Tree sitters defend their actions

Three tree-sitters said today they don't regret trying to stop the University of California, Berkeley from building a sports training facility next to its football stadium.

Eight days after the last tree-sitter came down from a 90-foot-tall redwood tree, ending a 21-month protest at a grove of trees next to the stadium, tree-sitter Raul Colocho said, “On one level it was a wonderful experience to be up there.''

But Colocho, also known as “Huck,'' said “it's a shame'' that the university cut down more than 40 trees after it won court approval to go ahead with the $125 million project.

Speaking at a news conference next to the site from which the trees were removed, Colocho said, “It was devastating to see the trees go.''

Armando Resendez, known as “Mando,'' called the protest “an act of civil disobedience'' and said, “We didn't do any harm.''

Ernesto Pena, who goes by “Nesto,'' said, “We tried to stay positive when we were in the trees and we knew what we were in for.''

Colocho, Resendez, Pena and a fourth tree-sitter, Michael Schuck, were arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges by campus police when they came down from the tree on Sept. 9.

Colocho, Resendez and Pena have been released from custody on bail, but Schuck remains at the Alameda County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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