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UC Police Attempting To Take Berkeley Tree-sitters Down

This story was written by Jacqueline Johnston and Ashley Trott,

The tree-sit that has been going on for more than 18 months in the oak grove near Memorial Stadium may have reached its end now that UCPD officers are attempting to take the sitters out.

In the latest of several developments, an arborist harnessed on the end of a crane was mobilized onto one of the trees. There, he attempted to cut down a structure in the tree when a tree-sitter began hitting him with a plastic bottle. The arborist was pulled out of the tree by the crane, but since then he has continued to cut other structures.

Estimated to be eight to 12 in number, none of the sitters have been removed from the trees, but arborists have cut down several of their supplies and structures. Two cherry pickers carrying police officers are also on the site. The officers have cut some of the structures and ropes that the sitters use to travel between the trees.

About 100 onlookers watching the scene from Piedmont Avenue, while several tree-sit supporters on the ground are yelling to people in passing cars.

At least 20 UCPD officers in hard hats are currently at the scene. Beginning at approximately 6 a.m., they erected a third barrier around the oak grove that blocks pedestrians from using the sidewalk on the west side of Piedmont.

Some of the tree-sitters could be heard yelling from the trees while several of them have poured excrements down to UCPD officers below.

"Don't worry, we're ready for this," said protest leader Zachary RunningWolf.

The actions come one day before a lawsuit ruling will determine whether or not the campus can proceed with the construction an athletic center. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller is expected to issue a ruling in the case tomorrow.

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