Oh, when will it all be over! The Clog doesn’t care so much about that tree crap as much as people whose livelihood is partially dependent on keeping track of anything having to do with Cal football (which includes the damn stadium that’s on the damn earthquake fault).

Thus, we suggest you go to the commendably thorough California Golden Blogs for in-depth coverage of flinging excrement, grown adults acting like they’re in Never Never Land and high-res photos of Dumpster Muffin’s piss bottles.

In the mean time, we’ll give you a few “updates” on the saga that’s taking forever and ever to wrap–the Daily Cal reports that a stadium go-ahead is likely if they change their blueprints, although actual construction will definitely depend on whether the tree-sitters continue to build forts up there.

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The long-awaited court ruling is finally here–and it’s 129 pages long. According to the Daily Cal, “The ruling states that with a few exceptions, the university’s environmental impact report for the athletic center is in compliance with environmental state laws.”

We think that means, “YAY! WE WON,” but it isn’t for sure. If the uber-long document looks good to campus officials, then it looks good to us. We’ll keep you updated as the press conferences come and go. In the mean time, we still have a few questions.

How will the university get those people out of the trees once and for all? We doubt they’ll come down willingly. And without tree-sitters, where will we go for our daily dose of inane Berkeley drama?

UPDATE 9:22 P.M. - Alright, so it looks like the drama will continue. Daily Cal reporters updated their article and report that the treewok side actually won in-part. Stadium development cannot take place unless the university complies with the Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act and the California Environmental Quality Act by drawing up a new plan. In other words, no trees will be cut down … for now.

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If you haven’t heard, we expect a ruling tomorrow on that whole tree-sit fiasco in front of Memorial Stadium. Meanwhile, UCPD and university-hired arborists are at work cutting down treewok supplies in hopes of eventually ridding the oaks of their longtime inhabitants. One tree sitter was forcefully extracted today after going Dracula on one of the arborists–yes, she bit him–while other tree peeps retaliate against the “intruders” by throwing bottles of excrement. Classy. Check out the Daily Cal article for a gold mine of hilarious quotes. [Daily Cal]

Kern “Middle-of-Nowhere” County–the home of infamously made-up child abuse hysterias created to instill fear in the masses–recently stopped all marriage ceremonies following the state Supreme Court decision on gay marriage on May 15. The owner of Cafe de la Paz on Shattuck Avenue caught wind of this and is now offering Kern County gay couples the chance to win a free ceremony and reception for 10–on the house. [CBS 5]

The bay’s lovely “Spare the Air” day program is retiring. Enjoy free bus rides all day on Thursday for the very last time–BART, trains and ferries will only be free before noon that day. On the bright side, 1,900 East Bay residents in 20 properties have received free bus passes! [Contra Costa Times]

Earlier: The News in Our Shorts: College On Crack


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]


dsc_0002.jpg

UC Berkeley treated our resident Cal parakeet, “Fresh,” to quite a spectacle yesterday–and we’re not talking about the performers for Pilipino Cultural Night who were practicing a heartfelt rendition of Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” on Dwinelle Plaza, directly across from his perch.

No, Fresh had a gang of angry supporters by his police-lined fences on Sunday afternoon. Among the riled up company was our favorite all-purpose protester, Zachary RunningWolf–tricked out in his usual impeccably-selected anti-American t-shirt.

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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]



As of late Monday afternoon, an Alameda County judge ordered the sorta homeless, media-garnering, poo-flinging tree sitters to climb down or face five days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

We thought living in a fenced-in tree for ten months would be greater punishment than five days in jail (because, let’s face it, who really knows what goes on up there), but surely the $1,000 additional fine for noncompliance will really bring them down. It’s not exactly like they can hold regular jobs.

So the Nuclear-Free-Vegan-Save-The-Trees Zone is now the Tree-People-Free Zone, and frankly, what a relief. Fewer feces, fewer propane tanks, fewer tree people and fewer hyphens never hurt anyone.

According to The San Francisco Chronicle article, “The judge … agreed with lawyers for UC, who said the protesters could exercise those rights somewhere else and that the university had the right to keep people off its property.” Basically, the trespassing question is at last answered.

We’re kind of relieved, really, that at least the battle has been won, if not the war. It’s not like we especially care that there’s this conflict around them or anything, but as we’ve said before, it’s old. How much more can we say about it? For that matter, how much longer can the whole thing last?

Image Source: Ted Kwong, Daily Cal
Judge orders tree-sitters at Cal to get down [SF Gate]
Huh. [Beetle Beat]


Anybody walking by Dwinelle Hall today would have seen the bright yellow police tape around the redwoods. These trees near Sather Gate and Stawberry Creek are still the home of a few tree sitters protesting various things, among them the UC deal with British Petroleum.

On Thursday, the Daily Cal reported two UC Berkeley students descending from the trees, but that’s not all, folks.

Today, about 3 p.m., there was much ado about something. A long metal ladder was perched against the occupied redwood, and two police officers stood by in the taped-off area. They were later joined by a couple more officers. An important-looking man in a gray suit paced from the white truck to the edge of the tape. He kinda scared us. Outside the perimeter, two more officers walked by, one on his radio describing his location.

Don’t people have better things to do than sit in trees?

We hurriedly snapped some pictures while students coming from class speculated the hullabaloo. We apologize for their suckage. We left our wide-angle lens at home.

If you click on them, you might be able to make out some officers, trees, a truck and (if you squint really well) a ladder.

Though we aren’t all tree sitters, the hubbub does coincide with a recent vote in the ASUC Senate about the BP deal. The senators called for

bq. a thorough and ongoing external review by experts who have considerable professional and academic expertise in the fields of ethics, intellectual property rights, public-private conflicts of interest, and the social and environmental impacts of the proposed research.

Last week, faculty members of the Academic Senate voted against such review.

This we garner from the Berkeley Daily Planet. We guess somebody’s got to cover news of the goings-on in Eshleman.

UC Student Senate Urges Caution on BP Contract [Berkeley Daily Planet]


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