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UC Berkeley News Brief

Judge expands cease-and-desist order against tree-sitters

– An Alameda County Superior Court judge has ruled that a preliminary injunction ordering tree-sitting protesters to cease and desist should apply to all individuals who are illegally occupying oak trees adjacent to Memorial Stadium. Judge Richard Keller's ruling Monday amends his initial order, which was limited to a single protester, David Galloway, who had been identified by name.

"The court finds that the ends of justice would be served by modifying the order ... to insert the phrase, 'and all other persons acting in concert or participating with them,' " Keller wrote in the revised ruling, referring to the protesters.

The judge's order has the effect of raising the legal stakes for tree-sitters who continue to violate state law, municipal ordinances and campus regulations that, among other things, prohibit overnight camping on university property. Protesters who fail to comply with the ruling now face the possibility of being held in contempt of court and could face fines of up to $1,000 and five days in jail.

"We believe the heightened legal consequences will help focus the minds of those involved in a dangerous and illegal occupation of university property", said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. "We want to find a peaceful resolution to this situation, and hope they will follow Mr. Galloway's lead and come down voluntarily."

The university's plans to build a new Student-Athlete High Performance Center will necessitate the removal of some of the trees adjacent to the stadium. While the campus has announced plans to plant three new trees for every one removed, the start of construction has been delayed by lawsuits filed against the project. The judge presiding over those lawsuits has agreed to delay the announcement of a decision until sometime after Cal's final home football game on Nov. 10.