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bcitizenStadium Oak Grove is a video index of recordings that chronicle the urban tree-sit on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley and community efforts to preserve the Memorial Stadium Oak Grove...and UC's proposed destruction of these trees to make way for a $125+++ million gymnasium.

Since December 2, 2006, the tree sitters have made it clear that they are only exercising their constitutional-protected right to engage in free speech, to peacefully assemble, and to seek judicial redress for what they view as an unlawful and ill-conceived and designed project. Bcitizen @Youtube

UC Berkeley Police "Oak Grove-Mania"
Berkeley CA, September 7, 2008

UCB PoliceThis week marks the first anniversary of UC’s destruction of Berkeley's Memorial Stadium oak grove. One year ago university police initiated the final push to remove the tree-sit lodgers and ground support.

For more than 600 days our local, nonviolent, community had rallied around the preservation of the stadium oaks despite facing an escalation of violence by the campus police. By the end of the tree-sit, UCPD’s actions had created within its own troops an obsession to strike out at anyone who actively supported the grove. The video clip “Oak Grove-Mania” recorded September 5, 2008 is more evidence of the needless aggression that had become commonplace at the site.

First to be viewed in the video is Ayr, a ground support spokesperson and one of the organizers of this free speech action. The police transgressions against him were quite obviously personal. The same can be said for the unnecessary brutalization and arrest of Midnight Matt (second to be viewed). Matt’s moniker, Midnight comes from his nighttime copwatch activities of videotaping police and providing security at the tree-sit.

Recently the Alameda County DA’s office had opportunity to finally view this video relating to Matt’s arrest last year. The DA must have surmised that the officers’ behavior was not defendable. It comes as no surprise that last week the university finally dropped all charges against him, the last of the pending court cases lodged against the tree sit participants. This event marked the 644th day of the Berkeley tree-sit.

Two More Join Berkeley Grove Protest Tree-Sit, Bring Food
Berkeley, CA. July 23, 2008

tree sitterEarly this morning two supporters of the ongoing Berkeley Oak Grove tree-sit stretched several ropes across Piedmont Avenue from a redwood on the central campus to a tree in the fenced oak grove. Within two hours they had passed six backpacks of food over the two hundred foot line to the treetop protesters. The two suppliers then joined the other tree sitters.

This maneuver caught the campus police flat-footed. Looking a little embarrassed, the officers were forced to stand and watch the aerobatics. The rope traverse was elevated about 80 feet off the ground. When asked how the tree climbers hung the rope, one of the sitters said, "Trained a squirrel to climb up with a fishing line". Today marks the 600th day of the Berkeley tree-sit.

Dona Spring Speaks Out at the Berkeley Oak Grove
Berkeley, CA. June 22, 2008

Dona SpringDona Spring speaks out at the Berkeley Memorial Oak Grove press conference on the university campus.

Councilmember Spring came to the endangered oak grove to show support for the urban tree-sit and for those protesters still lodged in the trees. She emphasized the need to provide them with adequate food and water. Spring said that the city needs to realize this is a "human rights crisis" and that they need to "get off their duff and act." The campus police have restricted ground supporters from supplying any food or water to the remaining tree sitters.

Dona was the first elected official to take action to protect the grove after the tree sit began in December 2006. We now know that her call for the temporary injunction against the cutting of the oaks was critical in shielding the grove from the axe of the UC Regents. This was the 568th day of the tree-sit and also marked Dona Spring's last public appearance. Correspondent: L A Wood

One More Berkeley Tree Sitter Comes Down and is Arrested  02:01

Berkeley CA. July 14, 2008

oak grove bannerThe tree sitter who gained access to the Memorial Oak Grove a week ago Sunday has opted to come down. The tree climber who goes by the name Jeff said that his decision to leave the tree-sit was due to a death in his family. Before descending the redwood tree at the north end of the grove, he took a moment to speak via walkie-talkie with the media gathered outside the fenced-in grove.

Jeff said that the food rations given to those occupying the Memorial Grove has not changed in a week since he joined the tree-sit. He said they received five gallons of water and three "ER bars 2400s" which he described as essentially enriched flower and corn syrup. He questioned why UC would not allow "someone like a clergy member or someone of faith or church to bring them up some regular food".

UC campus police, Captain Beckford, worked out a deal to allow Jeff to be cited and released, but later said he had changed his mind. So the tree sitter remains in jail tonight. Today marks the 591st day of the Berkeley tree-sit at the university campus. Update: University claimed that there was some kind of misunderstanding and the tree sitter was finally cited and released later this evening. Press coverage helped to clear up the confusion.

UC Police Step Up Violence at the Berkeley Oak Grove 02:30
oak grove signBerkeley CA. July 6, 2008

Early this afternoon, a dozen university campus police clashed with the ground supporters of the ongoing tree-sit, now in its 583rd day. The community had come to the site in an effort to lift food to the remaining tree sitters at the Memorial Stadium Oak Grove. This was the third failed attempt in three weeks. The tree sitters have been denied adequate food and supplies for twenty days because of UC's recent starve-out policy.

During this time, the community has seen an increase in UC police violence at the endangered oak grove. This aggression has even been directed at many of the Grandmothers for the Oaks, a group that has been supplying the tree-sit each Sunday afternoon since Thanksgiving Day last year. Several of their elderly members were knocked to the ground during the three-hour confrontation with the campus police.

Medical attention delayed for tree-sitter in distress 03:49
Berkeley, CA/ July 2, 2008

dumpster MuffinThis morning, three of the remaining tree sitters occupying the Berkeley Oak Grove announced plans to leave the trees. Two of the sitters holed up in a redwood at the north part of the memorial grove negotiated for a couple hours with campus police before finally climbing down. Both were cited and released from the Berkeley jail. The sitters, who go by the names Olive and Bird, said that they support the efforts to save the grove, but had to come down. They noted that their absence would leave more of the dwindling food supplies for the remaining tree sitters.

The third sitter known as Dumpster Muffin told onsite police that she had some medical problems that required she leave the grove. After lowering herself down some 50 feet to the ground, she was met by police. The officers began to search her and walk her away. The unsteady tree sitter fell to her knees and complained of feeling faint. After several attempts to walk, Muffin was lifted up the stadium steps to await an ambulance.

Earlier this morning, her physician, Dr. Larry Bedard, had been instructed to wait outside the Oak Grove compound and that he would be called if an emergency developed. When he saw Muffin's condition, he requested that she be taken to Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley. Instead, UC Assistant Police Chief Ceyala ordered Muffin to be taken to Highland Hospital in Oakland.

Muffin's doctor also criticized the campus police for failing to administer basic first aid to her when she exhibited signs of fainting. Dr. Bedard also raised questions as to why she was not taken to the closer medical facility in Berkeley as she requested.

The university needs to abandon its starve-out policy because of the effect it is having on the safety of the tree sitters. The university is acting in a negligent and reckless manner by only allowing a few "power" bars and a gallon of water per sitter to be lifted into the trees each day. Those meager rations cannot sustain the strength, health and judgment of those still occupying the trees and will inevitably lead to an accident or worse. Today marks the 579th day of the Berkeley tree-sit at the university campus.

Also Listen: Medical attention delayed for tree-sitter in distress
Flash Points - KPFA Radio News July 2, 2008 MP4 audio file

Two More Voluntarily Leave Oak Grove Tree-Sit 04:27
messoBerkeley CA. June 25, 2008 6 PM

Two of the remaining tree sitters at Berkeley's Oak Grove have voluntarily come down from their tree this evening. Messo, an UC Berkeley student sitter, spoke briefly to the press (Berkeley Citizen) before descending to the ground. He wanted to make it clear to the public that the choice to end his participation had nothing to do with the university's starve out tactics.

Messo said, "There has been a movement that has defended this grove for over five hundred and eighty days...and that movement remains, that movement is stronger than ever, and that movement will continue to protect this grove until it is saved in perpetuity" (572th day)

Both tree sitters were met by campus police at the base of the tree, handcuffed and walked out of the grove.

UC Police Violence and Misconduct Against the Tree Sitters 06:13
Berkeley, CA. Sunday June 22, 2008

For the Record.
A community press conference was held today at the Oak Grove tree-sit. Among those addressing the crowd was former Berkeley mayor, Shirley Dean, Councilmember Dona Spring, three medical doctors and two local Native American leaders. All of them expressed concern over the tree sitters' well being because of their lack of access to food and water. Earlier this week, the university abruptly cut off community efforts to re-supply the treetop protesters. (569th day )

Also speaking to the crowd was local attorney, Carol Strickman, who has helped assist some of the tree sitters in their criminal matters. She expressed a deep concern over the violence initiated by campus police and their arborists towards the tree sitters. Strickman called police actions reckless and that their "behavior there is putting tree sitter's lives at risk." She made it clear that "the major crimes are being committed by the police" against the tree sitters. She concluded by saying, "This is police misconduct of the highest order."

UC Police Violence Against the Berkeley Tree-Sit 05:24
June 17-19, 2008

For three days UC campus police have waged a stepped-up campaign of violence against Berkeley's tree sitters and their ground support. Since the beginning of the Oak Grove tree-sit in December 2006, university police and the administration have sought to characterize this non-violent, free speech action as criminal.

UC spokesperson Dan Mogulof continues to publicly state that there is no effort to physically extract tree sitters; yet two young sitters were violently extracted from the grove in the last two days. Though not reported by the corporate media, it has been the view of this reporter and many others gathered at the Oak Grove who bear witness to the excessive force being used by police and the screams heard from the remaining tree sitters. ( 566th day)

Berkeley’s Memorial Oak Grove and Tree-sit “Why save the Oaks? Why Care?” February 27, 2008

The Rebirth of the University of California: From Imperial University to People's University. A teach-in and forum sponsored by the Coalition to Free the UC. A presentation by Matthew Taylor of “Free Speech - Free Trees” about the Berkeley Tree-sit on the University of California campus. “Why save the Oaks? Why Care?”

Michael Rossman FSM
MICHAEL ROSSMAN - Free Speech, Free Spirit

Berkeley CA. September 14, 2007

Excerpts from Michael Rossman's appearance at the University of California Memorial Oak Grove tree-sit occupation ( 286th day). Thank You Michael

UC Police Extracts First Berkeley Tree Sitter 02:04
Berkeley CA. June 17, 2008

+Dan MogulofAfter a morning that saw UC campus police and their tree climbers removing traverse lines and tree sitter supplies, the university called a press conference. As the press corps gathered at the north end of the stadium, UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof recounted the morning's activities. When asked about the fate of the tree sitters he said, "At this point, we don't see a way to physically remove the people in the trees in a manner that minimizes the chances of anybody getting hurt."

However, less than an hour later, UC's climbing team returned to the grove and began a second assault. This time their aim was the removal of the tree sitters. The extraction team moved in on one of the lone female sitters known as "Millipede" who hung suspended on a traverse line.

As they maneuvered a large basket crane into position, the extractors banged into her several times. Her screams could be heard all over the grove as more than a hundred supporters watched below. Millipede was wrestled onto the platform and lowered to the ground. Campus police immediately arrested her and took her away.

It is doubtful that any of those working with the UC police in the trees today were trained in tree extractions. Clearly, their actions were cause for concern. UC can only be thankful that no one was critically hurt. (564th day)

UC Police Attempts Extraction of Berkeley Tree Sitters 02:48
tree extractionBerkeley CA June 17, 2008

Early this morning, UC campus police began yet another assault on the Berkeley Oak Grove tree sitters. The police action comes only 24 hours before the judge is scheduled to rule on the Memorial Stadium project lawsuits. For 564 days the fate of the trees has been in the hands of the tree sitters. Today's actions by UCB makes it clear that had the community not risen into the trees December 2, 2006, the Oak Grove would have been cut down long ago.

Supporters outside the grove could only watch as a private tree firm began to remove safety lines and tree platforms. It appears that the UC police are attempting to fulfill their plans dating back to last October to deny the tree-sitters access to any food or water .

Army of None at the Berkeley Tree-sit
Berkeley, CA May 26. 2008

Army of NoneA large crowd gathered today at Berkeley's endangered Oak Grove to celebrate Memorial Day and to support the ongoing urban tree-sit. Berkeley's tree sitters have occupied the grove for 541 days, making this the longest urban tree-sit on record. They took to the trees in December '06 to stop the University of California's plan to cut the mature oaks in order to build a high performance gym on the site.

Joining the holiday celebration of food and music was anti-war, global justice and arts organizer David Solnit. He brought along his "Army of None" puppets to help illustrate his concerns over current military recruitment tactics and the war in Iraq. For more on the "Army of None" and Solnit's efforts at counter recruitment, see:

A Bubble for Buddha, Wavy Gravy
Berkeley, April 13, 2008

Wavy GravyWavy Gravy, Berkeley's own "flower geezer, hippy icon, temple of accumulated error" joined the hundred or more supporters today in the Memorial Stadium oak grove on the University of California campus. The group came to celebrate the 500th day of occupation by tree sitters who are committed to protecting the grove from the axe of the UC regents.

Wavy was one of the first to call for the protection of the trees. Since that time, he has continued to visit the grove with weekly donations of food and humor.

Cirkus Pandemonium 5 Hundy Sunday Celebration 05:25
Cirkus PandemoniumBerkeley, April 13, 2008

The troupe Cirkus Pandemonium made a return appearance at the Memorial Oak Grove on the UC Berkeley campus on Sunday. Their performance came as part of a community celebration of the 500th day of the Berkeley tree-sit. The Cirkus activities included jugglers, music and a special trapeze act, high in the oak canopy. They also brought with them a message of support for the preservation of the endangered grove.

UC Police Attempt to Remove the Berkeley Campus Tree sitter 03:15
Berkeley, CA March 10, 2008

rise upIn what appeared to be a comedy of errors, UC police converged on the tree sitter stationed high up in an oak tree on the central campus. After setting up a steel barrier several days ago officers moved in today to remove the tree-sit and its single occupant.

Armed with a ladder and bucket truck, UCPD climbed up into the canopy and cut down his supplies including a hammock. Both the captain and one detective attempted to coax the sitter to come down. The police said that they would not press charges but could not answer for what actions the County District Attorney's Office might take.

The event was attended by Vice Chancellor Nathan Brostrom, UCPD Chief Victoria Harrison, Assistant Chief Mitch Celaya and more than three hundred students. The tree sitter known as "Fresh" remained in the tree as the police and ladder crew withdrew. However, campus police continue to maintain a twenty-four hour vigil at the site to restrict the demonstrator access to any food and water. Berkeley Internet News

UC Police Blocks Berkeley Oak Grove Tree-sit 04:08
police line Do Not CrossBerkeley, CA February 20, 2008

Just more than 24 hours after the U C Berkeley campus police raided the Memorial Oak Grove, they have returned. Police set up a third barrier in front of the two existing fences in an effort to cut off all food and supplies to those occupying the Oak Grove west of the stadium. The new fence now extends across the city's sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to walk in the street along with the vehicular traffic.

This third barrier raises a number of questions including the legality of the structure. Berkeley has previously denied the university permission to place a third fence on city property at this location. It also calls into question public pronouncements made by University Public Relations Director Dan Mogulof only yesterday when he said that UCB would not restrict food or water to the tree sitters.

The university's latest action came a few hours before a scheduled community press conference to protest yesterday's police raid. As expected, Grove supporters were also ready to re-supply the tree-sit only to find a large contingent of campus police blocking their access. A scuffle ensued and the police were rebuffed until the food lift was completed. The tree-sit is in its 446th day. Berkeley Internet NEWS

UCPDPolice Raid Berkeley Oak Grove AGAIN 03:02
Berkeley, CA February 19, 2008

At 6:15 this morning the University of Californiacampus police initiated yet another raid on the Memorial Oak Grove in Berkeley. This latest aggression against the tree sitters was directed at the traverse lines that link the numerous treeplatforms to food, water and the ground support. UCPD Assistant Chief Celaya, who was available onsite to answer questions regarding the raid, said that the action was in response to ongoing "health and safety " concerns.

The early morning activities at the grove brought out a large contingent of community supporters, news cameras and helicopters overhead. Community spokesperson Ayr, who has been with the tree-sit ground since day one, stated that it was the police that have created any existing health or safety issues. He pointed out that the erection of a fence has restricted public access and hence the removal of the human excrement. Ayr was equally critical of the attempts to cut the tree safety lines as he says this has resulted in tree sitter accidents in the past. The urban tree-sit is in its 445th day.
Berkeley Internet NEWS

Wounded Knee2008 Longest Walk 2 Spiritual Gathering
Berkeley, CA February 11, 2008

The first stop for the 2008 Longest Walk 2 was Berkeley's endangered Memorial Oak Grove on the university campus and site of a Native burial ground. They gathered to call attention to the tree sitters who have protected the grove and burial ground from the university's plan to cut the trees and develop the site.

Wounded Knee De Ocampo spoke to the group of over one hundred outside the two barbed wire fences blocking entrance to the grove. The Mewuk elder called for the crowd to join the struggle to "protect sacred sites, our sovereignty, the environment, peace, justice". Wounded Knee then led the group to a 200-year-old Coastal Live Oak at the north end of the grove. He encouraged participants to offer their prayers. Save Mother Earth! The tree-sit is in its 437th day. Berkeley Internet NEWS

2008 Longest Walk Honors Oak Grove
2008 Longest Walk Honors Oak Grove
Berkeley, CA February 11, 2008Longest Walk at Oak Grove

Members of Berkeley's tree-sit joined with the 2008 Longest Walk outside University of California the Memorial Oak Grove. They gathered to speak about the current court actions to protect the Native site and of the UC Regent's plan to further desecrate the burial ground.

Ayr, Oak Grove ground supporter since the beginning, spoke briefly about the Native history of the area. He praised the courage of the tree sitters and commitment to the grove occupation, now in its 437th day.

Zachary Running Wolf, first to take to the trees in 2006, thanked those participating in the Longest Walk for coming to honor the burial site and for their help in making others aware of the struggle in Berkeley. Berkeley's Internet NEWS

Grandmothers for the Oaks Winter Solstice Party 03:14fence stockings christmas
Berkeley December 23, 2007

Santa and helpers at Oak GroveToday the Berkeley Grandmothers for the Oaks hosted a Winter Solstice Party at the Oak Grove. For the last several weeks, the group has met outside the barbed wire fence to supply the tree sitters with food and water. This ongoing community action has been in response to the University Regents' policy of citing all those who try to supply food or aid to the tree sit.

The solstice event was marked by a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus who thanked the tree sitters for being good and saving the oak grove from destruction by the university. The event, like most of the recent activities at the grove, was videotaped by the campus police and their security force. Berkeley grandmothers resorted to using a large canvas screen to block the view of the food lift and prevent anyone from being singled out by police. A citation comes with a $1000fine and/or 5 days in jail. This was the second Winter Solstice observance at the Memorial Oak Grove since the beginning of the tree sit, 386 days ago. Berkeley's Internet NEWS

National Lawyers Guild SF attorneysNational Lawyers Guild Oak Grove Press Conference 06:19
Berkeley, December 2, 2007

On the first anniversary of Berkeley's urban tree-sit, attorneys Carlos Villarreal, Dennis Cunningham, Hunter Pyle, Tony Serra, and Carol Strickman appeared outside the recently constructed barbed wire fence at the Memorial Stadium oak grove to "condemn Berkeley (campus) police, university actions against protesters, unlawful arrests, reckless tactics used against peaceful tree-sitters and supporters."

The group of attorneys from the San Francisco Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild has called for the "University and law enforcement to end their campaign to starve out the tree-sitters and deprive them of sleep. The NLGSF further calls on law enforcement to stop using Judge Keller's order as an excuse to arrest and harass tree-sitter supporters."

Also see: National Lawyers Guild Oak Grove Press Release December 2, 2007 Berkeley's Internet NEWS

tree-sit birthdayAnniversary of the Tree-Sit at the Memorial Oak Grove 02:31
Berkeley, CA December 2, 2007

The Berkeley community celebrated the 1st anniversary of the tree-sit at the Memorial Oak Grove. The free speech action, which began last December 2nd, is now being touted as the longest urban tree-sit protest in U.S. history. The festive event brought out more than a hundred supporters to the grove to celebrate with music, speeches and, of course, birthday cake.

The anniversary activities also included replenishing the isolated tree-sitters with food and water. For several weeks, the campus police have restricted any contact between supporters and the tree sitters, and have arrested anyone attempting to give them supplies. ......Absolutely Free & Forever Wild! Berkeley's Internet NEWS

Cirkus Pandemonium plays the Memorial Oak Grove 03:26
ballonsBerkeley, CA December 2, 2007

Today marked the first anniversary of Berkeley's urban tree-sit resistance. The day's events were punctuated by press conferences, music and many speeches. A highlight, for most who had come to pay homage to the free speech action, came at dusk when Cirkus Pandemonium came alive. Operating under the extremely bright security lights (and diesel generators) of the fenced oak grove, the troupe of clowns and performers entertained the spectators with their circus antics, skits and juggling.

Pandemonium's performance finale, an "aerial silk" dance, was performed by Odyssey suspended high above in the oak grove canopy. Her spins and rolls captivated the audience below that included the university campus police. This seemed to be a most fitting and perfect conclusion to what was a beautiful day of celebration. Happy birthday oak grove!

For more information on Cirkus Pandemonium contact: www.cirkuspandemonium
Berkeley's Internet NEWS

phoenix afterbuffaloFear of Flying ... Save the Oaks
Phoenix Afterbuffalo
Greencity Gallery, Berkeley
November, 25 2007

"You can waste your whole life praying for a change to come tomorrow. And watch the years pass while you wait for something more..."
Save the Oaks.... Bless the tree sitters! This one is for you Kingman. The tree-sit is now in its 358th day.

Berkeley Grandmothers Feed the Oak Grove Tree Sitters 03:59
Thanksgiving Day 2007pumpkins

A group of Berkeley grandmothers appeared at the UC Berkeley stadium oak grove on Thanksgiving morning to lend support and food to the tree-sitters. Last August the UC Regents constructed a chain-link barrier around the grove with the intent to starve out the tree-sit.

Just more than a week ago construction crews appeared again to add a second fence. The double barrier was crowned with barbed wire. The new fence has come with stepped-up efforts by UC Police to cut off any access to the tree sitters including all attempts to provide them with food and water. Numerous arrests have been made.

Despite the threat of arrest and a police presence, the grandmothers delivered an assortment of food and water to tree-sitters including pumpkin pie. No grandmothers were arrested. The tree-sit is now in its 356th day. Berkeley's Internet NEWS

Unclothed Outside the Oak Grove 04:40
unclothed oak groveBerkeley, CA November 10, 2007

Supporters for the preservation of the oak grove at the UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium staged another nude photo shoot today. The photographer, Jack Gescheidt of the Treespirit Project, spoke to the crowd about global warning, the importance of the trees and also praised the courage of the tree sitters. He said that the event was called to raise public awareness to the recent construction of two fences around the grove that have restricted community access.

The UC Regents had planned to cut the trees earlier this year to build a high performance sports center. A court injunction has put the project on hold. Gescheidt said he was not against the new sports facility but thought it could be built in a safer place and preserve the trees too. "We can have new gyms and old trees", he said. The tree-sit is now in its 344th day. Berkeley's Internet NEWS

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