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September 10, 2008

Hump Day. Peace & Love Edition

The last of the Berkeley tree sitters have finally given up their brave, pointless struggle.

The protesters surrendered to police at the top of the seven-story scaffold, where they were handcuffed and escorted down the structure's stairs to the applause of hundreds of onlookers, some of whom voiced support for the four men's cause and some of whom appeared happy that the 21-month protest was finally over.

Now 'Shem,' 'Huck,' and 'Ayr' can be reunited with 'Dumpster Muffin.' I am not kidding. What is it with these children and silly nicknames?

Maybe Hollowpoint or Spongeworthy can explain it to us.

Hours later, the redwood was cut down, paving the way for construction of a $125-million athletic training facility on the site next to the campus' Memorial Stadium.

Somehow the protestors came to believe that Berkeley had agreed to create a land use committee that would include students. Representatives from the school deny ever making such a deal.


The long-running drama at the grove brought out relatively few student supporters over the months, but Tuesday's final act drew a different crowd, including many who cheered the arrests. Some joked about the possibility of a protester falling to the ground and one man held up a sign saying, "Free Firewood."

A student who gave his name as Nakul said the protest was misguided in focusing so much energy on 40 trees that had been part of a landscaping project, rather than on such global environmental issues as the destruction of the rain forest in the Amazon basin.

"They brought shame to the name of Berkeley, which is famous for the Free Speech Movement and protests against the Vietnam War," the computer science student said. "It's an outrage. The university should have been harsher and brought them down faster."

A lefty calling for harsher anti-protest tactics against other lefties.

Been feeling kind of awesome to be a 'winger lately, hasn't it?

It's like there's a Van Halen concert going on in my head all the time.

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posted by Laura. at 11:30 AM

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