came to mind.  In addition to shelter, water, and basic healthcare, one of the ten basic needs for liberating the spirit, as identified by the Sarvodaya movement, is “a clean and beautiful environment.” 

The Senbazuru project is one way that we can simultaneously create beauty and mindfulness at Occupy Oakland. This is a small but powerful project because Senbazuru has a history of representing efforts and intentions of peace. Though the practice of folding 1,000 paper cranes evolved from one Japanese girl’s (Sadako Sasaki) struggle with Leukemia as a result of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, it has since grown to symbolize a desire for world peace in general.

Here’s how you can participate:
A) Fold paper cranes to contribute to our goal of 1,000 (See folding directions below)
B) Donate origami paper (any size, any color)
C) Donate copies of the children’s book, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. There is a Children’s Area and an Arts and Crafts Area at Occupy Oakland. We hope to engage children and parents in the project through a reading of Sadako and a crane folding session.
D) Spread the word! We invite all to participate! It would be wonderful to have cranes from around the world!

Folding 1,000 cranes will take some time, so this is an on going project. The more people we have involved, the faster the goal can be achieved. Since we are unsure if/when the police will try to disperse the Occupy Oakland community, time is a sensitive matter. Therefore, we are asking that cranes be sent in sooner, in smaller groups, rather than waiting to send in larger collections. We will be hanging the cranes in strings of 10 as we get them.  

Please send cranes and any origami paper or book donations to:
Senbazuru/1,000 Paper Cranes Project

    c/ o Buddhist Peace Fellowship

    PO Box 3470
Berkeley, CA 94703

How to fold paper cranes:

1) How to Make a Paper Crane – Origami  VIDEO

2) How to Fold a Paper Crane  TEXT 

With metta (and much excitement!),

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