10 November 2006

Save the Stadium Oaks rally

Circle Around the Oaks ceremony (photo: Daniella Thompson)

Yesterday, the Save the Oaks Coalition held a ceremony at the Memorial Stadium oak grove, followed by a rally at Sproul Plaza. Over a hundred students and community members took part in the rally.

U.C. recently released its final EIR on the Southeast Campus Integrated Projects (SCIP), which proposes to cut down approximately 43 heritage trees in the stadium grove—38 of them Coast Live Oaks protected under a City of Berkeley ordinance—to make way for the new Student Athlete High-Performance Center.

Jane DeCuir chants for the trees (photo: Daniella Thompson)

In the oak grove yesterday, participants included former Berkeley mayor Shirley Dean and her husband Dan; Peter Selz, founding director of the Berkeley Art Museum; Carole Schemmerling and Jennifer Pearson, co-chairs of Friends of Strawberry Creek; Sally Sachs, former BAHA president; Jerry Wachtel, president of the Panoramic Hill Neighborhood Association; activists L.A. Wood, Doug Buckwald, Fredrica Drotos, and Michael Kelly; and representatives of various neighborhoods and associations.

Wearing green ribbons, all formed a circle while Zachary Running Wolf burned sage leaves and Jane DeCuir blessed the trees in a Native-American ceremony. Green ribbons were then tied around the threatened oaks.

Students demonstrate for the oaks in Sproul Plaza (photo: Daniella Thompson)

Following the ceremony, participants marched to the U.C. campus, where they were joined in Sproul Plaza by a large group of students bearing signs. The enthusiastic crowd was addressed by Doug Buckwald, Juliet Lamont (on behalf of the Sierra Club), Zachary Running Wolf, councilmember Dona Spring, three student leaders, the one-and-only Wavy Gravy, and representatives of Julia Butterfly Hill’s Circle of Life Foundation and the California Oak Foundation. Beating her drum, Jane DeCuir led all present in a chant for the oaks.

Hand-made signs abounded (photo: Daniella Thompson)

The event concluded with a march to California Hall, where Chancellor Birgeneau has his office. The chancellor not being on hand, a stack of 3,000 petitions was handed to security officer Al Rollins.

Demonstrators deliver petition to California Hall (photo: Daniella Thompson)

See L.A. Wood’s videos of the two events and more photos on his website.


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