Skip to comments.BERKELEY: UC police fail to nab tree sitter
Posted on 03/10/2008 6:31:20 PM PDT by SmithL
UC Berkeley police tried to remove a man living in an oak tree near the main entrance to campus on Monday, but they came away empty-handed.
The man, who goes by the name Fresh, is living in the tree to protest various school policies. Police brought out two ladders and a cherry picker to try to convince him to come out, but he evaded them by climbing higher, according to police and the man's supporters on the ground.
Fresh has been living in the tree just north of Sather Gate with a hammock, water jugs and a bucket for human waste since Feb. 29. Police removed a banner that read ``Our Third World College Begins Here. Save the Oaks'' along with his hammock. But they left the bucket, a backpack and water jugs.
On Sunday, two of his supporters were arrested and cited for trespassing, resisting arrest and refusing to leave, police said. They have been released.
Police have surrounded the tree with metal barricades. About eight police remained on the scene Monday afternoon.
``He's has his backpack and a couple of jugs of water, so we're hoping he gets uncomfortable enough to come down,'' UC Berkeley Assistant Police Chief Mitch Celaya said. ``We're still not prepared to get in a confrontation to get him out of the tree -- it's just a misdemeanor. And I'm not prepared to put my officers at risk.''
This new tree sit is linked to the long-term tree sit to the west of Memorial Stadium. Since December 2006, a group has been living in trees near the football stadium to protest UC Berkeley's plan to raze them to build a $125 million sports training center at the grove.
Eight to 10 people continue to live and sleep in those trees, a tree-sit spokesman said. A court injunction is preventing any construction on the grove site. Plans are tied up by lawsuits.
Fresh is living in the new oak tree to bring attention to broader issues at the school.
``He's trying to raise awareness about the fact that the regents are undemocratic and are making bad decisions, including UC's continuing involvement in nuclear weapons manufacturing, the (research) deal with British Petroleum, and cutting down the trees at the oak grove next to the stadium,'' said Jessica Schley, a UC Berkeley undergraduate student who is supporting Fresh on the ground. Schley said she was arrested a week ago for trying to bring Fresh food.
Celaya said the school has Fresh under 24-hour surveillance, and wants him to come down because he is trespassing. There also are liability issues, he said.
``People have freedom of speech, but at the same time he doesn't have freedom to trespass,'' Celaya said. ``There are consequences to actions.''
Some students who watched Monday's extrication effort wondered why UC Berkeley is using so much manpower on a guy sitting in a tree.
``There are $2,400 laptops being stolen on campus, and they have this guy on 24-hour surveillance?'' said Martha Markosyn, who stood under the tree Monday debating UC police officers. ``There's so many better things for them to be concerned about.''
Chris Wallis, a graduate student, said he's not sure he agrees with Fresh but supports his right to be there.
``I think this is a form of social protest, and the school accepts other forms of protest, so I'm not sure why they are making such a big deal out of this,'' Wallis said. ``I would have to ask the administration why this form of protest is threatening to them.''
Berkeley = LOL!
Where is SWAT when you need them?
They need to consult with experts from the whaling industry.
And give them each an axe.
Who is bringing food to this asshat?
This could be solved with a couple of paintballers! :)
A stun gun would be effective, completely humane and take five minutes. Instead they make a huge fuss, putting up barricades, climbing ladders, just giving more attention to this nut.
Is his first name Poppin?
Hey, I like your idea better than mine! Have we ever had a “paintballing Freep”? Calling all Freeper paintballers to Berkeley: the police need your assistance.
I bet they know how to use an ax or chain saw, bwahahaha!!
Dang, those ‘officials’ at Berkeley are useless!
They could just set up a net, demand that he come down, and if he refused call in a kid with a BB gun!
We used to lock up the insane, now a significant portion of the population worships them, as long as they “protest” something or other and not just in Berzerkley.) Here, if the cops climbed as high as his platform (or hammock) while he climbed higher, the least they could have done would be to dismantle that hammock. Did they?
Marines? Heck, just send any kid in there with a BB gun. Or do they make those anymore?
I believe if a rogue agent ran in there with a very large Stihl chain saw they could get his dumb arse out of the tree very quickly. Who the heck is going to chase a guy with a chain saw?
Don’t they know how you get raccoons in the south? Flashlight and a .22 rifle.
I bet he doesn't smell that way.
Now, I could see a campus competition of sorts involving a bunch of fraternity guys and some three-man water balloon slingshots, below demonstrated by U.S. Destroyer crewman (giving the nearby Canadian ship a friendly tap).
That'll kill three birds with one stone: get the guy down, wash the funk off of him and water the tree. A win win win situation.
Just make sure to suspend the net about 1 foot above the ground.
A fire at the foot of the tree ,will remove the problem and the tree will no longer be a problem
I think one small boy with a Red Rider airgun could do the trick.
1. Put a chain link fence topped with razor wire around the tree.
2. Have the university announce that they support him and what he stands for. In fact he is one off them.
Fresh is no longer a rebel, he is part of the system. He is now not at the tree because he wants to be, but rather because he is locked in like a jail bird.
Soon he will be demanding his freedom .
The "T-i-m-m-m-m-b-e-r!" idea would be my guess.
Give me a break, #3 was bobcats. ;-)
Sorry, missed that in my first reading! :-)
Bobcats will work, yup! Especially really hungry, angry bobcats! :-)
send up a bear
How many of us have this level of commitment to our conservative causes?
More power to him.
spray some corn syrup up the tree trunk and then unleash a torrent of fire ants... the little granola eating tree hugging turd would be begging to be brought down in no time.
slingshot, stinkbomb up his nose....
I’d bring in one of those mechanical tree shakers that they use to harvest pecans.
“Mechanical shakers are fascinating to watch. Once secured on the trunk of the tree, they are turned on and the tree shakes rapidly, causing the nuts to drop like pelting rain. Standing nearby, even the soil vibrates. Then the nuts are gathered, removed from their outer husks and sorted.”
Fresh sounds like a nut to me.
Geez Louise, all they have to do is contact a few FReepers and they’d get him down in 5 minutes. What a bunch of wusses.
I think that one of those dart guns would probably work well.
Here’s a suggestion from some folks down in Palo Alto as to how to solve the problem:
Give ‘em the axe, the axe, the axe!
Give ‘em the axe, the axe, the axe!
Give ‘em the axe, give ‘em the axe,
Give ‘em the axe, where?
Right in the neck, the neck, the neck!
Right in the neck, the neck, the neck!
Right in the neck, right in the neck,
WE have jobs and brains. This idiot doesn't have either.
Naw, really? Berkeley police won't put their officers at risk over a tree sitter? Who'd a thunk it?
So, why don't they use a firehose then?
They could pass it around to see who can balance him at the top of the water spout the longest.
This sounds like it would make a great video game.
No problem. A slingshot and a bag of marbles would solve the problem quite efficiently.
Good idea possibly this time. That was tried before, so some females joined in and they all became nude in the tree, then the media flooded the area for photos and word spread around.
He’s just a stupid attention whore. Ignore his worthless ass and he’ll get bored and go away.
Democrats and Liberals, are humans in accelerating retrograde.
Liberals = Man...devolving into Apes.
...or a chainsaw.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.