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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hired Climbers at Berkeley's Oak Grove. Gear and Possible Tree-Sitter Extraction in Process!

For immediate release: Feb. 19, 2008

Contact: Ayr 510-938-2109

Berkeley, CA- Hired climbers and UC Police arrived at the threatened oak grove on UC Berkeley (UCB) campus early this morning, where tree-sitters have protected the oaks from UC's development plans for over 14 months as a major court decision on UC's plans is pending. At last report, two climbers had scaled the large redwood tree in the oak grove, where a platform is set up, taking gear and ropes, and are now in other trees. They have not yet attempted to arrest anyone, but the situation is unclear and unfolding at the current moment.
There are at least three tree-sitters in the trees, which are surrounded by a double chain link fence topped by barbed wire, as the UC authorities have been trying to prevent re-supply of food and water to the protesters in the long stand-off, the longest running urban tree sit in the environmental movement. At least one tree-sitter has employed a "lock box" blockade technique, making removal difficult. The police's intentions at this moment are not entirely clear, as supporters of the tree sit continue to gather on site. The Grove, location of a Native American burial site as well as the grove of native coast live oaks, whose cutting City of Berkeley law prohibits, is located on Piedmont Avenue just north of Bancroft Way next to the International House.

Karen Pickett
Bay Area Coalition for Headwaters
2530 San Pablo Ave.
Berkeley, California 94702

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