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A Story-Line of November 7th and Supplies Wish-List
by LRDP Resistance
Friday Nov 9th, 2007 9:23 PM
At around 1:00am on Wednesday morning, a dozen people began hoisting platforms into redwood trees at the proposed site of a new Biomedical Sciences Facility. This facility is the first scheduled construction project under UCSC's new Long Range Development Plan, which threatens to add 4,500 students to campus and destroy 120 acres of forest in the upper campus.
THERE IS A TREE-SIT ON SCIENCE HILL!

...at the site of the proposed Biomedical Sciences Facility, the first construction project of the new Long Range Development Plan. Support is needed, to keep tree-sitters safe and to occupy the autonomous-zone that has been established beneath the trees with festivities, discussions, classes, and creative spontaneity. All are welcome to visit and stay at the site, which will be occupied 24-hours, every day.

THIS IS NOT ONLY ABOUT THE FOREST!

People oppose the current LRDP for many well-founded reasons, and the destruction of the forest in upper campus is one of them. Other popular opposition to the LRDP is concerned with the corporate takeover of the University (privatization), academic priorities, the economics of poor planning, the undemocratic nature of the UC, the dangers of biotech and nanotechnology, animal experimentation, and the list goes on. Some of those at the occupation are simply inspired by the sense of community and togetherness that can be felt around the tree-sit. Everyone who is involved in the tree-sit is there to stand for what they believe in, and to discuss these critical matters with anyone who cares to engage.
To learn more, please visit:
http://lrdpresistance.org/

A STORY-LINE of November 7th, followed by a supplies wish-list:

At around 1:00am on Wednesday morning, a dozen people began hoisting platforms into redwood trees at the proposed site of a new Biomedical Sciences Facility. This facility is the first scheduled construction project under UCSC's new Long Range Development Plan, which threatens to add 4,500 students to campus and destroy 120 acres of forest in the upper campus.

One platform was secured into the trees and another was about to go up when a police car arrived. An hour later, police had surrounded the area. One person was arrested, charged with trespassing and "mutilation of a tree." Five people were able to stay perched high in the trees, after somehow managing to raise a second platform and scramble up to safety while a police officer was present. The police taunted the sitters, telling them that what they were doing was "so dangerous," while refusing them any supplies. The tree-sitters, separated from each other in three different clusters of redwoods, spent a long, cold night and morning with no food and very little water. One tree-sitter, whose platform was confiscated by the police, sat on tree branches all night wearing only a t-shirt and his harness.

The police surrounded the parking lot with caution tape as students, faculty and staff began arriving on campus. At 10:30am a press conference was held outside the police lines to explain to the gathering crowd why there were people sitting in the trees.

At 11am, a rally to oppose the LRDP began at the Bay Tree Plaza, as planned. Hundreds of people arrived to listen to speakers talk about the many, many reasons why they are opposed to the LRDP. The crowd was energetic; most people had heard about the tree-sit and were excited to show their support. A little before noon, the crowd got worried when they saw a cherry-picker heading up the road. One of the speakers got up and told the crowd that the tree-sitters needed support and were without food and water, and, without further ado, the rally turned into a march to deliver supplies to the tree-sitters.

With great excitement, around 400 people filled the streets, turning cars around and stopping buses in their place. The sitters, who had been in the redwoods for about eight hours at that point, could hear the clanging and banging of Trash Orchestra as the crowd grew closer. The cops, surrounded by plastic orange fencing, formed a perimeter around the trees. They were armed with pepper spray, tasers and tear-gas guns.

"We need to get food, water and blankets up to our friends" went out the call. And within minutes, tons of supplies appeared. Students went to their houses or took snacks out of dining halls, bringing back as much food as they could carry. People found water wherever they could, and in some cases donated their personal water bottles. Blankets and sleeping bags appeared and people took the sweaters off their own backs to send up into the trees. Now they just had to get the supplies past the police line.

Supporters encircled the area, looking for the best way to get to the trees. People started pushing in closer and cops responded with pepper spray and batons. Our friends were cold and hungry, and we were not about to back down and allow the cops to starve them out.

The police continued to pepper spray the crowd, and began to strike out with batons and violently tackle and arrest people who ran forward in attempts to send up supplies. At least one person was de-arrested by people in the crowd. A total of five people were arrested in this confrontation, and many more were hurt as pepper spray filled their lungs and their eyes. But this time protesters weren't the only ones taking a beating. One cop was accidentally pepper-sprayed in the face by another cop, and another cop was punched in the face. The protesters didn't fall back as the police pushed in, they fought back.

The protesters managed to push the police line back, surrounding the central cluster of redwood trees. As the first bit of food - a small plastic bag of trail mix - was sent up the line, everyone cheered victoriously. Supporters rushed to tie food, water and sleeping bags to the lines as fast as they could. People donated bags and backpacks to carry the supplies up in.

With excitement and momentum, the crowd continued to push the police line back. Finally, overwhelmed with the number of people who were steadfastly determined to hold their ground, the police retreated to a nearby corner. A third platform soon appeared out of nowhere and was hoisted into the trees to the tune of a cheering crowd. Eventually the police had entirely vacated the area, and we began filling it with food, laughter and music.

Groups began discussing what to do next: how to hold the area under the tree-sit and how to make it welcoming as a social space. Conversations about non-violence and self-defense took place, as people felt the need to protect themselves from the police. Food and water continued to show up, until there was far more than the original stockpile of provisions that police had confiscated in the morning.

As night began to fall, a couple of people from the UCSC Fire Department stopped by to see what was going on. They wanted to say hello, make sure that everything was safe, and insure that there wouldn't be any campfires at the site. One firefighter commented that the platforms looked "expertly rigged".

That night, around 30 people slept under the trees, keeping an eye on their friends and watching out for cops.

There are three platforms and six people up in the trees, suspended at around 75 feet. The platforms are carefully secured to the trees using only ropes, preventing damage to the redwoods. Safety is a priority for sitters, who are properly trained before their first ascent, and always attached to some kind of safety line while in the trees. Traverse lines have been set up so that the tree-sitters can zip around freely between platforms. Sitters are free to stay up there as long as they want, or to come down with the confidence that someone will be willing to replace them.

Below the trees is an autonomous zone: a space for people to interact freely, to share their knowledge and to strategize about how to create a better world. Workshops are being planned, classes will be held there and there will be discussions and creative projects of all kinds.

The overwhelming show of support for the tree-sitters says a lot about how people feel about the LRDP and what we are able to accomplish when we come together to create resistance. But the events of November 7th do not represent an end in themselves -- they are only a beginning.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - -


If we are going to keep the space below the trees, we need to involve as many people as possible. Spread the word! Bring your friends! An emergency phone tree is being set up, to be used in the case of a police threat.

Visitors are welcome at the site. Come engage in conversation, find out what's going on, and perhaps lend a hand! Tree-sits depend upon active community support. Below is a list of supplies that will be needed on a continuing basis.

TREE SITTER'S WISHLIST:

food, of all varieties, perishable and non-perishable - fresh produce, especially!
reading material
your presence on the ground beneath the sit
tarps
first aid kits
headlamps
climbing gear
- climb lines - both static and dynamic
- truck rope
- harnesses
- carabiners
- parachute cord
- steel links (quick links)

further coverage (photos, video, news reports) can be found at Santa Cruz Indymedia:
http://indybay.org/santacruz/

To learn more about the LRDP and why it is so avidly opposed, visit:
http://lrdpresistance.org/

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Stop UC Berkeley Vivisection
Saturday Nov 10th, 2007 3:51 PM
We have tons of respect up here in the East Bay for what you all are doing! Keep up the fight!

UC Berkeley is planning to level Oak trees and demolish Warren Hall to build an animal torture facility (oops. I mean a Biomedical and Health Sciences facility) that will provide a 70 percent expansion of the Northwest Animal Facility. Demolition of Warren Hall could begin as early as next month.

We have to stop all of the UC's sick plans. Keep it up. We will win!
by lauren brown
(laurbrownathotmaildotcom) Saturday Nov 10th, 2007 4:36 PM
I understand that the parking lot is now considered a "liberated zone" where rules apparently don't apply. However, in addition to stealing food, tresspassing, dropping tens if not hundreds of large branches off the trees they are supposedly not damaging, and whatever other laws they may or may not care they are breaking, the treesitters and/or their supporters are unlawfully blocking access to two handicapped parking spots that get used on a daily basis. The spaces are inaccessible due to a myriad of rocks, ropes, wood, and most notably a large picnic table in the middle of the roadway. I can't fathom how anyone, despite their political beliefs, would think this is ok.
by leni
Saturday Nov 10th, 2007 5:08 PM
here's a nearby 4400 acre weapons testing facility between Santa Cruz and Bonny Doon at the end of Empire Grade road.
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2006/08/11/18296139.php

It is difficult to determine what exactly goes on at Lockheed's facility nearby because they are very restrictive about answering questions. They have a gate and a fence, and there are only rare reports by nonworkers who have had an opportunity to visit, and describe what this area looks like.

It is labeled as their space technology center. Their main plant is in Sunnyvale, and their Santa Cruz mtns forest site is where rocket tests could be conducted. Rocket tests at other sites have released toxic perchlorates into municipal water supplies, but outsiders are having a hard time figuring out what activities they are doing up there. They have been fined for pollution at other sites in Sunnyvale and Southern California
Several local groups are actively trying to force them to release information, conduct water and soil tests, and also confront them on the ethical ramifications of their manufacture of the Trident nuclear submarine, F22 and F16 fighter jets and a broad array of other weapons.
http://www.ccalm.org/
http://indybay.org/newsitems/2006/08/10/18296105.php
http://www.scwit.org/history.html#lmhistory
http://www.rcnv.org/rcnv/archives/2004/lockeed.htm

Lockheed does not contribute to the economy by producing useful goods and services. They net $30billion/year of government tax dollars to produce weapons, which is helping contribute to the $2 trillion expected total cost of the Iraq conflict. This will be paid by us all, and is strongly contributing to the high inflation insecure economic environment that any graduating seniors at UCSC will face this year as they try to land a job.

Indeed, not that many graduating seniors or local high school students are able to afford to live in Santa Cruz, coastal California, or the Silicon Valley, even though so many grew up here. Housing prices are extremely high, with medians near $750,000 in Santa Clara county. The weather is a factor, but the reason why our housing bubble grew so much larger than the peaks in Portland, OR, Arizona, or Austin, TX where houses went into the $300,000s is the high paying technology industry of the San Francisco Bay area.
A dirty open secret about Silicon Valley tech jobs is that only a few thousand people work at some of the famous companies such as Google and Apple. Perhaps the majority of jobs in the region is military related: tens of thousands of people in Sunnyvale and San Jose work at Titan, Northrop, Kaiser, Raytheon, General Dynamics, BAE. And all of this money flowing to the military jobs via taxes collected on the rest of the country forces prices up and makes regular people compromise in order to be able to stay here. People who want to have children and buy a condo easily are forced to 'sell out' and accept work in these industries.
by leni
Saturday Nov 10th, 2007 5:28 PM
640_lockheeddoon.jpg

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