Breaking: Treesitters Being Removed?

Posted by: Avinash on Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

I’ll have more updates later, but here are the emails I’m getting.

Everyone,

Please come to the oak grove IMMEDIATELY. UC Police are attacking and trying to remove the tree-sitters! Please come RIGHT NOW. Come as soon as you can. Do not wait. Do not delay. This is it. Come now!

- The Oaks

Is it just usual hippie paranoia, or is the UC finally manning up and doing what they should’ve done months ago? Ken Crawford is following the story too.

Update–nope:

The tree-sit that has been going on for more than 18 months in the oak grove near Memorial Stadium may have reached its end now that UCPD officers are attempting to take the sitters out.

In the latest of several developments, an arborist harnessed on the end of a crane was mobilized onto one of the trees. There, he attempted to cut down a structure in the tree when a tree-sitter began hitting him with a plastic bottle. The arborist was pulled out of the tree by the crane, but since then he has continued to cut other structures.

Estimated to be eight to 12 in number, none of the sitters have been removed from the trees, but arborists have cut down several of their supplies and structures. Two cherry pickers carrying police officers are also on the site. The officers have cut some of the structures and ropes that the sitters use to travel between the trees.

About 100 onlookers watching the scene from Piedmont Avenue, while several tree-sit supporters on the ground are yelling to people in passing cars.

At least 20 UCPD officers in hard hats are currently at the scene. Beginning at approximately 6 a.m., they erected a third barrier around the oak grove that blocks pedestrians from using the sidewalk on the west side of Piedmont.

Apparently it happened early this morning. Too bad. I’d have loved to bring a lawn chair and watched the glory unfold. Regardless of whether a positive decision is handed down tomorrow, this is a great day for Cal fans.

Errr…fuck. Updates from more mainstream sources put that question mark back up. Hopefully they’re wrong as usual.

Authorities removed some of the structures that have housed tree sitting protesters in an oak grove UC Berkeley wants to cut down to make way for a $125 million athletic facility.

Police cordoned off part of Piedmont Avenue near Memorial Grove and brought in arborists to remove the platforms and gear the tree sitters have used to maintain their perches since December 2006. A university official said the tree sitters themselves would not be removed yet.

“One of the things we’re most concerned about is safety and security, of our police officers and the people in the trees. That’s the reason we’re not forcibly removing people from the trees today,” said Dan Mogulof, a spokesman for UC Berkeley.

Hmm, maybe I can still grab that lawn chair. And hunt down a deer and roast it in front of the enraged hippie’s eyes. That would be just.

I’m going out for a few hours, but I’ll try and swing by to document footage of the carnage. Stick with Ken for immediate updates.

Final updates…alright, despite all the initial excitement, they’re not gone yet. It’s just to make sure that things don’t get any bigger than they already are.

A crane was onsite removing items, but not people, Mogulof said.

“At this point, we have no plans to physically remove them from the trees. We are putting pieces in place to make it difficult if not impossible for them to stay.’’ he said.

“It’s really unfortunate that it’s come to this. The university has tolerated more than 280 violations, including weapons, assault and battery. We are now doing everything we can to bring this to a safe and certain end,’’ Mogulof said.

Funny last tidbit before we find out about the decision.

Police cordoned off the oak grove with barricades as tree-sit supporters arrived at the site. About 30 supporters were mulling around outside the grove and many were angered by the university’s move, calling it a “hate crime.’‘

A tree sitter who identified himself as “Squirtle’’ said he was standing on a line in a tree when it was cut. “They cut it and I luckily I had my support line above me,’’ he said. “I threw piss all over them (because) they are trying to break the law. They almost killed me.’‘

Can’t believe the pocket monsters joined the revolution, much less say more than “Squirtle Squirtle!”. Well, water Pokemon are best diffused by electric types, sooo I choose…




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