Court Denies UC Request for Restraining Order Against Tree Sitters

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday September 11, 2007

Superior Court Judge Richard Keller Wednesday denied UC Berkeley’s request for a court order ending the tree-sit at Memorial Stadium. 

The Alameda County Superior Court judge said he needed more evidence before ruling on the move by the university to end the protest aimed at saving an oak grove the university hopes to cut down to build a high tech gym a stone’s throw from the Hayward Fault. 

“My intent is to maintain the status quo until we can get a full hearing,” said the jurist. Keller set Oct. 1 as the date for a full court proceeding that will include testimony from both sides. 

The university filed papers Tuesday seeking a temporary restraining order against the ongoing protest that began last December in the pre-dawn hours of Big Game day, when Zachary Running Wolf scaled a redwood near the stadium wall. 

University officials surrounded the site with a fence two weeks ago, and the bid for a court order was the next step aimed at halting a high-profile tree-in that even gained the attention of the New York Times. 

Running Wolf hailed the judge’s decision Wednesday as “a victory for us.” 

Until the court rules, the university agreed to allow the tree-sitters to have access to food and other necessities.