Tree-sit Supporters Plant Sapling in Chancellor's Yard

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Five ground supporters of the tree-sitters in the oak grove near UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium were arrested yesterday after planting a tree in front of Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's residence.

The protesters, part of a larger group of about 30 people, marched from the grove at approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday to the chancellor's residence on the northwest side of campus. Six of the protesters dug a hole in the chancellor's front yard before five of them were arrested by UCPD for vandalizing the yard, said UCPD Assistant Chief Mitch Celaya.

The sixth person involved in the planting has not yet been apprehended by police, Celaya said.

According to unofficial tree-sit protest leader Zachary RunningWolf, the acorn sapling was meant to be an olive branch for the chancellor.

"We went down ... and planted a tree on his lawn, basically giving him a gift of kindness and an offering from the grove," RunningWolf said. "If I was a public servant ... I would welcome that, and say thank you for giving us a new life, especially during global warming."

The five individuals who were arrested were charged with trespassing with attempt to injure, vandalism and conspiracy, Celaya said. One was additionally charged with battery for hitting a UCPD officer in the head with a wooden pole, and another was additionally charged with resisting arrest, he said.

Angelica Dongallo is the news editor. Contact her at [email protected]

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