Ruling Doesn't Chop Tree-Hugging Stalemate

UC Berkeley dismantles treehouses; protesters cheered construction can't proceed
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2008 4:05 PM CDT
A tree house inhabited by protestors is seen aloft in a grove of oak trees Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007, in Berkeley, Calif.    (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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(Newser) – UC Berkeley can't yet proceed with a $140 million athletic center, a judge ruled yesterday, even as the university continued to dismantle structures belonging to protesters trying to save a grove of trees that would be cut down during construction, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Earthquake safety is the major issue; though the project is nearly compliant, environmental groups cheered the ruling.

One activist bit an arborist in the arm, while others hurled human urine and excrement at workers; at least two were arrested. One woman, identified as Dumpster Muffin, scared off one crew by violently rocking her tree-top stand. "This is a day of reckoning … for which the university will be held account," the tree-sitters' lawyer told the Daily Californian.