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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Situation is Dire in Berkeley

Beginning on Tuesday June 17th and continuing in full force for three days (all day), the University of California has been violently extracting tree sitters. Everything we thought we knew about the Oak Grove being protected by the high visibility which comes from being an urban tree sit is totally out the window. The University has completely lost their mind and its a miracle that no one is dead.

The extractors have been attempting to remove people from the trees by cutting and untying traverse lines that tree sitters are attached to (even when these are their only lines). They are cutting support ropes to platforms that tree sitters are standing on and ramming wrecking balls into the trees. They are cutting webbing bridges out from under people's feet even when the tree sitters are not attached to any ropes overhead, leaving people dangling for their lives. They are crashing into tree sitters and traverse lines with heavy machinery. They are intentionally slicing into tree sitters' flesh with pole saws and people are bleeding. They are trying to physically fight people who are free climbing around at the very tops of trees. They are menacing tree sitters with chainsaws and knives. They are threatening female tree sitters with sexual violence. They are cutting down platforms with no regard for tree sitters who are standing on branches directly below. They are messing with our lines with people on them, creating super steep slopes that threaten to slam tree sitters into the ground. And more. Much more, communication is difficult and info is still coming in.

So far the university has only been able to successfully extract two tree sitters, also convincing a third to come down of his own accord after being cut off from other tree sitters and supplies. There are still about 10 tree sitters holding strong in the trees, holed up together in a Redwood on the north side of the grove.

At this point the University seems to have shifted from overwhelming force to starvation tactics. We remain vigilant in the face of another wave of possible extraction attempts, and are determined to re-supply the trees.

We know who the extractors are. They are Williams Tree Service out of Watsonville, CA.

We are reaching out to the entire forest defense community. If you can help us in any way, now is the time to do it.

We need people in the trees, people on ground support, people helping our legal team, people doing copwatch, people going through video footage, people making media, people doing community outreach, people doing jail support, people doing fundraising, and more. We also need advice, gear, and money (of course).

Any questions, please feel free to call Ayr or Citizen on the Ground phone. (510) 938- 2109

Love Over Fear,
millipede, extracted tree sitter
June 24, 2008

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