After actually doing work on a Friday afternoon (and thus being unable to follow the live stream) I decided to head up to the grove to see for myself what was going on.
One of the first things I noticed was that the redwood with the remaining tree sitters had all its lower branches stripped from it. One of the remaining protestors in it kept yelling the same series of sentences. They were something like "This isn't progress. This is slaughter. This isn't democracy." or something like that.
I wandered a little further down Piedmont and saw these brilliant signs:
A closer view at the sign in blue:
The other sign said "ignorance."
I then saw the greatest recruiting tool for Cal since the almighty Tedford arrived:
Here it is actually pushing down one of the oaks:
The sound of it breaking all that wood was very impressive. It pierced the air all along Piedmont. People cheered, a few booed. The cracking of the trees consistently caught everyone's attention, especially because they only occurred every fifteen to twenty minutes.
I talked to a guy who said he saw Dumpster Muffin crying in front of a tree a few hundred yards up the road. I wanted to get a picture of D-Muff but apparently she wasn't there anymore.
Moving the branches from one pile to another:
More destruction of the trees:
Now let's meet some of the supporters of the oaks, pink-haired girl and the lady with a rather pronounced moustache and dreadlocks:
The dreadlocked woman began yelling aloud (to whom, I do not know) about the ills the removal of the oaks was causing. She grieved about how the squirrels, birds, and seagulls now no longer had a place to live. She and another old woman at one point started looking upward and saying "Where's that bird? I saw a bird flying over the grove." They then lamented that mystery bird's loss of a place to live. She was very concerned about the squirrels: "Where will they live now?" I guess she has never been to the parts of campus where schools travel in gangs and rob students of their consumables. Those are some tough squirrel 'hoods.
Oddly, the dreadlocked woman and her elderly friend began talking about how they want more birds in their yards. I guess cutting down the oaks may displace birds into other people's yards. Sounds to me like everyone wins!
A 30-something man and his young children (4-6 years old) overheard the dreadlocked woman. The children were concerned about the seagulls. "Where will the seagulls go?" asked the young boy.
"They live at the beach" he responded.
"Oh, okay." The children's concern ended there.
When the man and his kids began to leave the dreadlocked woman and her elderly friend told the kids their world wasn't as bleak as it seemed. This was as other hippies walked around saying that global warming would kill us all very soon. Others complained about a lack of oxygen because of trees being cut down.
The dreadlocked woman began to ponder the dreary existence of the seemingly homeless existence of the seagulls and couldn't take it anymore. She cried. Now, I'm not such a jerk that I would take a picture of someone genuinely upset about some serious matters, but this lady was worried about seagulls not being able to live in the oaks anymore. Seagulls. In the oaks. So I took a picture of her mourning.
Don't feel too bad, though. Her pink-haired friend soon joined her and they were back to yelling at the police about the "totalitarian" actions of the university.
The elderly lady I mentioned earlier is the one with the black purse. She asked me why they couldn't build the athletic center on the Oxford Tract (the university property in between Oxford and Walnut). Probably because the University conducts research there.
The police weren't amused by the yelling.
Soon things became tense. A short, bizarre-looking woman began screaming at some students about how she defended their rights at some point in history (it didn't make much sense to me). She called them ugly conformists who lived off their parents.
Our pink-haired friend began getting into it and started yelling at the leader of the frat guys.
You can see the bizarre-looking woman in the above picture (her hair makes her stand out).
Eventually the tree supporters started yelling about rights and how the frat guys should shut up. Frat guys said they are exercising their rights by disagreeing. This profound logic infuriated the tree supporters. Things got so heated that the bemused policemen had to get involved:
The bizarre looking lady was so riled up that she kept walking towards and near the forbidden barriers:
I wandered around and quickly found another scuffle, but this one didn't require police intervention:
Guy on the right: "Dude, like, my oxygen is running out because the trees are being cut down. I better trap some in here before it totally gets like, all used up"
Angry lady: "If I spew any more hot air, you're all going to take off your shirts, just like him."
I overheard a variety of people saying that the university decided to stop providing food and water for the remaining tree sitters. The supporters were not too pleased with this.
As I was taking pictures and observing, the supporters all joined hands and stood along the road, pushing away everyone who had previously been standing there.
With my view blocked and with no decent access to any ongoing events, I turned my attention elsewhere. I saw a confused-looking man trying to play a ladder as if it were a musical instrument.
I guess playing the ladder didn't work out so well for him. He then began playing a water cooler bottle.
I don't know if Tchaikovsky there inspired them or what, but the hippies lined up along the road began singing together.
After spending an hour or so at the grove, I went home.
While editing my photos, I noticed something very bizarre from the first photo I posted: