Tree-sitters’ last stand
11 September 2008
The 21-month occupation of the grove west of Memorial Stadium came to a peaceful conclusion Tuesday with the removal and arrest of the last four tree-sitters by campus police. Workers erected a scaffold throughout the morning, encircling the redwood where the protesters had taken refuge; police negotiated with the protesters from a basket suspended by a giant crane.
There were nine arrests, including the tree-sitters — all of whom came down voluntarily and were taken to Santa Rita Jail — plus five supporters charged with misdemeanors ranging from obstructing a roadway to battery on a police officer and resisting arrest. But the operation went smoothly and safely — due, said Vice Chancellor for Administration Nathan Brostrom, to “the extreme patience and extreme professionalism” of campus police.
More than 40 trees were removed last weekend, making way for construction to begin on the new student-athlete center. The trees came down after the California Court of Appeal announced that it would not consider review of the unsuccessful lawsuit against the university that aimed to halt construction on the site.