Monday, December 15, 2008

Death of the Lorax

He was shortish. And oldish.
And brownish. And mossy.
And he spoke with a voice
that was sharpish and bossy.

"Mister!" he said with a sawdusty sneeze,
"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues."

Just days after giving up on mediation, the UCSC tree-sitters quietly left their perches and the bulldozing began. For 13 months, protesters had been occupying several giant redwoods on the proposed site of a new UCSC biomedical building. Today, construction began clearing the site.

In some ways, this makes Fosco very sad, as

  1. He loves redwoods (especially 100 year old ones, like the ones being razed) and doesn't want to see them cut down.
  2. He is completely uninterested in anything biomedical and wonders why we need another building for it.
  3. This is another defeat for campus activism.
And yet, at the same time, Fosco has to note that THIS WAS THE STUPIDEST PROTEST EVER.

Think I'm wrong? Then tell me just what this protest accomplished? By my reckoning, the tree sitters
  • alienated the entire Science Hill community with urine/feces dumping.
  • isolated themselves from the rest of the student community through their extreme actions (and their actual physical isolation).
  • provided an easy target for caricature and eye-rolling.
  • had absolutely no effect on UCSC's LRDP.
Seriously--the protesters couldn't even get something out of mediation! Not one thing! Instead, after mediation broke down, the protesters gave up the protest entirely. So what do they have to show for their 13 months? Maybe a couple of woodticks.

Nice work, UCSC hippies.

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