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UC Berkeley tries to cut off trespassing tree people’s supplies; city council balks

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By Michelle Malkin  •  June 24, 2008 11:33 AM

This is getting really, really ridiculous. Last week, I noted the latest developments in the 18-month standoff between the UC Berkeley administration and the city’s moonbatty, trespassing tree people (see here and here).

Well, after all that, there are still nine idiots perched in the trees. The school erected barricades to prevent the tree people’s enablers from bringing them food and beverages. Now, the city council is balking–and demanding that the campus take down the fences:

A group of tree-sitters’ 18-month-long standoff with UC Berkeley intensified Monday, as the city of Berkeley demanded the protesters be allowed food and water.

“The city’s concern is that even though there’s not a lot of sympathy for the tactics utilized by the people in the trees, we do feel their health and safety should not be put at risk,” said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. “To starve people out of the trees does not seem rational.”

What’s nuts is the city tolerating 18 months of lawlessness by its citizens, and then turning around and telling the school to abide by the law:

The tree-sitters have been in the grove since Dec. 1, 2006 hoping to save 44 redwoods, oaks, laurels and other trees the university wants to remove to build a sports training facility. A judge ruled last week that the university’s plan mostly complies with state law but a few safety and legal issues – including the value of Memorial Stadium – must be addressed before it can proceed.

The plaintiffs – the city of Berkeley, a neighborhood group and the California Oak Foundation – will submit a sample judgment to the court today. The university will submit its response Friday, and the judge will rule.
Relations between the city and university, already strained over the lawsuit, appeared to worsen over the weekend. City and university officials have been discussing the situation but have not agreed over the barriers or how to handle the protest.

“If the university wants to take this approach with the tree-sitters, they can do it on their property, not on our property,” said City Councilwoman Dona Spring. “It’s an urgent situation with the protesters’ health.”

The City Council is meeting in closed session tonight to discuss the lawsuit, and will probably talk about the protest during open session. But the city probably can’t do much to change the situation on Piedmont Avenue.

“We’re not going to intervene,” Bates said. “This is on their private property. We’re just trying to get the university to look at the situation and act rationally and abide by the laws we do have.”

If I were a UC Berkeley donor, I’d be raising holy hell.

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Posted in: Berkeley

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Categories: Berkeley, Education

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