Buh-bye, Berkeley tree-sitters

A judge ruled today that the University of California, Berkeley can remove all tree-sitters from a grove of oak trees next to the university's football stadium, even if the protesters aren't identified by name.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Richard Keller's ruling expands on a preliminary injunction he issued on Oct. 1, which only applied to one tree protester, David Galloway, as he was the only tree protester the university had managed to track down and serve notice of its lawsuit.

Keller said in addition to Galloway, the ruling now applies to “all other persons acting in concert or participating with them,” referring to the tree-sitters.

Protesters have been in the trees since UC regents voted last December to approve a plan to build a sports training center and other facilities near the stadium.

Those who violate thecourt order can be found in contempt of court, fined up to $1,000, jailed up to five days and be ordered to pay attorney's fees, Robinson said.

However, university officials have been vague about any plans to enforce the court's order.

UC-Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said, “We will inform all the people in the trees that this ruling applies to them and we hope that they will come down and we can find a peaceful resolution to this.”

Mogulof said the protest is “a dangerous and illegal occupation of university property” and it isn't a free speech issue because protesters have other forums to demonstrate against the university's plans.

Mogulof said the university is “evaluating a number of possible scenarios” if the tree protesters don't come down but he declined to be more specific.

Zachary Running Wolf, a former Berkeley mayoral candidate who has been the most visible and vocal tree protester, couldn't immediately be reached for comment on Keller's ruling.

The university's plans to build a new sports training facility and other facilities, including a large underground parking lot, have been on hold since Jan. 29, when another judge, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller, issued a preliminary injunction at the request of three plaintiff groups who sued the university.

The project calls for clearing a grove of oak trees near the football stadium, which is where protesters have been living since last December.

The plaintiffs, which are the city of Berkeley, a neighborhood group and the California Oak Foundation, allege the proposed project is unsafe because it's near a dangerous earthquake fault and violates environmental laws.

On Oct. 11 Miller concluded a non-jury trial on the issue of whether she should stop the project permanently. She has up to mid-January to issue her ruling but is expected to render her decision sometime in the next several weeks.

— Bay City News

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

San Francisco Police stand guard outside the Mission Police Station during a protest over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fired: California bill aims to decertify police for serious misconduct

By Robert Lewis CalMatters On a Wednesday afternoon in April 2018, Gardena… Continue reading

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that state employees and health care workers must be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and wear masks. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters)
California orders vaccine or testing for health care workers, state employees

By Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters Amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases and… Continue reading

Jeremy Kahn and Monica Ho are excellent in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Lauren Yee’s “The Song of Summer,” being presented live and online. (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)
Touching relationship at heart of ‘Song of Summer’

Lighthearted SF Playhouse show ‘feels right for this moment’

Most Read