Skip to comments.BERKELEY: Judge strengthens ruling against Cal tree sitters
Posted on 10/30/2007 7:41:59 AM PDT by SmithL
Judge Richard Keller has broadened an earlier preliminary injunction that evicted David Galloway, 36 -- the only tree sitter previously known to UC Berkeley officials by name -- to include "all other persons acting in concert or participating with (the tree sitters)," according to his ruling.
"This latest ruling makes it all but impossible for reasonable people to see this as some sort of benign protest," UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said. "An impartial judge has reviewed the facts and is supporting our contention that this is a dangerous and illegal occupying of university property."
The tree sitters are protesting the university's plans to build a $125 million sports training center on the site of the grove. The university has pledged to plant three trees for every one that is removed, but protesters say about 40 trees cannot be adequately replaced because of their age and size.
In September, the university asked a judge to order the tree sitters down after they outfitted their tree village with two large propane tanks and had open flames burning in the trees.
In addition, the university said the sitters built at least 10 additional structures in the trees. Those claims are denied by the tree sitters, who say their free speech rights override any laws they might be breaking.
After Monday's ruling, Mogulof said, "Mr. Galloway came down and we really hope that others will follow suit."
The tree sitters will be immediately notified of the ruling, Mogulof said.
Save the Oaks member Mike Kelly said he does not believe the ruling will change the tree-sitting situation.
"The university has always had the right to enforce laws on their property. Bringing a civil suit and having a judge in a civil case rule on this ... I don't know what more it adds," Kelly said.
"They've been arresting people and shoving them through the court system for months now."
When the university asked the court for the injunction, police had logged more than 155 violations and 98 arrests or citations of protesters outside the stadium since the tree-sit started in December.
UC Berkeley police said the tree sitters are violating two sections of the California Penal Code -- illegal lodging and trespassing.
In a related matter, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller, who presided over a trial for three consolidated lawsuits trying to halt the building of the training center, is expected to issue her ruling next month. She has said she will not issue the ruling until after the final Cal home game Nov. 10.
The city of Berkeley, the Panoramic Hill Association and the California Oak Foundation sued the university to stop the building of the training center because the groups say, among other things, that it is too close to the Hayward earthquake fault.
(10-29) 15:11 PDT Berkeley - -- UC officials can remove all the tree-sitters at Memorial Stadium, even if police can't identify the protesters by name, a judge ruled Monday.
"This ruling means it's all but impossible for reasonable people to see this protest as something benign," said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. "It's an illegal and dangerous occupation of university property."
UC officials are "evaluating" how to proceed, Mogulof said. Tree-sitters and their supporters could not be reached for comment on the ruling.
Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Keller's ruling amends his order a month ago that gave UC police the authority to remove only tree-sitters who were identified by name.
At the time, UC officials could identify only one of the protesters, David Galloway, 36, because the other dozen sitters wear masks and would not give their real names. Campus officials asked the judge to broaden the ruling to include unnamed protesters.
"The court finds that the ends of justice would be served by modifying the order ... to insert the phrase, 'and all other persons acting in concert or participating with them,' " Keller wrote in his new ruling, referring to the tree-sitters.
The city has issued an invitation for any "reasonable people" to make themselves known, but no one has come forward to date.
Start chopping the trees down. Those idiots will come down - pronto!
Recently an article on this in ESPN the magazine. The tree sitters appear to be an “interesting” bunch.
“protesters say about 40 trees cannot be adequately replaced because of their age and size...”
Also, observers say that protesters cannot be adequately replaced because of their “smell” and attitude!
Might I suggest:
Husk like corn,
Varnish without the ish,
and Nah, I don't want any other brand of chainsaw.
I remember seeing a TV program showing how they get Koalas out of trees. They shoot them with tranquilizers until they let go and fall. Sounds as if this would be the method to use on protesters. Probably should let their friends catch them if they are willing.