In Memory, ACBA Member John Murcko
May 23, 2018
John Murcko died peacefully on May 23, 2018 at age 77 in Berkeley, California among friends and loved ones after a long battle with cancer. He had always been an inspired and inspiring tireless activist. In 1967 as a law student, he worked in the office of an African-American civil rights attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas investigating practices in the state prisons there. In the antiwar movement, he helped disaffected GI’s: those seeking Conscientious Objector status or with deep antiwar sentiment and those discriminated against in the military. He argued two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with the rights of GI’s in the military, losing one and winning one. Later, he was a legendary tenants’ attorney and most often, to his clients benefit, he effectively chose to argue before a judge or jury rather than settle cases. John stopped mass evictions from the California Hotel in Oakland and helped to keep it open as affordable housing.
As an anti-imperialist activist, he worked for years with many others to end the blockade of Cuba, taking much needed medical supplies and computers to that country. Finally, he was active in the fight against neo-liberalism in its privitization aspect, to save the Berkeley post office. He believed it belonged to the public. He was much loved and will be long remembered by many for his warmth, intelligence, strong convictions, positive outlook, sparkle and sheer energy.