Sitting in a tree…for 21 months



The story in a nutshell:  four tree-sitters protesting the removal of an 80-foot redwood tree for the construction of a sports complex on the campus of UC-Berkeley finally came down, after 21 months up there, and only because scaffolding had been constructed that allowed police to physically remove them.  They were prompted arrested and the tree was taken down.

So what was accomplished in those 21 months?  The tree-sitters claim that they accomplished an agreement by the university to form a Land Use Committee to give students and the community a voice in university land use decisions.  University spokespeople deny the existence of any such agreement or committee.

So was this just a media event?  And to what end, exactly?  Help me out here, coz this Easterner is totally not getting it.

Here’s my source, and the link there to the original newspaper article may or may not work and I don’t know why (it worked the first two times I used it but not thereafter).  If it works you’ll see dramatic photos and a video of the tree-sitter-removal.

Photo: yours truly outside my childhood home in Bon Air, Virginia.


  1. It was cute when Julia Butterfly Hill did it some years ago, but now it’s degenerated into a whinging stunt by self-aggrandizing hippie rejects and their 1960s-throwback hippie enablers.

    I fully expect this phenomenon to proliferate in coming years.

    And as I wrote on my blog on this subject, it will have disastrous consequences for the future of oaks and redwoods (at least in California) in urban locations.

    When private property owners think planting major trees may lead to some abridgment of those property rights when the trees mature due to the activities of moralizing busybodies, then expect to see fewer oaks and redwoods planted, and more junipers.

  2. That is a really cute photo.

    At the time I lived in Berkeley, in the 1970s, lots of people were demonstrating in the street, in trees, etc.

    One of the things they accomplished was to use whatever means they felt they had available to bring attention to issues they believed in.

    I was working and going to school and did not have the time or the passion for the same pursuits as the demonstrators.

    Some of what was happening at the time was frightening.

    Demonstrators were a special breed and had more time on their hands than most of us.

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