The ruling in the suit over construction at the Memorial Stadium oak grove is expected this coming Wednesday. Do hear that heavenly music? It’s angels sighing.

You thought the whole thing was dead, didn’t you? The Clog had let the issue lie, nothing was going on (except continuous living in trees and occasional animal-like calls). But now, we might smell a hint of closure.

The ruling was expected earlier in March, but the arguments were extended for extra expert testimony about the Hayward fault. In the meantime–and we can’t believe we’re admitting this–we sorta forgot about the whole issue.

The campus will hold a press conference after this week’s ruling. How will you celebrate/commiserate?

Image Source: Shamim Pakzad, Daily Cal
Ruling in Stadium Suit Expected Wednesday [Daily Cal]

Maybe we’re just in a critical mood, but we don’t get why fasting for a cause seems to be the default protest method of our generation.

Either that or it’s a new PR campaign for anorexia tolerance: Taking a stand against genocide? It’s as easy as starving yourself one day at a time! (Results not typical.)

Fasting is certainly unique–it’s not like many religions or those with eating disorders have experience with intentional self-deprivation. As an added bonus, your voluntary starvation really connects you to the people actually starving overseas whom you’re trying to help. We’re sure they appreciate your solidarity as you chow down at a predetermined ending time.

It’s almost as original as giving up luxury items “by donating $10.” Because we all know $10 buys the real luxuries in our bourgeoisie lives–that second latte, a Blu-ray rental or that really nice mechanical pencil with included lead refills.

We know Darfur is a touchy subject and that ongoing genocide is more than a Save the Children infomercial on television. We know we’re not doing much besides clicking away on our keyboards.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t ask how fasting for a day is supposed to help anyone but your own moral fortitude. There’s no enlightenment at sundown, and the food you might otherwise have eaten probably isn’t airlifted to Africa or even donated to the homeless shelter down the street.

But, nutrient-deprived Darfur saviors, be ye not discouraged. You aren’t the only ones operating on few enough calories to think imitating the impoverished makes a difference. You were just the straw that broke the Clog’s back. There was that nuclear-free hunger strike last spring, and Zachary RunningWolf said he was considering a hunger strike following the first fence’s erection up at the NFVSTTZ in August.

And don’t forget those who simply forget to eat–they’re perfect billboards for your various buttons and stickers and fliers, even if they are living in the library working their butts off to get something else done.

Image Sources: Justin Gonzaga, Yaou Dou, Daily Cal; edited by Krista Lane
As Genocide Continues, Students’ Fast Comes to Close [Daily Cal]

Today, the UC Berkeley LiveJournal community highlighted an opinion piece from the Chron about the Nuclear-Free-Vegan-Save-The-Trees Zone, a.k.a Memorial oak grove. LJers responded mostly supporting the piece, agreeing that the tree-sitters are wasting their time.

From the Chron, Debra J. Saunders writes:

Like young children, the tree-sitters have no sense of proportion. They can leave at any time. They eat and mix with others as they will. The worst they have to fear is five days in jail. Yet they equate their plight with that of Gitmo inmates?

We think that comment alone deserves a slow clap. Krista, our resident NFVSTTZ-obsessed, would stand up, a tear forming in one eye and dramatically smack her hands together. The clapping would be infectious, and soon enough, the rest of Berkeley would follow in kind.

Saunders even mentions the Daily Cal, though not by name. She emphasizes the burden the tree-sitters have put on the campus police force, explaining that

Their cause is so ludicrous that a student newspaper editorial faulted a TV story on the tree-sitters’ Thanksgiving among the branches for failing to mention “the police officers who had to miss Thanksgiving with their own families because they had to patrol the oak grove.”

(The link is our own emphasis.)

The editorial to which she refers, in fact, came after the Clog posted a video from the TV story. Yeah, so we’re obsessed with the tree people … because it’s all so absolutely ridiculous, even for Berkeley.

Image Source: Shamim Pakzad, Daily Cal
With their heads in the trees [SF Chron]
With their heads in the trees [UCB LJ Community]
A Dangerous Home [Daily Cal]
Earlier: Without the Axe, How Will We Cut the Trees Down?

The Nuclear-Free-Vegan-Save-The-Trees Zone in its present state (that is, complete with tree-sitters) celebrated its one-year anniversary on Sunday. Since last Dec. 2, Memorial Stadium’s oak grove has been occupied by hippies with a radical agenda against UC Berkeley’s plan to cut down some trees and replace them with more trees and a fancy new athletic facility.

As tree people know, the university has no right to do what it will with its own property, including kick trespassers off it. Oh, wait.

We’re sure no one is happier about the cheap lease than leader of the pack Zachary RunningWolf, who seems to think the estimate of the university’s site-specific expenses published Friday is low, and yet we find $367,000—about $1,000 per day so far—to be a bit much for the university to just toss at sustaining guests who have far overstayed their welcome.

Surely the money must be going somewhere important.

The Chron points us to the “self-righteous cause” that the tree people are upholding. Says one such self-righteous protester:

People call us crazy monkey hippies, but this is the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I feel like I’m truly alive.

Aside from missing the part where “Shem” actually addresses the “crazy monkey hippie” characterization (remember, for the former debaters out there, silence is concession), we find it hard to believe that vandalizing trees, campaigning against fellow cause supporters and ignoring 23,000 other trees on the university’s chopping block are among the greatest things this protester has experienced.

Nevertheless, we toast to the tree people’s efforts to sustain a really annoying, probably pointless but surprisingly newsworthy year up at the NFVSTTZ.

From the Clog to you, oh tree people, we give you a ream of paper—the traditional one-year wedding anniversary gift—as a symbol of the print the press has wasted writing about you and the paper that could be made from all the trees and platforms you folks are sitting in.

Image Source: Edited by Krista Lane
Campus Releases Protest Spending Estimate [Daily Cal]
Protest Marks One Year in Grove [Daily Cal]
One year into protest, UC Berkeley’s tree-sitters firmly planted [SF Gate]


 KRON Channel 4 News must’ve assumed that it would be hard for Berkeley students to go away for Thanksgiving break–sure, it’s nice to be away from impending midterms, but how will students deal with not knowing what is happening in the Nuclear-Free-Vegan-Save-the-Trees Zone?So KRON 4 took it upon themselves to make the tree-sitters accessible even when you’re watching TV in your Thanksgiving food coma. And the Clog is making sure that you are updated on every move the tree-sitters make … er, don’t make. Because we know that no one can ever get enough of the tree-sitters.This tree-sitter antics are a new holiday twist on the usual. Protest slogans are adapted for the holidays, such as “Home is Where the Tree Is” and “Civil disobedience is what the holidays are made of.”And traditional Thanksgiving activities, like donating food to families (er, tree-sitters) in need, have new meaning in the NFVSTTZ. Because the tree-sitters are violating the law, those who help them face jail time as well.But police just looked on this time, saying that “you have to pick your battles.” Maybe the tree-sitters should adopt that policy too.Thanksgiving in a Tree [YouTube]

A tentative ruling Monday afternoon said that whether protesters provide legal names or not, UC Berkeley is tentatively allowed to remove the tree people fenced in at Memorial Stadium’s oak grove since a couple of months ago.The university and tree people have been at odds with one another since folks set up camp in the Nuclear-Free-Vegan-Save-the-Trees Zone almost a year ago.We share sentiments with folks at The Patriot on this one, but Beetle’s probably more realistic in suggesting nothing will happen until construction is set to begin. After all, nothing has happened since Oct. 1 when the court first ordered the tree people to leave or face $1,000 fine and five days in jail.We noticed stuff at the NFVSTTZ seems to happen about once a month. Hormones? Couldn’t be. The vegetables they aren’t cooking on propane tanks don’t have hormones.And it is the University of California. Expect efficiency? Pay thousands of dollars more for it at a school that cares.While we wait for the NFVSTTZ to become Tree People-Free, at least we can reflect as deeply about the issue as the girl on her cell phone (see picture).Image Source: Ted Kwong, Daily Cal. Edited by Krista LaneNew Ruling: Tree-Sitters Must Go [Daily Cal]Cal can boot all tree-sitters, judge says [SF Gate]Falling Excrement Prompts Court Order for Tree-Sitters [The Paper Trail]Vegan Nutrition with Dina Aronson, M.S. R.D. [Vegan Family Living]