Tree-Sitters Joined by Additional Protester
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Category: News > University > Academics and Administration
A man known only as "Jeff" ascended into the oak grove near UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium on Sunday, evading police and scaling into the grove.
A post that appears on indybay.org, which was authored by a user named "Jeff Muskrat," called for members of the public to climb into the grove to aid the efforts aimed to prevent UC Berkeley from going forward with plans to build an athletic center on the site.
"This is a call for 'Ninja's' with climbing experience to break the lines and sneak into the grove," the user stated in the post.
The tree-sitter Jeff would not say if he authored the post, though he said-after a pause-that he had heard of Muskrat.
Tree-sitter Jeff said he is involved in forestry activism and has been for several years. He would not say whether he has occupied a tree-top roost in similar protests.
During an attempt by Grandmothers for the Oaks to resupply the tree-sitters on Sunday, Jeff managed to enter the fenced-off grove while UCPD was controlling the ground supporters, said Dan Mogulof, UC Berkeley's executive director of public affairs.
Last week four of the seven remaining protesters descended from the grove, including the outspoken "Dumpster Muffin." Jeff brings the tree-sitter count back to four.
Jeff was initially located in a tree separate from the other tree-sitters, said Gabrielle "Millipede" Silverman, a tree-sitter who was extracted from the grove about two weeks ago after allegedly biting an arborist who was hired by the university to remove the tree-sitters' supplies.
The tree that Jeff first scaled was on the south side of the grove, within the two fences police had erected to seal off the area, Silverman said.
Early Tuesday morning, with the assistance of a tree-sitter known as "Shem," Jeff made his way to the redwood tree to join the other protesters, Silverman said.
The police are continuing to prevent outside efforts to resupply the tree-sitters, but the university plans to increase the amount of calories they are supplying to the tree-sitters beginning tomorrow morning.
On Sunday protest supporters only managed to get one bag of almonds to the tree-sitters after tying the bag to a balloon and letting it float, Silverman said.
Mogulof said each tree-sitter will now be provided with about 1,800 calories a day in the form of energy bars.
He estimated that currently, each tree-sitter is supplied with about 1,200 calories, in addition to any outside food they may be obtaining.
Protest supporters said the energy bars are not sufficient to keep the tree-sitters healthy.
"That's not really food, is it?" said unofficial protest leader Zachary RunningWolf.
The new amount of calories is intended to be enough to keep the tree-sitters from suffering any permanent health damage, Mogulof said.
"It's a delicate balance, because we want them to come down as soon as possible, but we don't want them to be hurt," he said.
Mogulof said rations will be adjusted to sustain the newest addition to the tree-sit.
Jeff, who calls his grove-mates family, said he is happy to join their ranks.
"I love to stand here with my brothers and sisters," he said.
Contact Ashley Trott and Valerie Woolard at [email protected]
Comments (0) »Comment Policy
The Daily Cal encourages readers to voice their opinions respectfully in regards to both the readers and writers of The Daily Californian. Comments are not pre-moderated, but may be removed if deemed to be in violation of this policy. Comments should remain on topic, concerning the article or blog post to which they are connected. Brevity is encouraged. Posting under a pseudonym is discouraged, but permitted. Click here to read the full comment policy.