Thursday, September 20, 2007

Scooping the Poop, Episode 1

Please read: I Intend to Scoop the Poop, A Prologue

In which our hero takes a Firm Look at the Tree Dwellings

Filed at 17:27 PDT

My arrival to the camp was well-timed. Just as I had locked up my bike and sauntered up to the table, a dull thud was heard. Senses alert, I wondered: Was it a tear-gas canister fired by anxious police? A rumbling of the faultline? An angry thrown by a belligerent jock?

My querying came to a pause as one of the supporters of the trees came forth with a gallon milk jug filled with what seemed like beer. Now here was a protest!

"We gotta tell these guys to stop dropping the piss!" The man uttered in a hushed voice.

"At least it survived" chimed in another supporter, "It definitely gets a gold star."

"A gold star?"

"The jug. It survived the fall. So it gets a gold star."

The pee was whisked away to be disposed of and I pondered whether or not I should leave. My mission of scooping the poop had been accomplished, in a sense. Honestly I had scoped the pee rather than scooped the poop, but the effect was nearly the same.

I decided to stick around and see how things were going with the supporters. The supporters' camp had a dislocated quality to it, as though it had not been set-up, but rather moved from another location. Two cars had created a tent people sat under and passed the time. Others sat on the stairs leading up to the oak stand. At the top of the concrete stairs was the infamous chainlink fence. It really looked menacing, martial and perhaps even Guantanamo-like, as has been claimed by leader Zachary Running Wolf.

As I stood around, gauging the scene, one of the supporters filled me in on the progress of events. Four local political organizations had sued UCal over a procedural aspect of the Environmental Impact Statement released by the University for the stadium (sound familiar, Columbia?). The goal is not to stop the building but rather make Cal start over the tedious paperwork needed to begin construction. A ruling in favor of the Oak supporters would also give the protestors more leverage and legitimacy than they are currently receiving.

Their position seems an interesting one. Cal is going wild over their new football team that's actually winning and doing well. A new stadium will help recruiting and getting an even better team. This means greater alumni giving, better views from the trustees and a better financial future and reputation for the school.

One the other hand, Oak supporters have two major points in their favor:

1. The proposed stadium will be built on a major faultline. Experts say the next major earthquake will occur on the Hayward Fault. The proposed stadium is supposed to be built right across the faultline. Riiiiiiiight.

2. The proposed site might be Native American burial grounds.Zachary Running Wolf claims he first took refuge in the trees 300 days ago to protect what he believes are Native American burial grounds. Unfortunately, these land records are sealed to prevent bone scavengers (seriously) from taking the remains to be sold on the black market. All I can say is, good thing Indy's back. The proposed site is also a WW I memorial, with the Oaks planted in memoriam to the fallen soldiers from Berkeley. But, hey, in what is "sacred" anyhow in this post-modern age?


As I left the supporters' grounds, I heard music coming from nearby. I pedaled about the distance of a football touchdown to the practice field adjacent to Memorial Stadium. There the brass of Cal's marching band blasted away, rehearsing for the season opener. The drums, flugelhorns and susaphones all sounded away together in a dramatic, uniform fashion. It was a stark contrast to the supporters' camp. As they worked through a Beyoncé number, the sound became more powerful, more imperial and seemingly unstoppable. In the distance, I thought I heard another jug urgently fall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of when you threw the poop out of your dorm room in Ruggles. (Unforgettable memories) Call me. xxxh.