Climbing Down: Berkeley Tree Sit Ends After Nearly 2 Years

The U.C. Berkeley grove of oak trees has now been leveled for an athletic complex.©

Whoever says that the good old days of non-violent, direct action environmental protest are gone may finally be right. Last week four tree-sitters abandoned their perch—after 21 months when as many as 150 different protestors participated off and on—atop an 80-foot redwood tree that formerly sat amidst an oak grove in the middle of the University of California’s Berkeley campus. Hours later, arborists took down the tree, the last of more than three dozen on a piece of land slated to house a new $125 million university sports complex.

For their part, the tree-sitters told reporters that they agreed to come down on the condition that the university would create a land use committee that would incorporate input from students and local residents into the school’s future land use decisions. "We’re happy to have reached an accord with the university," said 27 year old Raul "Huck" Colocho, one of the four protestors taken into police custody after descending from the tree.

But a UC spokesman denied the existence of any such deal, and said the university has no plans to form any such committee. He added that the university has committed to planting three trees for every one it cuts down.

Source: Mercury News; Save Oaks