We stayed here last night outside of Dixon. Enjoyed the Vacaville heat and the cool steady breeze coming from somewhere. Short day but an enjoyable one with the mules. Making our way to San Francisco to bring the message / energy to City Hall that there must be a trail system in this state and country going north south east and west passed by congress with federal funding and the same effort used to build the interstate freeway system. The Mules belong to and carry the collective energy of millions of Buffalos, Elk, Deer, Salmon, Lions the magic and power of life that energy will be spread through the streets and buildings of San Francisco.
On July 16 2014, the Mules attended arraignment at United States District Court in Los Angeles for the three citations received on May 9, 2014 while spending the night on land under jurisdiction of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. A “not guilty” plea was entered and trial date is set for November 6, 2014 at which time the Mules will return to Los Angeles. Below are the documents that were handed to us in court.
Mule was cited on May 29, 2014, in San Luis Obispo, California under Penal Code 647 (e).
Except as provided in subdivision (l), every person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor: (e) Who lodges in any building, structure, vehicle, or place, whether public or private, without the permission of the owner or person entitled to the possession or in control of it.
The Mules delivered a handwritten letter to the court requesting an extension of the court hearing until December so that they could migrate north for the summer and return during cooler weather.
On July 8, the Mules were given an extension for court arraignment to Dec.11.
On July 10, the Mules received a notification from the Office of the District Attorneys that charges would not be filed at this time.
On January 15, 2015, Superior Court Judge signed a court order to officially dismiss this case.
On May 9, 2014 about 6pm, we were looking for a place to stop as we had been walking all day. We came across this open area. We went into it. There weren’t any locked gates or signs forbidding us to go into it, so we did. I removed the gear from the mules, turned one loose and put one on a picket line attached to a tree.
I fixed my dinner and switched the mules, brought one in, put one out and went to sleep for the night. We were awoken about 10pm with flashlights shining on us. National Park rangers announced who they were and wanted to know what we were doing there.
We told them that we were walking all day, stopped for the night and would be leaving in the morning. They checked with their supervisors who responded no deal. You have to leave.
We said that it’s 10:00 at night, we aren’t interested in packing up and walking in the dark. We are on national park land. This is public property and belongs to the people of the United States. We believe that we have the right to stay here for the night to rest and will be gone in the morning.
The supervisors back at the station said that we had to leave or be taken to jail. So I was taken to the Alhambra City Jail and the mules were taken to the Ventura animal shelter. I entered the jail around 12:00 at night. I was put in a large cell by myself. I went to sleep. I woke up around 6am and started walking back and forth in my cell for 6-7 hours at which time lunch came in and I ate it. Then I went to sleep again.
I was asleep for about an hour when a jailer came in and said get your stuff, you’re leaving. So I got my stuff and walked out to the corridor and the park rangers were waiting. They took me back to the animal shelter where my belongings and the mules were waiting.
I packed the mules up and we left there sometime after dark and we were on our way.
So, in summary, we were arrested by National Park Police by Thousand Oaks for merely stopping to rest for the night on public land that belongs to the people of the United States in an area that wasn’t manicured. It was an open field that we could do no harm.
Sharon Sherman, the attorney who helped Mule on this case, sent this note on November 22, 2013: “I received in the mail today notification that the charges against John here in San Diego have been dropped, the fine set aside and the trial date vacated.” Thank you, Sharon, for the time you spent on this case, pro bono!
The Mules find The Atlantic’s article written by Mark Luckach to be the most accurate article written about The Mules over any other published article.To read full article by Mark Lukach, click The Atlantic.