Helpers of UC Berkeley Tree-Sitting Protestors Arrested

Published: September 18, 2007

BERKELEY, Calif. – As a result of protesting the construction of a new campus athletic center, 21 students of University of California, Berkeley were arrested for trespassing, after climbing a fence to deliver supplies to protesters sitting in oak trees at the university’s intended new site.

Protesters have been sitting in the old oaks since the university announced in December plans to build a $125 million athletic training facility, meaning that the historical trees would be cut down.

The 30 plus students who mounted the fence were all members of the Free Speech/Free Tree Student Coalition. They argued the fence challenged them to deliver supplies to protesters and demanded the fence be taken down. Other students contend the fence has blocked their right to enjoy the grove where the oak trees grow.

The university states that the grove is the only possible place the athletic center can be built.

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Arguing that the protesters create a danger to themselves and to the neighborhood, the university has requested a judge to order the sitters out of the trees.

The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 1.

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