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California Briefing / BERKELEY

Court clears way for new sports facility

September 05, 2008|Richard C. Paddock

A state appeals court Thursday cleared the way for UC Berkeley to begin construction of an athletic facility on a contested site where protesters have been occupying trees in the hope of halting the project.

University officials said they were pleased with the ruling and would begin construction as soon as possible.

Opponents of the project argue that it will mean the loss of a valuable grove of trees next to Memorial Stadium. Protesters have been occupying trees in the grove for 21 months in the hope of blocking construction.

Four tree-sitters remain in a single tree, and it was unclear how the university might try to remove them so that work can begin.

"The time has come for these people to come down and put an end to this dangerous and illegal occupation of university property," said Vice Chancellor Nathan Brostrom. "They have had their day in court and failed to convince impartial judges that their protest had any legitimacy whatsoever."

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