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Tree-sitters find themselves alone at UC Berkeley

The four continue their protest even though the grove they were trying to save has been felled.

September 09, 2008|Richard C. Paddock | Times Staff Writer

Four tree-sitters occupying a redwood on the UC Berkeley campus continued their protest Monday even though the grove of trees they were trying to save has been cut down.

With a breakdown in negotiations between the two sides, university officials cut off daily delivery of food and water to the protesters but said they were confident the tree-sitters had been stockpiling supplies and would not go hungry.

For 21 months, protesters have been occupying trees in the grove to block construction of an athletic facility on the site. But after a state appeals court sided with the university last week, workers quickly cut down more than 40 trees that surrounded the redwood where the four tree-sitters remain.

UC officials say they will try to end the standoff as soon as possible. Late Monday afternoon, a worker with a chain saw cut the remaining lower branches of the redwood, leaving only the branches that support the platforms where the sitters are making their stand.

"At this point the campus is making preparations to quickly bring this situation to a safe but certain end," Vice Chancellor Nathan Brostrom said. "We will continue to urge them to come down voluntarily and sincerely hope they decide not to continue with a protest that is now without purpose."

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richard.paddock@latimes.com

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