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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Environment & Forest Defense
Last Four Oak Grove Tree Sitters Forced Down
Today the University forced the last four tree sitters to come down. One 21-month chapter of struggle ends - Let A Thousand Oak Groves Bloom.
At 8:00 am the university attacked the Oak Grove for the last time. The rest of the trees in the grove that the university planned to cut had been cut on friday (9/5/08). Saturday and Sunday they ground up all of the trees to wood chips. Only the redwood tree with four tree sitters remained. Today (9/8/08) workers slowly built a scaffolding all the way up the Redwood tree. Hundreds of supporters, curious students and media members gathered for hours. many were outraged to see the beautiful grove destroyed and their friends endangered. Police arrested five people during the day. Finally the scaffolding reached up to the tree sitter's platform. Arborists then used chainsaws to cut branches and part of the platform. The tree sitters faced inevitable arrest but the university faced a tremendous challenge to get them in a dangerous way with hundreds of people looking on. So at this point the sides negotiated. The university agreed to allow tree supporters to have input on a lands commission and have a say in future projects. The tree sitters came down. No one died. they were arrested. The tree was cut into four sections and carried off by the crane. So ends a 21-month chapter of struggle. It meant so much to so many of us. I still remember lichens, footholds, views - all gone now.
People came by asking what we will do now. There are many things to do. Injustice and destruction is everywhere so it makes it easy. Join us or do it yourself. See you in the trees somewhere.
People gather at 8:00 am to support the tree sit.
Workers build a scaffolding up the redwood tree.
One man is arrested for arguing with a TV cameraman.
The scaffolding grows by the hour.
Supporters keep up the vigil.
A tree sitter climbs a ways down the tree and tries to take part off a cherry picker that was being used to shield workers below.
UC Police Chief Vitoria Harrison and Detective Wade McAdams are brought up in a basket by a crane to order the tree sitters down.
The stump of Grandmother Tree stands right behind a dack hoe.
Abruptly police charge into the street after one supporter.
Police tackle and arrest this young man. They also threw many others to the ground in this incident. I was thrown into a cop moments after taking this photo.
Supporters gather as close as possible to the redwood tree sit.
Hundreds of people gather on the other side of the street.
Another arrest is made, for no reason.
One guy blocks the Brand scaffolding company truck. Give them a call and tell them how much you like trees: 559-444-1970.
A wonderful banner appears to honor Native-Americans and trees.
Huck plays the mandolin as the scaffolding reaches the platform.
A former tree sitter is arrested after being thrown in the dirt.
The scaffolding begins to surround the tree. I had to leave for work at this point but not too much later the tree sitters came down.
Left foreground is the stump of the redwood tree wit the trunk sections behind.