The tree sitters at the Memorial Stadium Oak Grove got a visit from the UC Berkeley Police Department once again Wednesday.
Protestors—who were cleaning up the area when the Planet reached the grove that afternoon—said the raid had taken place around 11 a.m.
“They came with an arborist,” said Thomas Skotarek, who helps the tree-sitters with food and lodging. “The arborist went up three of the trees which had no people in them and took down the platform from one. He took off dream catchers, hammocks, ropes, sleeping bags and buckets from the others. This is a legal protest, you know. They are infringing on civil rights.”
Redwood Mary—a former tree-sitter who now provides support to the tree people from the ground—said that they had also taken away hearts and ribbons that she had decorated the trees with.
“They did that on Sunday too. Took away the Easter decorations,” she said with a forlorn expression. “When I asked them why they were doing this, they said it was for evidence of a crime. Can you imgaine ribbons as being evidence for crime?”
Mary said she cleans the trash at the site regularly along with Skotarek.
Empty beer cans and bottles littered the place, waiting to be picked up by the two of them. “We try our best. But sometimes it gets out of hand,” said Skotarek.
The tree people in the oaks seemed to be in their own world, some napping, others enjoying a smoke.
“They are taking advantage of the rain,” said Burlap (tree name), who was sitting in one of the oaks smoking. “We just sit here in the trees peacefully and protest the cutting of the trees. We are going to continue doing this to save the grove permanently.”
Wednesday marked the protest’s 132nd day.