an earthquake definitely would have sucked.Surely y’all remember the tree-sitters (with celebs like Tristan Anderson, the memory isn’t likely to fade that fast)—but maybe some of you have forgotten what all the hullabaloo was about in the first place.

Well, it all began once upon a time with the construction of a sports training center neighboring Memorial Stadium. That structure, for all the insanity its saga wrought, is currently on schedule for completion next summer.

However! Tomorrow could serve up a monkey wrench in the form of the California Oak Foundation, the final contender of three organizations (also including the Panoramic Hills Association and the City of Berkeley itself) that originally opposed the project. A hearing in the San Francisco Court of Appeal will allow the group to conclusively make their case.

Considering all the trees are tragically dead and gone, we were, at first, a bit perplexed as to what exactly was motivating the Foundation to appeal the 2008 ruling that allowed construction to carry on. Apparently, they’re concerned that “the project wasn’t adequately studied under state earthquake zoning and environmental laws,” and all our lives might be in grave danger.

On the whole, it’s very considerate of them.

Image Source: ingridtaylar under Creative Commons
SF Court To Hear Challenge To UC Berkeley Sports Center Wednesday [SF Appeal]

3361042955_e30d99acdbYou may recall Tristan Anderson, peace activist and one-time occupant of UC Berkeley trees, who took a tear-gas canister to the head in the West Bank last March. You may even have pitched in at a September benefit to raise money for his rehab and the skull surgery he underwent toward the end of the year.

Regardless, it might interest you to know that Israeli officials will not, in fact, be charging police apparently responsible for throwing the aforementioned canister with any type of crime. Anderson’s family is apparently contesting the determination, which cites a lack of “criminal intent”—a ruling that representatives for the International Solidarity Movement fiercely criticized.

Meanwhile “Cricket,” as Anderson was once nicknamed, subsists in an Israeli hospital, where we hope he will eventually make a full recovery.

Image Source: Nyarlathotep1776 under Creative Commons
Israeli officials will not file charges against police involved in severely injuring former UC Berkeley tree sitter [Oakland Tribune] via Inside Bay Area

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