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Are you a "Ninja"? Can YOU sneak into the Berkeley Oak Grove?
by Jeff Muskrat
Sunday Jul 6th, 2008 1:28 PM
This "mission" is yours if you choose to take it. No group affinity or consensus is necessary, just a love for peace, trees and their defenders.

And of course, this message will self destruct in 5 seconds.
UCPD officers continue the round the clock blockade of gear, supplies and sitters. UC Berkeley has supplied the sitters rations of "food" and water, however, the "May-Day" so-called food bars are junk, full of hydrogenated oils and corn syrup.

Besides the fact the the food conditions are deplorable, the sitters need company, gear, and nothing short of a miracle. Attempts at resupplying the Oaks Grove have had compromises in security. Oaks Defenders are being followed throughout Berkeley by undercover agents, as well as UCPD patrols. Meetings are being crashed by infiltrators. Actions have failed due to the fact that the UCPD has been one step ahead, increasing patrol at planned locations and times.

A "spy" Thursday night was surrounded by Oaks Defenders who caught him listening in behind a wall near the meeting spot. He was a tall, white gentleman with a non-discript British or possibly Australian accent in his forties. He claimed to have an interest in helping the Oaks, then attempted to morally defeat the Oaks cause, and then finally proceeded to verbally attack individual activists with sensitive personal information about their identities.

Due to the large size of affinity action groups, security compromises are almost certain. However, it is important not to alienate activists or create an atmosphere of paranoia. The Oaks Treesit needs your help right now. Group actions will continue to take place. However, the Oaks are in need of professional ïndividual inspired assistance.

This is a call for "Ninja's" with climbing experience to break the lines and sneak into the grove. There is a need for sitters and setters to occupy and set the oaks below the Coast Redwood Stronghold. Most importantly, a network of traverse lines need to be set to allow sitters and supplies to reach the defenders who are held hostage by the network of cops and fences surrounding the grove. This is vital for the defense of this action.

Police presence(8-12 officers) is around the clock near the front of the grove on Piedmont, west of the stadium. Private security watches the perimeter of the stadium, concentrating on the North and South of the stadium. The East is practically open, aside from an 8' chain link fence without barbed wire. The issue with the East is that private security can view anyone who walks around the stadium.

Inside the Oak grove, two 10' chain link top barbed wire barriers surround the action. However, these fences can/have allowed easier access from the ground up into the Oaks. The double fences are to keep defenders and supplies out. But they can also help by keeping the police in/out. The distance between the double fences is 10-15' with climbable Oaks near the west in between the fences. Piedmont has the highest police presence.

It is recommended for anyone who partakes in this action to take the time to observe the movements by security and police. The area is very large, and it takes a lot of personnel to secure. UCPD in dark blue uniforms are often congregating under the Oaks and near the stadium front(west). Private security in yellow jackets are stuck at their posts away from the action.

This "mission" is yours if you choose to take it. No group affinity or consensus is necessary, just a love for peace, trees and their defenders.

And of course, this message will self destruct in 5 seconds.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by J J
Sunday Jul 6th, 2008 8:43 PM
Are you an idiot? Do you have nothing better to do with your time? Do you want a felony arrest record that will bar you from employment and voting for the rest of your life?
by myctoph
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 8:23 AM
Be sure to leave enough energy free to petition the government for redress of grievances at the party conventions in late August. Or it could become imminent to help steer society towards positive change if there is a sudden oil price shock when one of the hurricanes hits an oil rig or Iran shuts the strait of Hormuz and then the trucks carrying the food can't afford to run and have to park, and next there are shortages and conflict. Or maybe the new era of drought for California causes an oakland hills fire and the oaks burn down, so we need to switch to a new plan.
by myctoph
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 8:44 AM
Britain asks stores to prepare for supply-line shut downs.
by leni
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 1:51 PM
ha ha.
Some person managed to get into a tree yesterday.
by Many reasons to save oak groves @ UC!!
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 2:31 PM
Maybe the thought of a potential peak oil food crisis and the effects of said crisis on large urban population centers like the Bay Area would consider the benefit of having oak groves capable of producing (almost) yearly nutritious acorns crops with no additional ferilizer/pesticide input??

Basics on oak groves and acorn crops;

"Before the arrival of the Europeans, California was full of natural orchards of oaks, particularly in central California where 60% of the natives lived. . Each tribe had its own oak groves within their territory. A single large oak tree produced an annual acorn crop of 500-1000 pounds per year. An oak starts to produce acorns after it is about 20 years old, and a tree can live to be over 200 years old.

An oak grove with good proportion of producing trees could yield over 100,000 pounds of acorns for a village in a good year."

read on @;

Additional research indicates that indigenous peoples of CA tended the oak groves as similar to orchards;

"But recent research suggests that California's natives weren't waiting for the manna of acorns to fall from the trees into their hands. Instead, anthropologists and ethnographers increasingly view the state's first inhabitants as agriculturists. True, they didn't plant grains or vegetables or cultivate fruit trees, but they employed intensive horticultural practices to ensure that oak trees would flourish. In their own way, they farmed oaks.

Anyone who has ever nibbled on a raw acorn might doubt that the things are edible, let alone worth cultivating. But once the nuts have been processed to remove their tannins, which are responsible for the acrid taste, acorns are an impressive source of nourishment. With up to 18 percent fat, 6 percent protein, and 68 percent carbohydrate, depending on the species, they compare favorably with modem grains--wheat and corn register about 2 percent fat, 10 percent protein, and 75 percent carbohydrate. The acorns' richness and abundance made them the staff of life for California's natives.

That abundance was largely the result of the careful use of one important tool: fire. Californians certainly didn't practice agriculture in the traditional sense. They didn't domesticate the oak, as Mediterraneans did the almond, by selecting and planting nuts with useful characteristics. Oaks may have to grow 20 years or more before yielding a good acorn crop--hardly a desirable trait in an orchard tree. But by employing fire as a horticultural tool, California's natives achieved a singular feat. No other people have ever bent the recalcitrant oak so effectively to the human will. Simply put, regular low-level wildfires encourage oaks in California. Stop the fires, and plants with low fire resistance, such as shade-tolerant conifers and brush, dominate. This fact, researchers are recognizing, was not lost on California's Indians."

entire article found @;

Tending the oaks includes protection from threats, though the only real physical threat to oaks was the logging and clearcutting of oaks as practiced by the settlers, and in modern times by uncaring or thoughtless people like the UC Berkeley admins!!

We may all be surprised at how quickly people will overcome their 'learned' cultural preferences against eating acorns once a real food shortage hits the U.S. coastal regions. We'll all be thanking the treesitters when the oaks remain standing and dropping their acorns during that time!!

Would people reconsider the value of UC Berkeley's indoor exercise facility built on top of the oak groves when the grocery store shelves are almost bare and the food trucks stop importing conventional produce to the region? Maybe wishing we could fill our stomachs with some acorn bread when hundreds of thousands of other people have already removed and consumed the canned goods from off the shelves??

Another warning of food crisis from peak oil researcher Richard Heinberg;

"Higher oil prices, the loss of farmland to biofuel crops, climate change and the loss of natural resources would combine with population growth to create an unprecedented food shortage, Heinberg claimed.

The only way to avoid a world food crisis was a planned and rapid reduction of fossil fuel use - oil, coal and gas - and a switch to more organic methods in the growing and delivery of food. It would mean a return to living off the land not seen for 150 years.

Heinberg said what was needed was a return to ecological organic farming methods which would require the transformation of societies.

"The transition to a fossil-fuel-free food system does not constitute a distant utopian proposal. It is an unavoidable, immediate, and immense challenge that will call for unprecedented levels of creativity at all levels of society.

"A hundred years from now, everyone will be eating what we today would define as organic food, whether or not we act.

"But what we do now will determine how many will be eating, what state of health will be enjoyed by those future generations, and whether they will live in a ruined cinder of a world, or one that is in the process of being renewed and replenished."

article cont's @;

We can include harvesting wild edible crops like acorns as organic farming, even though it is really more like hunting and gathering. Any form of nutrient aquisition during these times would be helpful..

Since the oaks take a while (20 years) to produce acorns if planted from seed, we should keep the mature oaks of today alive and also plant some new oaks for the future generations. However, if the food crisis hits the U.S. in ten years and the UC oak groves are gone and covered by an indoor gym, there won't be any chances to regrow the oaks from scratch in time to stave off the hunger of the population. Maybe some of the UC admins responsible for the loss of the oaks would make for a good BB-Q, though i would prefer some acorn bread to a putrid and nasty tasting UC admin any day!!

Even if the food crisis isn't an issue in the near future, having an oak grove present as a greenway corridor or island in a region that has fragmented and destroyed the original continuous oak forest would have some intrinsic value for wildlife and oxygen production..

by A
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 3:13 PM
This is maybe a good idea, done somwhere else. Something that we call a FARM! The few trees you're trying to save won't produce enough food to be sustainable. Harvesting requires organization that this small area can't provide. Think shipping, etc.

I went up and spoke with a few tree sit supporters and discussed what's going on here. I'm a VERY open minded person and I have yet to hear any decent reason as to why this needs to continue. Too bad they're not open minded and continue to waste our tax dollars.
by JR
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 7:12 PM
Oh, somebody save those poor tree-sitters from the horrible university and their freely provided, massively toxic hydrogenated oil and corn syrup DEATH STICKS!!!

Come on. Are you kidding me? I wouldn't want to live on Power Bars and water indefinitely either, but seriously. These are people who are squatting on public land, in defiance not only of the law in general, but also of a court order specifically
forbidding them from doing so - and all in the name of a cause that is quixotic at best.

These are not prisoners, political or otherwise, hunger striking for humane treatment, or in solidarity with some group or issue.
This is not a major political issue.
This is not even a minor political issue.
This is an ego issue, an issue of people wanting to pat themselves on the back for doing nothing.
This is the Toyota Prius of activism, the gel "cause" bracelet of political movements.

Nobody involved with this movement is Mario Savio.
This is not 1964.
This is not the Free Speech Movement.
This is not an Ohlone burial ground (not that it matters; cf. the Bay Street shopping complex in Emeryville).
This is not an environmentally significant area.

This is forty or so Coast Live Oaks, a tree species numbering in the millions in California alone, almost all of which are new growth and none of which are particularly old, especially in comparison to some of the truly old specimens preserved around California.
This is a landscaping project from ninety years ago.
This is state-owned land.
This is not going to have any measurable impact on climate change (as opposed to deforestation in the Amazon, which conspicuously lacks tree-sitters for some reason).
This is not going to have any significant impact on ANYTHING except Berkeley's athletics programs and its pocketbook (both negative as long as this continues).

This is a waste of money, time and resources for everybody involved.
This is pointless obstructionism for its own sake.
This is a physical filibuster.
This is tantrum-throwing in the extreme.

This is stupid.

Can we please stop with the machine-raging-against circus revolving around an issue which is entirely pointless except in the minds of its proponents, who think that, by wasting peoples' tax dollars and getting arrested, they are somehow sticking it to the Man? Maybe we could focus on something that matters instead, such as the global energy crunch, or the ways in which celebrities are embarrassing themselves currently - anything but this.
by Try UC Berkeley administration!!
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 7:41 PM
Since some comments brought up the protesters as "wasting tax dollars", that is one inaccurate statement that cannot slide..

If anyone is wasting taxpayer dollars, it is the UC Berkeley administration that plans on building a VERY expensive sports facility over a KNOWN fault line. When the eventual earthquake strikes this region, WHO will foot the bill for repairs??

Taxpayers and residents of Berkeley, NOT the UC administration that planned for this wasteful expenditure!!

Here's a question for the taxpayer concerned comments;

WHY does the Alquist-Priolo Act exist??

One possible answer is so that thoughtless developers stop building senseless projects on known fault lines and then rack up bills for emergency disaster relief and other reconstruction activities following the inevitable earthquakes..

Here's an official answer from the California Geological Survey ;

"The Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act was passed in 1972 to mitigate the hazard of surface faulting to structures for human occupancy. This state law was a direct result of the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake, which was associated with extensive surface fault ruptures that damaged numerous homes, commercial buildings, and other structures. Surface rupture is the most easily avoided seismic hazard.

What is the Alquist-Priolo Act?

The Alquist-Priolo Earthquake Fault Zoning Act's main purpose is to prevent the construction of buildings used for human occupancy on the surface trace of active faults. The Act only addresses the hazard of surface fault rupture and is not directed toward other earthquake hazards. The Seismic Hazards Mapping Act, passed in 1990, addresses non-surface fault rupture earthquake hazards, including liquefaction and seismically induced landslides."

further info found @;

What oaks have is flexibility, the trait of movement that enables them to withstand such forces of nature far better than human made buildings..

Certain places are not suitable for farming, though having a grove of oaks in an urban region would indeed be a source of emergency food in the form of acorns.

Oak habitat is increasingly fragmented by loss of oak forest ecosystems, and groves like the one at UC Berkeley provide an oak habitat island in a sea of concrete and asphalt. This habitat island is essential for the myriad of species that depend on the oaks for their very survival..

Who cares about CA oaks? This from the CA Oaks Foundation's report entitled;

"OAKS 2040: The Status and Future of Oaks in California"

"California oaks are seriously threatened as a burgeoning state population makes ever more use of the wildland. Most California oaks are not covered by the Forest Practice Act, are on private lands and are potentially at risk. The Oak Woodlands Conservation Act of 2004 requires cities and counties to assess their oak resources and to adopt Oak Woodlands Management Plans in order to meet the needs for healthy watersheds. Therefore Oaks 2040 is designed to provide localized information for planners. This paper presents a forest and woodland map of the ten oak types found in California. The most recent statewide forest survey data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program are compiled into an inventory.
The inventory data are then merged to describe the mapped oak types. By merging this inventory with state growth projections, the authors determine which oak woodlands are most likely to face development between now and 2040. Findings are reported for each of six regions: North Coast, North Interior, Central Coast, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Southern."

find report @;

The treesitters and their supporters will not stop defending the oaks, whether comments (UC Berkeley PR reps?) agree with the reasons or not!!

by J J
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 9:34 PM
Lets see. The sport facility is not being built over the fault, a fact that was verified by the court's review of the record. The sports facility is being built in compliance with the Alquist-Priolo Act making all that a moot point. I'm not sure all the acorns in the grove could feed a telegraph bum for a week let alone be a source of food in an emergency. Private money is building the facility, no tax dollars involved, in fact the only tax dollars being spent are on the security keeping the protesters in check. And finally all those currently working in proximity to the fault will be safer in the new facility. Oh and a recommendation that cities inventory their Oak population is not a declaration of scarcity.
by itself
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 9:53 PM
I have always felt that people who are really disturbed about “their” tax money, should complain and fight the state for fighting useless wars, battles. Why would the U.C. spend thousands of dollars to cut down a couple of trees?
It seems to me that the “people” who are wining about “their” money (where does that money come from, liberals?) are not “members of this community” (who support the tree sitters) neither they are “progressives”. They are “someone” who has the interest in destabilizing and hurting political movements.

by A vet
Monday Jul 7th, 2008 10:54 PM
I support these treesitters for one reason, This is a world war I memorial and every tree planted represented a solider from the bay area who was killed (which is 93 trees).

By these trees being destroyed, we are saying we do not care about our soldiers. What will happen 100 years from now when people happen to "forget" about the Iraq war and want to build on a memorial? Will there be outcry? i sure hope so.

Leave it to UC Berkeley to spit on the memories of our brave soldiers.

And yes, I'm serious, i surprised the Marines on Motorcycles have not come to the oaks and support this issue.

I do not agree with most of the reasons the treesitters are up there, but most of you here HAVE to support our troops, and protect this memorial
by Perry
Tuesday Jul 8th, 2008 12:11 PM
This is a world war I memorial and every tree planted represented a solider from the bay area who was killed (which is 93 trees).

This is never publicized- its been called an ancient grove, its been called a Native burial ground. I wonder if its true identity has been deliberately concealed because it would be politically tenuous.
by 2 more reasons to save the oaks!!
Thursday Jul 10th, 2008 4:13 PM
Other facts that UC Berkeley tries to hide about the oak grove;

"UC hides the facts about the oak grove but historian Richard Schwartz believes that the area from the faculty glade to Memorial Stadium, including the grove, is an Ohlone burial ground. UC’s refusal to meet with tribal leaders—upon whose land this university was built—is further racism, as is their 12 arrests of RunningWolf.

UCPD has no respect for veterans, either. A few months ago, a group of veterans gathered to read the names of the Californians who perished in World War I, because the stadium and the grove are a memorial to World War I Veterans. UCPD confiscated the sign bearing the veterans’ names. Recently, the last surviving U.S. veteran of the World War I, Frank Buckles, called for the oak grove to be preserved."

found @;

How ironic that one of the two last living WWI veterans is asking for the memorial oak grove to be protected. Shouldn't that tell us something about honoring memory and respecting the wishes of our elders??

"Frank Buckles: America's Last Living World War I Veteran"

By the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Published: February 6, 2008

1 Known WWI Veteran Left After Bay Area Man Dies

"In 1917 – more than 90-years ago -- the United States entered the Great Conflict in Europe. Sixteen-year-old Frank Buckles decided he wanted in, too. He figured he could fib about his age; say he's 18. But the Army recruiter told him, "No good: you need to be 21." So he kept shopping around until finally, he found a recruiter who believed him when he said his home state of Missouri didn't keep birth records when he was born; it's back home on the farm, an entry in the family Bible.

Soon, young Frank was "Over There" in England. His ultimate goal was France where the action was. It took him a while but eventually he made it, thanks to some sage advice.

"An old sergeant said, if you want to get to France in a hurry, then join the ambulance service," Frank recalls. "The French are big for ambulance service."

Of the two surviving World War One veterans in North America today, Frank Buckles is the only remaining World War I veteran who actually saw the war in Europe."
more on Frank Buckles @;

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