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Standoff with Police as Activists occupy redwoods to oppose UCSC Expansion

by Long Range Resistance
Early Wednesday morning, activists opposed to UCSC's Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) launched a tree-sit in redwoods near Science Hill. UCSC plans to develop the occupied site into a new Biomedical Sciences Facility.
Contact: Jennifer Charles
(831) 430-6791
LRDPaction.media [at] gmail.com

Press Release

Standoff with Police as Activists occupy redwoods to oppose UCSC Expansion

UCSC Students launch tree-sit at site of controversial Biomedical Sciences building.

Nov. 7, 2007 Santa Cruz, CA Early Wednesday morning, activists opposed to UCSC's Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) launched a tree-sit in redwoods near Science Hill. UCSC plans to develop the occupied site into a new Biomedical Sciences Facility.

One person was arrested by UC police early in the morning. Police surrounded the site, where at least 4 activists were 50 feet up redwood trees. A scheduled rally and march that began at 11am drew hundreds of supporters to the site. A tense standoff with police commenced, as supporters attempted to get close enough to the trees to send up supplies. Police pepper sprayed the crowd and at least four people were arrested.

The Biomedical Sciences facility would be the first project under the University's plan to develop 120 acres of forest in order to accommodate 4,500 new students. The Biomedical Sciences building will have no allotted classroom space, despite student complaints about overcrowded class sizes. But it will have room for live animal experimentation, which includes such practices as food/air deprivation, infection, and non-anesthetized surgery, according to campus guidelines (http://carc.ucsc.edu).

This building, which will house biotechnology and nanotechnology research, is exemplary of how the new LRDP marks a clear shift from UCSC's commitment to undergraduate, liberal arts education to the more lucrative programs funded by large corporations. Following the trend of privatizing public universities, students are paying more for education and receiving less. Students are calling for more funding for humanities and arts, including the creation of an Ethnic Studies department. Meanwhile, the UC is cutting faculty, increasing enrollment and ignoring the concerns of students.

Critics say the planned addition of 4,500 full-time students is irresponsible given the existing shortage of resources. They cite overcrowded classrooms, overworked teaching assistants and dissatisfied faculty as signs that the UCSC has already exceeded its capacity. In addition, the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) accompanying the LRDP does not bind the UC to mitigate the impacts of growth. The LRDP calls for the development of 120 acres of forest. Environmentalists say that the current development plans will significantly damage unique ecosystems, including Moore Creek, the Jordan Gulch wildlife corridor and the Campus Natural Reserve seep zone. Again, UCSC refuses any binding language requiring them mitigate the effects of development on impacted habitats.

Students, faculty, city council, community members, and environmentalists all expressed concerns about the impact of expansion during the planning process and were disregarded by the University. The group of individuals who are occupying the trees believe that action is needed to oppose UCSC's destructive plans before construction begins on any of the LRDP buildings.
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LaLaLa
Tue, Jan 22, 2008 6:34PM
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Thu, Nov 29, 2007 4:21PM
greywoolknickers.net (repost)
Wed, Nov 28, 2007 10:30AM
Ben
Tue, Nov 27, 2007 5:23PM
Ben
Tue, Nov 27, 2007 5:18PM
in support of forest
Thu, Nov 22, 2007 8:06PM
Ben
Wed, Nov 14, 2007 11:59AM
cats
Tue, Nov 13, 2007 7:14PM
Ryan
Sun, Nov 11, 2007 11:47PM
acorns rich in phytochemicals
Fri, Nov 9, 2007 11:47AM
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