For two years I’ve had a love-hate relationship with them. I’ve tried to reserve judgment. Even imagined myself in their Birkenstocks. I’ve listened to their point of view and become incensed. I’ve tried shutting them out of my life completely only to find myself coming back for more. And then one day – as fast as you can say bark mulch – it’s over.
After two years, those pesky Berkeley tree sitters have (finally) been purged from the trees. I won’t lie. Reading about the protesters dangling from the oak grove in the aging hippie enclave across the Bay has provided much amusement to me on many of my morning commutes. How better to start the day than read how tree sitters with names like Huck, Mondo and Shem are wielding gardening tools and throwing feces at arborists charged with their removal? I’m still waiting for Larry, Moe and Curly to emerge from the woods.
Call me a clean freak, but I’m not sure throwing poop is the best way to bring support to your cause. Attention certainly. But throwing human waste at public officials is one way to piss off a lot of people potentially on the fence about your cause. Plus it’s gross.
But the real funny thing to me is that the protesters here were fighting for 38 trees. None of which were old growth. None of which were a protected species. UC officials were already planning on planting new trees elsewhere to replace those lost to the expansion project. The new sports training complex should improve the athletic program at Berkeley, which essentially translates to more money for the UC school.
The whole protest seemed orchestrated to waste taxpayer time and money by a group of folks with stage names who were looking for their 15 seconds. Their behavior drew attention away from truly worthy fights like the inadequate medical treatment provided to U.S. veterans or real environmental concerns like the clear-cutting of rainforests. Huck, Mondo, Shem, Larry, Moe, Curly and the other Berkeley tree sitters are lucky they live in a country so tolerant of so many morons.