Though the park was once a place of activism in the 1960′s, People’s Park is now mostly used as a gathering place for homeless people to, uh, chill. Oh, and sometimes there are hip-hop concerts there.

Among the more exciting occurrences at People’s Park is a small-scale protest going on now, as one man sits defiantly in a tree. He was joined on Halloween night by others who have renamed the park Muwekma which is the Ohlone word for “people.” So it’s  still called People’s Park, they are just saying people in a different language … got it.

IndyBay conducted an interview with the tree sitter Zachary RunningWolf. RunningWolf The tree sitter cited several reasons for the protest. One was that George Beier, a candidate running for District 7, wants to put a soccer field and museum in the park’s place. Another was that the university (Wadup UC Berkeley) is mutilating the park’s trees and veggies.

Zachary RunningWolf He closed the interview with, “Come join us, Come save Muwekma park.”

Note: Edited for accuracy to correct the spelling of RunningWolf’s name and to reflect the fact that the tree sitter was not in fact RunningWolf.

Image Source: djwudi under Creative Commons
RunningWolf promotes tree-sit in People’s Park [Berkeleyside]

tree sitter

That tree sitter thing, squeezing out one more headline: and just when we thought it had finally been laid to rest (minus this guy.) Barbara J. Miller, the presiding judge in the 2008 case, has died at age 58. It was her highest profile case. Barbara J. Miller sided with the university, ending the 21 month standoff/media clusterf*ck. Those trees are gone.

Image Source: Shirly Buxton under Creative Commons.
Judge in U.C Berkeley tree-sitting case dies [Chronicle]

tristan anderson

Oh, how six months fly. It seems just yesterday that the Clog covered the poor luck of Berkeley’s star-crossed activist/ex-tree sitter Tristan Anderson. For those of you who don’t remember, some real nasty wrong place, wrong timeliness brought Anderson into unwelcome contact with an Israeli tear gas canister in Gaza the West Bank village of Nil’in and he has been hospitalized in Israel ever since.

This Sunday, friends of Anderson are holding a benefit to raise money for the cost of his recovery. It will take place at the La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Avenue at 8 p.m. Drop a donation of $5 to $20 (or more, we presume, is OK) and expect live musical and spoken word performances and an art auction. It is sponsored by Friends of Tristan and Palestine and the International Solidarity Movement.

Image Source: Nyarlathotep1776 under Creative Commons.
Benefit Sunday for former Berkeley tree sitter severely injured in Israel [Mercury News]

An oak-cupant.Ah, the ties between Berkeley and Israel grow more tangled and antagonistic yet.  What with this recall business all twisted into financial and moral oblivion and “Israeli Apartheid/Peace and Diversity Week” just behind us, the last thing we needed was a direct confrontation.  Unfortunately for former tree-sitter Tristan Anderson, this confrontation came in the form of a canister of tear gas to the head.

Of course, Anderson is not representative of Berkeley.  Still, he was an unyielding occupying force in the trees outside Memorial Stadium during the 21-month protest that ended last September (hundreds of thousands of tax dollars later).  Then known as “Cricket,” his friends and fellow sitters praised 37-year-old Anderson for his idealism and resilient opposition to oppression everywhere.  It was this very spirit that fatefully brought him to the West Bank in Israel—after getting involved in a protest that escalated to dangerous levels—and left Cricket in critical condition.  The Clog sends Anderson its hopes for a successful recovery.

Image Source: Ingridtaylar under Creative Commons
Berkeley tree-sitter injured in West Bank [NBC Bay Area], via UCBLJ

Say it isn’t so! Nine people involved in the oak grove tree-sit were sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Marshall Whitley. Three of the tree-sitter crew received jail time: Kingman Lim, Zachary RunningWolf and Michael Schuck. That’s five days plus a portion of the university’s attorney fees.

The remaining six will serve 50 hours of community service each. Say what? What about those hundreds of days saving the trees, you ask. That wasn’t just community service–that was Earth service.

Well, not when it’s in violation of court orders. Oh, so that’s what those citations were for …

Image Source: Skyler Reid, Daily Cal
Sentences handed down in UC Berkeley protest [SF Chron]
Nine people sentenced for involvement in UC Berkeley tree-sit [Oakland Trib]
via SFist

We broke into song and dance with the final tree-sitters’ descent nearly a month ago. Anyone with their eye on the game this afternoon was reminded of this fateful day at Memorial Stadium.

The UCPD officers most involved with the 21-month charade were recognized for their perilous acts in the line of duty — and by recognized, we do mean hailed, cheered, and adored by some 6,000 sweaty bodies of testosterone and pigskin hype. The police officers took the field during a pause in Cal’s domination (more or less) over Arizona State, and the roar that filled the stadium was, admittedly, a bit sickening. read more »

Two out of the three plaintiffs that sued good ol’ UCB back in 2006 for building code violations withdrew their antics. Apparently they were–don’t sue us for the bad joke–barking up the wrong tree. UC Berkeley spokeman Dan Mogulof is quoted to be “very pleased” with these motions. Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Meanwhile, Cloggers at the Daily Cal wonder what will be left to scorn once the tree-sitters come back down to Earth.

Image Source: Skyler Reid, Daily Cal
Berkeley tree-grove supporters withdraw motion [Inside BayArea]
Earlier: The San Francisco Chronicle Talks About Life on the Median

We all remember how last fall’s football season went, so there’s no need for a recap. With that in mind, there are a few questions the team will need to answer fast. Most important, of course, is the question of quarterback.

It might be wrong to call Riley the “fan favorite”—but we also can’t forget the angry screams of “Put Riley in!” that happened more than a few times. Hopefully the campus-wide sense of apathy/resignation/anger that plagued the end of last season (in no small part due to QB woes) won’t come back to haunt us—anyone can tell you it won’t help.

And what about those tree-sitters? It’s been almost a year since the first fence around the grove went up in anticipation of the first game. Is it time to take it down? Whatever happens, we’ll watch and wait. Hopefully a good omen will come.

Image Source: Dinur under Creative Commons
Bears hope to avoid rift over quarterback competition [Chron]

Ninjas don't smile, JeffAnd then there were three. Er, scratch that–it’s four now. Here it is, last week’s oak drama … in three acts.

Act I

“Jeff Muskrat” enlists the help of a stealthy ninja to accept a dangerous yet brave mission: Climb your way into the oak grove. Unfortunately, his message does not self-destruct as promised.

Act II

A “Jeff”–not necessarily the “Jeff Muskrat”–infiltrates the fenced-off grove, first climbing past the initial chain-link fence. Later he joins his fellow tree brethren. Is this the original Muskrat? The mystery continues.


In an act of mixed victory and menace, the campus increases rations for the tree-sitters, from 1,200 calories to 1,800. It’s still not a sufficient daily average, and as Mr. Muskrat has said in his mission post, the energy bars are “junk, full of hydrogenated oils and corn syrup.” Yeah, well, food is expensive when you don’t go dumpster diving.

Image Source: Skyler Reid, Daily Cal
Are you a “Ninja”? Can YOU sneak into the Berkeley Oak Grove? [Indybay]
Tree-Sitters Joined by Additional Protester [Daily Cal]
University Increase Tree-Sitters’ Rations [Daily Cal]

Four more tree-sitters have vacated the oak grove, leaving just three sitters left.

Last night, three tree-sitters descended and the police managed to arrest one male. The others shimmied back up the trees, but the police later talked down the two, a male and a female dubbed “Olive.”

Most recently, our precious Dumpster Muffin (remember her?) came down. She indicated “that she might be suffering from an undetermined medical condition,” according to the Daily Cal. We will not … make … the … joke. We mustn’t be so mean.

Image Source: Kanaka’s Paradise Life under Creative Commons
Four More Tree-Sitters Voluntarily Vacate Oak Grove [Daily Cal]

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