Tree-Sit Resumes to Protect People's Park Trees as University Fells Nearby Tree, Threatens to Buzz-Saw Tree Hosting the Sit
At last, a new plot twist in the apparently on-going saga of People's Park tree sits.
This sit is all about protecting trees themselves. See there's actually a connection here, unlike past sits, which claimed Ohlone indians owned the park, if not "all of the known world."
It's all been staged before--two years ago. But not with such intricate plot twists.
Sit3 (it's a franchise now) began late Tuesday, less than ten hours before the university felled two small trees they said were impinging on nearby trees. Even the tree-sit host tree is a target. As the police have said in the past, the tree sit host tree was sick and had to be euthanized with a buzz-saw.
According to the latest sitter, Littlebird, 29, from Portland, Oregon, the police have wasted no time telling Littlebird that he's nesting on borrowed time.
Event organizer, Zachary Running Wolf Brown, 48, is worked up over the loss of the trees and the threats to the host tree. He may be as worked up as he was two years ago when the university went after and destroyed four acacias (Planet: January 07, 2009) in the park. Despite Running Wolf's best efforts to save them.
Subsequent tree-sits in the park have come to violent ends. I asked Littlebird if he was aware of the troubled history of tree-sits in People's park. "A little," he said. I gave him more. "Isn't that platform too small?" It was smaller than the one Amy Blue plunged from earlier this month. (Planet: Sep 7, 201). Littlebird said he'd "ordered" a larger one and Running Wolf promises a replacement.
In the meantime, "I'm tied down right now," he said. Littlebird has experience from tree-sitting at demos in Oregon, he said.
Running Wolf calls him "solid." When Amy Blue and Moon Shadow, fell from the last tree-sit tree, Running wolf blamed the tree-sitters' youth and lack of experience. It's different this time.
It's always different, but it begins to sound the same.
I called Amy Blue in Santa Rosa last week to see how she was doing after breaking her back when she fell from a limb early in the morning in September. She's recuperating at her parents' home, she said, and would return to Berkeley in three months.
Her injuries are worse than I reported. In addition to two fractured vertebrae, she has a broken collar bone and ruptured spleen, she said.
She acknowledged she had been negligent the night of her fall by not tying herself in as Running Wolf had instructed, but she blamed cops who shined flashlights up at her, she said. "I was changing limbs when I fell to avoid the lights in my eyes, so the cause of my fall was a combination of them and me."
She reported as well that university police--"playing good cop and bad cop-- threatened me with outing my trans-gendered identity if I didn't tell them how to find Moon Shadow", she said.
"They told me they had busted my boyfriend (a third sitter had gone up the tree the day before), and when I cried, they stuck their camera in my face to capture the tears."
i stumbled onto the latest tree-sit after getting a call from Running Wolf at 10:30 a.m.
Before I could get to what I am calling camp protest, a permanent protest site, at the North east corner of the park, not far from two large student dorms, I noticed that Hate Man had been dislodged.
Hate Man said that he'd had to move when the tree-cutters from the university (see photos) lopped off two trees. He seemed barely concerned for the trees, being more concerned over the fact that tree sitters were back.
Hate Man, an award-winning hater, has a special over-the-top hate for the tree-sit. The tree-sit attracts police and helicopters, he feels.
The re-born tree-sit bears a good resemblance to the acacia protest two years ago, after which arborists differed over the condition of the felled trees. Running Wolf claims to know that the university is just looking fro an excuse to go after the host tree-sit tree.
"Prove it," we said. He's working on it. Meanwhile, the tree-sit is re-forming.
Ted Friedman reports for the Planet on the South side and its most expensive property, People's Park.