21 Months Later, Berkeley Tree-Sitters Come Down

Oak grove is cleared, and four remaining protesters are removed from atop redwood tree and arrested.

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The UC-Berkeley administration's long tree-sitting nightmare is now over. After 640 days of living almost 100 feet off the ground, the four remaining tree-sitters were arrested and escorted from atop a redwood tree by police yesterday, ending the longest urban tree-sit in history, the Daily Californian reports. The protest, which opposed the removal of an oak grove for the construction of a $124 million athletic center, has included hundreds of people and resulted in dozens of arrests over the past 21 months.

Last Thursday, a state appellate court ended a long legal battle and gave the final go-ahead for the school to begin construction. Negotiations to get the protesters to voluntarily leave the tree fell apart over the weekend, and by yesterday morning, 41 redwood trees had fallen, and only the occupied redwood remained. Yesterday afternoon, police and arborists raised a crane-supported platform to the tree-sitters' abode, where they were cuffed and safely removed.

Campus officials say security measures, which included police presence and barbed-wire fencing to keep out angry football fans, have cost the campus nearly $1.5 million.