It was blisteringly hot (for Berkeley). Hippies hadn't showered. You can guess the result. As I approached the "base camp", the smell was intolerable (I'M NOT JOKING). I haven't been up to this side of the stadium in a long time, so I was unaware of the devastation that had taken place.
****I didn't want to have the "via dotpicture.net" below each photo (as they are all from the same site), but you can find all of these photos, and more, at my photo gallery: DOTPicture ****
They've set up beds along the western sidewalk. Apparently Berkeley was supposed to be cracking down on stuff like this, but you wouldn't know it from looking at this:
Looking up at the "pod", I noticed the new solar panel. When did that show up!?!
"We need the electricity to power our hemp computer"
The media was out in full force:
but, thankfully, so were the arborists:
For the first several hours that I was there, nothing much was happening. They were mostly cutting branches. The redwood tree where the last few remaining hippies are encamped has apparently had most of it's lower branches cut, and it's my feeling (i.e. opinion) that they will soon cut the root structure, in effect killing the tree that the hippies are living in.
Mr. "I'm just a photo journalist making a book" Matthew Taylor was there:
"Since the time we last met, I have obtained my Ph.D in Douchebaggery"
Old woman not wearing a bra was there:
"Traffic with stop because of my breasts... Why isn't anyone stopping?"
Guy with an odd-looking maraca was there:
"I shall save the trees with my small wooden rattle"
Our good friend Ayr was there:
"Where am I?"
You know, the usual.
Contrary to the previous times that I have visited the stadium, I finally felt pretty free to discuss the situation and my opinions with people. There were some (not a lot yet) Cal supporters there, but I think the things I was saying were garnering me the evil eye from a lot of people.
I decided that my time could be better spent elsewhere (thank you Smart Alec's 10-stamp card!) and apparently I left just before ragnarok showed up.
When I returned after picking up my car from the auto shop, though, things were different. People were angry. Trees were falling. Cal supporters were out in full force--whooping, cheering, and clapping when trees were felled.
This, of course, didn't go over too well with the hippies. They would yell at us, argue with us, and were generally unaccepting of our viewpoint that the trees needed to come down. Their hypocrisy was amazing. They have fought for almost 2 years for their "right" to protest and to be there when everyone is telling them to leave. As soon as someone is vocal about anything that doesn't agree with their ideas, all of a sudden the tables are turned and they get vicious. Unfortunately I don't have any video, but I've never seen more people with diarrhea of the mouth in one place at once.
I was standing with a group of Cal students as well as several of the Daily Cal photographers, whose photos I've seen on the Daily Cal homepage already. Mr. Photo Book was trying to convince the Daily Cal reporters to give him their photos for free. This guy in the stadium seemed to be enjoying the view:
I've seen pictures of him elsewhere--he must have been there for hours!
Here are several shots of two of the larger trees coming down. The full series is on my photo gallery:
I'm not trying to plug my photo gallery's print service or anything, but I think that photo would make a wonderful wall hanging.
Shortly afterward, we noticed a large black tour bus coming from the South. Who else could it be but DAVE MATTHEWS! Mr. Eric "Ayr" Eisenberg (who, according to Google, shares the name with a number of well-respected people, including a professor and department chair at USF and a noted dog-training competitor) got the tour bus to stop and starting talking to the driver, presumably to get DMB to come out and support the protest...or maybe just to score a dime bag. Who knows... That didn't go over too well with the police:
It was about 20 minutes (and several more small trees) later that the guys with the sign showed up. I think it would be fair to say that these guys got more support from passers-by than all of the "protesters" in all of the times that I have been up at the stadium previously. Perhaps it was because someone finally said what everyone wanted to say:
The hippies, of course, did not approve. As we can see from protestshooter's video, this guy in particular did not like them, calling the sign-holders (and, I assume, everyone who thinks in a manner different from him) "f***king rapists":
"I was raped!"
These guys weren't here just for kicks, though. They stood their ground, took the insults and profanities that were being shouted at them, and debated back, argued back, and shouted back.
I'm pretty sure they got more media attention than the hippies (FINALLY), though I don't know if it will make it to air.
I don't actually know why, but Eric Eisenberg (who, from this point forward, I will not call "Ayr") was arrested...again:
There were the usual shouts from the hippies about "letting him go" or "you're breaking the law not him!" Everyone rushed along with the police trying to convince them to let him go. Note the guy with the camera on the left of this shot:
Now notice the guy on the ground. Yes! It's the same guy! He, too, was arrested for something that I didn't see.
As I said before, you can find all of these photos, and more, at my photo gallery: DOTPicture
Right before I left I snapped a few shots of the remaining tree hippies and their sad faces. I'll leave you with them for your "moment of zen":