Tree Sitter Jailed at Santa Rita

By Judith Scherr
Thursday July 03, 2008 - 04:46:00 PM

Amanda Tierney, 21, better known as Dumpster Muffin, was among the three tree sitters to leave their perches at UC Berkeley’s Memorial Grove on Wednesday. After the intervention of her doctor, paramedics took her to Highland Hospital.  

Wednesday evening Dumpster Muffin was taken from Highland to Santa Rita Jail by UC police, charged with trespassing and violating a stay-away order. She also had two $10,000 warrants for theft, according to Mitch Celaya, assistant UC police chief. 

The 19-month protest targets the university's plans to cut down 44 trees to make way for a $148 million sports facility next to the aging Memorial Stadium traversed by the Hayward fault. A judge will rule in about two weeks on whether the facility can be built. 

Stewart Jones, a tree-sit supporter, told the Planet he hoped the university would not use Dumpster Muffin's arrest as a public relations tool against the tree sitters “to create the image of crazed kids” and that the charges wouldn't overshadow the “important work” she did in the trees. 

By protesting in the trees, “a lot of people have transformed their lives” Jones said, adding that committing a criminal act should not condemn a person forever.  

“We all have ghosts in the closet,” he said. “The president did cocaine and (Mayor) Tom Bates stole newspapers.”