I was a little late to the party, but, according to GoldBlooded, I didn't miss much.
Approaching what is now "a construction site" from the south I saw the scaffolding and the protesters, who had scurried up into the upper reaches of their apparatus:
Let me make a few things perfectly clear before I get into more photos. I understand that I don't really have to convince any of the CGB readers of these points, but I just wanted to reiterate them and implore you to pass on these sentiments to others. I was going to say "my sentiments", but I have heard them from SO MANY PEOPLE that I can't really call them my own.
1. These people are ridiculous. So much so that I feel like other pro-environmentalists are ashamed of them because it makes everyone look bad. I'm not for cutting down all of the trees everywhere, but there is no way that I would want to be associated with these morons.
2. There are tens of thousands of students and faculty who go to school and work at this University. This has been nothing but a nuisance and a distraction to them. The filth along both sides of Piedmont is absolutely terrible. Futhermore, why does each TV channel need 4 reports on the ground, 3 cameramen, AND A HELICOPTER!?! I saw at least 4 different helicopters there today. I have read comments on newspaper sites encouraging professors and students to write to the University and ask them to file a complaint with the FAA. I can STILL hear helicopters over my apartment about 10 blocks away. It is incredibly annoying.
3. This whole debacle shows just how GOOD the staff and administration at the University and the UCPD are. These police officers and arborists have been treated incredibly disrespectfully by many of the protesters (not all), and they have shown an enormous amount of class, tact, and restraint over the last year and a half. While the protesters might claim a victory (they would have no matter what), I feel like time will really show just how much of a victory this was for the University--in ALL regards. Already they have set a world record with the longest "urban tree sit". If it wasn't for the University ALLOWING them to be there, it would never have happened. They were (and are still) protesting at the grace of the school, especially seeing as how the entire protest had been ruled ILLEGAL by the court.
*gets off soapbox* I'm sorry--I had to let off some steam. It's been rough standing there and enduring their mindless drivel day after day after day. Get a LIFE!
As always, all these pictures and more can be found at my photo gallery, DOTPicture
The usuals were there:
ZRW was on his megaphone, yelling about everything he could think of, including insulting all of the mayoral candidates and proclaiming himself mayor:
"Shirley Dean is the Cheney of Berkeley!" (actual quote)
There were a LOT of other people there this time, though... The most I think I've ever seen, 99% of them not paying attention to Zachary:
Apparently a lot of people wanted this to be over. The view from Maxburger Family Field was rather impressive. I particularly like the bear statue who seems...relieved:
"Get the f**k off my land"
We've seen this guy before, though I don't remember this particular sign:
"Me fail English? That's unpossible!"
The police were keeping everyone either on the west side of the street or in the median, but after they finally closed off the northbound lane, everyone rushed to the barricades. Right next to us there was an EXTREMELY impolite photographer who nearly knocked over (several times) a videographer next to him to try to get a better position. Someone behind me kept on yelling at people to move out of her video frame. She apparently didn't remember that when you're in a crowd your camera has to be higher than people's heads.
Stadium folks were enjoying the view, again:
Apparently they reached a compromise with Nathan Brostrom for the "committee" and nothing else, and Eric Eisenberg announced it over his megaphone. I shouted back asking what had come of their ridiculous request for $6 million, but he gave me an evil look and turned away. The sitters started to come down in handcuffs, one by one, to the cheering of their "lovers" down below:
"I have impregnated myself with the seed of an oak. Grandmother lives!"
"My tongue will save you all! Take the tab of LSD off the tip and you will be free!"
After all four were on the ground, the crowd started to dissipate and the media started interviewing people. The AP reporter and the Daily Cal reporter who interviewed us wanted to know what we thought as students, how this reflected on the University, how this fell in line (or didn't) with student protests in the past. We all told the truth: this was ridiculous, it will, in the end, reflect highly on the University and the UCPD, and it makes a mockery of student protests, since very few of these people are actual students, despite what they claim.
It was such a great media op, UNIVISION was there!
definitely sticking to their viewer base:
"How do you think Sabado Gigante viewers will feel about this?"
After everything was over and the police re-opened the street, the core group of idiots gathered towards the intersection. I overheard some of their plans. Apparently, now that all of the sitters are down, they are going to "hold out for more" and try and get the stump of the supposedly pre-University oak tree. Apparently they forgot to bargain for that earlier.
"The dirt is what makes my feet taste good"
My bet is that this won't be over for a long time, but I really, really hope that the city or the campus clean up the west side of the street and get these people out of there.
I went back up there to see if anything new has developed since I have continued to hear helicopters the entire time. Apparently while I was at home writing up the first part of this FanPost, the tree came down! All that's left is this stump:
Nearly all of the people have cleared out, and many seem to be "cleaning":
Dumpster Muffin and Eric seem to be plotting something:
and the news channels are just getting started with their "live from Berkeley" reports: