The protestors who have been sitting in trees to block new athletic facilities at the University of California, Berkeley football stadium have been ordered down by a judge. Of course, the protestors plan to defy the orders, and thus the attention-hogging radicals will generate more media coverage.
Carolyn Jones of the San Francisco Chronicle writes:
Berkeley's tree-sitters must climb down from their roosts or face five days in jail and a $1,000 fine apiece, an Alameda County judge ruled....
Superior Court Judge Richard Keller granted UC Berkeley a preliminary injunction against the protesters....
University officials asked for the injunction because of what they described as rapidly increasing safety and sanitation problems at the grove.... Several of the tree houses also have propane tanks for cooking.
The university wants the tree-sitters to move their protest to a less dangerous spot, said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof.
But protest leaders, many of whom were at Monday's hearing, said they have no intention of abandoning their 10-month-old demonstration.
"We're committed to protecting our grove," said a 39-year-old Berkeley resident who calls himself Ayr and who has been providing food and water to the tree-sitters since the protest began. "Nothing changes for us. To me, this ruling clarifies that the system is there to protect the powerful."
Thanks to the on-field success of the Cal Golden Bears, now ranked number three in national college football standings, they will have plenty of attention.
If the protestors' purpose is merely speech, they can do it elsewhere. But if they intend to be human shields and pull a Rachel Corrie manuever to stop the bulldozers, lengthy incarceration might well save their lives, and could happen if they repeatedly defy court orders.