UC Stadium Tree-Sitter Arrested for Trespassing

By Richard Brenneman
Friday January 05, 2007

One of the four tree-sitters protesting the planned demolition of a grove of Coastal Live Oaks at the UC Berkeley Campus landed in new accommodations Wednesday—City Jail. 

The arrest came one day after the Memorial Stadium “tree-in” entered its second month. 

Ariel DeHaviland, 25, was booked on suspicion of trespassing and for violating an order to leave campus and stay away for seven days, said UCPD Capt. Guillermo Beckford. 

Section 626.6 of the California Penal Code allows campus police, acting on the orders of the chancellor or a designated subordinate, to arrest anyone who is “committing any act likely to interfere with the peaceful conduct of the activities of the campus or facility, or has entered the campus or facility for the purpose of committing any such act.” 

If convicted, he could face a maxium of a $500 fine and six months in County Jail. 

DeHaviland isn’t the first tree-sitter cited by campus police, but he is the first to refuse the stay-away order. 

Zachary Running Wolf, the former mayoral candidate, began the protest in the pre-dawn hours of “Big Game” day Dec. 2, and he was soon joined by others. He was the first protester cited after he left his arboreal perch to attend a meeting with faculty. 

Two compatriots have also been cited after coming down from the branches, but DeHaviland is the first to refuse the order to leave. 

Protesters oppose the proposal to demolish the last remaining native oak grove in the Berkeley flatlands. 

UC officials plan to fell the trees to make way for a 132,500-square-foot gym along the stadium’s western wall. That project is currently on hold pending a court hearing Thursday. 

Meanwhile, supporters of the tree-sitters will be holding a Spiral Dance Saturday starting at 2 p.m.