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Berkeley has a Tree Sit on the central part of Campus - 13 days
There has been a long standing tree sit to save memorial oak Grove on the East side of campus. Now there is a new tree sit in the central part of campus.
On February 28 a tree sitter called Fresh climbed into a deodar cedar tree and hung a banner that listed some of the worst injustices at the university. It listed poor treatment of workers, the 13,000 Native American remains that the University stores in a basement under the pool and how the University has helped build every nuclear weapon in the US arsenal. The tree sit attracted lots of attention from students who wanted to know what it was all about and others came to support. However, the police also came. They surrounded the tree, put up caution tape and arrested a new student for giving him water.
Several days later Fresh decided to come down. But the police were guarding 24 hours a day, and gave chase. Fresh ran up a nearby coastal live oak (the same tree as in the oak grove) and thus escaped arrest. He continued the tree sit. Thousands of students pass by every day and information is shared as people gather. Chalked messages on the ground illustrate issues that were on his original banner and others, students stop to talk and connections are made.
The only problem is in getting food and especially water to Fresh. The memorial oak Grove tree sit is supplied by the grandmothers every Sunday. They were able to supply Fresh last week. This week the police were ready to stop the water from reaching him. When people tried to reach his tree they were pushed back. An elderly lady was pushed by the police who also pulled another woman's pants down as she was flung to the ground. One student was arrested for throwing a water bottle into the tree. A scuffle ensued as police held back the people with food and water and ripped a gallon of water out of their hands. People tried to get to the other side but police shoved them and arrested another student for being there. The protest calmed down. Food and water would reach Fresh later by other means. He smiled and waved the bottles he had received. Hundreds of students had gathered to watch and others were passing by and stopped to talk. A healthy exercise in the concept of democracy began.
The two arrested students were given citations to appear in court and released.
Stop by the tree sit in front of Wheeler hall, UC Berkeley. And if you are brave then throw Fresh a bottle of water.
Day 10: A new and smaller banner in the tree salutes the Third World Liberation Front and the Memorial Oak Grove.
Day 10: Tree sit supporters hold up tangerines, as the police look on, and point out the silliness of arresting people for providing food.
Day 10: A longstanding problem of the UC system is that it is run by an unelected Board of Regents that is almost all rich white men and has very little input from students.
Day 10: Police and barricades surround the tree.
Day 10: Students check out the tree sit as they pass by.
Day 10: Students pouring out of classes pass the tree sit.
Day 13 (March 9): Police hold back the crowd of supporters with food and water.
People link arms as the police try to take the water.
Many people argued against the police actions.
Fresh prays in the tree.
Police make sure no one gets near the tree with water, people argue with this idea.
The crowd tries to move to another part of the fence.
Police keep the group surrounded.
A student is arrested. He was holding a water bottle but nothing more.
The arrested student is led away.
Fresh holds up two water bottles he was able to get.
Student, tree sit supporters, students who support the tree sit and community members discuss a range of topics in this newly created space of dialog.