UC Berkeley Web Feature
Judge rules that Memorial Stadium oak grove protest is illegal
FREMONT – Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Keller today issued a preliminary injunction, ruling that the protesters living in the oak trees west of UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium on the site of the proposed Student-Athlete High Performance Center must come down.
Since the trees were occupied in December by individuals opposed to the project, the UC Berkeley police department has recorded more than 150 violations of campus, city and state laws and regulations. Included in the list of incidents, in addition to the refusal of the protestors to come out of the trees, are several assaults on police officers and the confiscation of a number of weapons.
According to UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor for Administration, Nathan Brostrom, "We have no problem whatsoever with people expressing their opposition to the university's plan and policies. We do have a problem with what has become a significant encampment precariously perched on tree branches that are as much as 80 feet above the ground."
For the time being, the judge's order to cease and desist applies to the one tree-sitter, David Galloway, who had been served with legal notice. The university is now exploring options for serving notice to the remainder of those in the trees.
Said Dan Mogulof, executive director of the UC Berkeley Office of Public Affairs, "We are gratified that an impartial judge has reviewed this case and has made a decision in support of our main contention, that this has nothing to do with free speech and that this is, in fact, an illegal, dangerous protest. We are hoping that the protesters will listen to the court, come down from the trees, and if they so desire, they can continue their protest in a fashion that is consistent with the law, campus policy, and is respectful of the rights of the campus community. We are going to leave no stone unturned in an effort to find a peaceful solution to this situation."