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Cal Tree Sitters - Save The Oaks v. UC and The UC Police - Video Documentary

For me, covering what turned out to be this three-part video documentary started with a call from a friend and fellow Cal Alum who said that I should get "down there" with my camera because there was no video on what was happening. So, fresh from a meeting, and with two hours to spare, I went over to the Grove in front of Cal Memorial Stadium, the site of the clash between the Cal Tree Sitters and the UC Administration and Police.

The overall story is that we -- Cal -- needs an upgraded stadium facility and the plans for this have been in the works for almost ten years. With the success of Cal Coach Jeff Tedford, it became easier to raise money toward this objective. As part of the effort , the University of California was able to secure $500 million from British Petroleum, most of which would go to the creation of a new research institute, and the rest toward what will be an athletic facility upgrade -- a new training center where the Grove is.

(CORRECTION - The BP Deal has nothing to do with the athletic facility, which is privately financed. But the public perception is that BP is financing the deal. )

This has caused a round of protests led by a group called "Save The Oaks" and Running Wolf, who ran for Mayor of Berkeley and a man who calls himself "Air."

This video -- which I will elaborate on soon -- is of three days: Tuesday June 17th, Wednesday June 18th, and Thursday June 19th. On Wednesday, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Barbara Miller issued a rulling that did not halt construction but did place a rejection on the University's current approach using the Grove. The Grove is near a faultline and the plan was just that the University could not build given its current approach. The Tree Sitters saw this as a victory.

On Thursday, the third video shows horror. Protesters stopping traffic and preventing parents from getting home to their kids and families. And one woman a mother with her kid and reportedly a California Deputy Attorney General, was arrested for nothing other than just standing trying to get the police to clear traffic so she could get her kid from soccer practice.

In this, both protester and police are to blame for a terrible set of events. You be the judge. I think Cal could have avoided this with better planning.

More later.
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