Second Protester Arrested in Parking Lot

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Nearly 50 demonstrators and a Berkeley City Council member crowded onto the Underhill Parking Lot this weekend with plush couches and television sets to protest the arrest of a UC Berkeley student.

Ryan Salsbury, a junior, was arrested at 4 a.m. Saturday for trespassing after police warned him five times to leave the parking lot. He spent most of the weekend in the Berkeley city jail before posting a $212 bail and returning to the lot.

Salsbury joins Boalt Hall School of Law student Rick Young as the second person arrested while protesting the proposed expansion of the lot.

"It was worthwhile," Salsbury said. "I don't think that anything bad will come of it criminally or from student conduct. It was a legitimate political protest."

Salsbury said he chose to get arrested to show support for Young, who has camped in the lot since April 30 to publicly press Chancellor Robert Berdahl for a meeting.

Young has said he wants to speak to the chancellor about five issues, including safety measures, campus greenhouse emissions and additional housing.

A Superior Court judge ordered Young to stay away from the parking lot after he was arrested three times last weekend.

Although he is careful to avoid stepping onto the lot, Young said he still talks to protesters while standing on the nearby sidewalk.

"If the university thinks they can shut this thing down, they're sadly mistaken," he said.

Young said he thinks the police originally arrested him to put a quiet end to the heated battle over the lot's future. He said, however, that their tactics merely exacerbated the conflict.

"They started arresting people to de-escalate the situation, but it backfired," he said. "It's like throwing gas on a fire. It doesn't put the fire out - it makes it worse. It's the wrong liquid."

UC police Sgt. Karen Alberts confirmed Salsbury's arrest but said the police had no further comment about it.

"He was asked to leave on four or five occasions," she said. "He refused. That's why he was arrested."

In a show of support for the protesters, Berkeley City Councilmember Kriss Worthington said he will continue to trespass on the Underhill Parking Lot and risk arrest in order to support the student activists.

"Because they're arresting people, I'm committed to going there and supporting it," he said. "The police keep going by. At some random time, they tell people to leave or they're going to get arrested."

Worthington is also sponsoring a City Council measure designed to endorse Young's crusade and to urge university officials to meet with him.

"It's really counterproductive to arrest all these people instead of talking to them and having an intellectual discussion," he said. "I'm not trying to get arrested. I'd rather they work with students, neighbors and the whole community."

Worthington accused university officials of "wasting their money" arresting protesters when they could instead work toward compromise.

To emphasize his point, Worthington said he is hosting a $200 contest for "Who can write a better bureaucratic blow-off letter than the university" and "Who can write the best environmentally friendly letter."

Worthington said he supports building housing on the Underhill lot instead of expanding the number of parking spaces.

"It's just such a simple, logical choice to put housing there," he said. "It's hard to fathom the logic of dropping 500 beds of student housing and adding 500 cars when we desperately need more housing."


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