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'Criminal' Treesitters Winning War of Nerves Against Weenie UCSC Administrators

Jan 26, 2008
Three guys up in trees are winning the war of words and nerves against the multi-billion University of California system. The three guys and their supporters are bringing the highly taunted University of California to its administrative and intellectual knees, thus begging the question of the value of a higher UC education.

Protesting against UCSC expansion, the treesitters are now fighting the system all the way up to the University Regents level, a sort of David and Goliath sideshow. But just who is David and who is Goliath remains to be seen; one would think the protestors to be the underdogs but the inept administrators have copied a favorite populist political strategy and have given away the advantage to the 'enemy'; the enemy being the treesitters and their supporters.

Obviously those that can't administrate in the real world find jobs administrating in the make believe world of university administration. Stymied by their lack of creativity, initiative and insight, the UC administrators have borrowed a George Bush strategy from the Al-Qaeda fight; starve the suckers out.

At the Regents level, the governing body of the University, the leaders maintain in court that the protestors have created an unsafe as well as unsanitary situation. It will be interesting to see how the judge rules on the unsafe part; "your honor, we've been up in those trees for several months now in all kinds of weather and haven't fallen out once yet."

As for unsanitary, the University now claims other students have been 'downloading' the five gallon bathroom buckets from the treesitters and emptying them in nearby student housing toilets. Please keep a straight face, Your Honor. The University knows about this clandestine potty run because they have installed around the clock security guards and security cameras. These treesitters aren't the usual criminal profile; UC is not only bringing in the heavy guns but high tech guns as well.

Obviously the poor judge will have to keep from snickering as he hears open testimony from the University lawyers about the hazardous bathroom buckets. The protestor's case will be based on First Amendment rights while the University's is on bathroom buckets. Once again, just who's David and who's Goliath?

Stiffening their resolve, the UC administrators have said that any attempt to hoist food up to the protestors will be met by the heavy hand of law enforcement. The Santa Cruz Sentinel quoted UC spokesman Jim Burns as not characterizing the new strategy as "starving them out" but said, "It is what it is." Heavy stuff here, folks. Somebody up high took a seminar on "how to deal with terrorists." Unfortunately at the point when the judge hears this, he'll stop smiling...

Nine people who were named in the complaint by the University will have their day in court, including the UCSC professor that brought the protestors soup and hot tea. "My crime," the Prof will say, "was bringing soup and hot tea to those that needed it." Go figure...that's what Mother Teresa used to do, no?

"You are hereby sentenced to six months in the Santa Cruz County Jail for having served hot tea and soup to a group of ruthless 'criminals.' "

And so the comedy of errors continues. After the University's initial 'bust and gas' strategy failed to deter the protestors, the weenie administrators have been trying to gain the upper hand even though it is obvious they are unclear on the concept. By installing the high tech cameras they are hoping to widen the net of subversives and put the whole lot behind bars. Fat chance.

UC is a public institution and other than plant a tree, the protestors have had zero effect on the property itself; what judge in his right mind is going to sentence someone for planting a tree? Hello? Even in flaky California that won't happen...

But the poor administrators have always been a day late and a dollar short since this one started. The protestors, having anticipated the weenie strategy, already built a fourth platform to store food and can now send food via wire and rope from platform to platform. Advantage protestors. In fact, in this whole mess the protestors have had the upper hand.

The fact that the University police, administrators, and hired security guards have become more aggressive and 'violent' is a page right out of the old social rebellion school. If you can't beat 'em, get the cops to bust 'em up real good to win sympathy for the cause. Hello UC administrators, this is one of the oldest tricks in the civil disobedience book and one that has done an end run around the all night UC think tank. Sad.

And while as a parent you might at times wish your child had gone to Texas A&M, it does give you cause to worry at just what kind of education your child is getting at UCSC or UC for that matter. If the system can't handle a few eco extremists up in trees it certainly is questionable whether they are capable of handling and administering anyone's education.

The truly amazing point is that apparently there is no active dialogue between the University and the protestors...hello again?

In the coming months we most likely will see more tear gas, beatings, security guards and probably arrests. The protestors will sue the University for infringement of their First Amendment Rights and will win millions in court. The University will admit its ineptness; cluelessness and all those administrators involved in this fiasco will be given promotions, golden parachutes and moved into other less sensitive positions devoid of criminal activity.

And by the way, in the end it will also cost the taxpayers many millions of dollars...
About the Author
Jack Deal is the owner of Deal Business Consulting in Santa Cruz, California. Related articles may be found at http://www.jddeal.com and http://www.freeandinquiringmind.typepad.com
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