Category Archives: people in trees

lrdp part whatever

So I had never actually taken the time to figure out exactly what the LRDP consisted of, development-wise. After perusing the Final Draft LRDP, I’ve certainly got a better idea of the scope and impact that it will have, if completed in it’s current form. The graphic below consists of two maps from the LRDP that I thought together gave a pretty good picture of exactly how far back the administration wants to develop:

lrdp big graphic
click for bigger


I’ve definitely walked/ran/biked in the area that would be developed, and, yeah, it’s too bad that will be gone. But spending a good deal of time back there has really made me appreciate the sheer magnitude of space that is available. I mean, not only does the UCSC land continue upwards past the areas in question, it is bordered seamlessly with Wilder Ranch and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Parks. And no matter how greedy and overreaching one may think the administration, it’s far past the point of credulity to believe that they’d try to develop there.

final draft lrdp (PDF)

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lrdp part quatre

you ≠ intelligent or convincing

lrdp phat

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lrdp part tres

these are all flyers I’ve seen around campus, publicizing the LRDP Resistance organization, “an ad-hoc coalition of concerned individuals on and off the UCSC campus.

you should notice that these flyers are at least a few cuts above standard handwritten-photocopied-stapled protest flyers.  their website, too, is impressive.  well-designed, and with very well-written content, as well as ample background information and links.  they state that, “despite appearances,” they have no web-designer, which I find somewhat curious.

Not to be cynical, but I really don’t think your average student protesters are capable of this.  they do acknowledge that there are “individuals … off the UCSC campus” involved in the organization, but given that the protest was almost entirely comprised of students, and that one line is the only mention of non-student involvement, I’m pretty curious as to who exactly the LRDP Resistance is.

I don’t really think there’s some big ‘ol conspiracy, and that it will turn out to be bin laden supporting government destabilization through student activists such as lrdp resistance, but it’s just a question I had.

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lrdp part deuce

so the big ol’ rally was today (11 am baytree plaza), and from what I’m told (I was at work/writing paper all day) there was an overwhelming police presence–lined up at the base of campus, ready for action. Apparently 6 or 7 jurisdictions were represented. Apparently the rally marched up to Science Hill, to the site of the proposed biomedical facility that is the first real D in the LRDP. Apparently, early this morning (3:30 am) treesitters installed a platform up in a redwood, at the site of the proposed facility. The talliers were bringing them supplies, and had to force through a police line to do it. students were maced, arrested, told that their parents didn’t love them, sexually violated, you know, standard police procedure.

I only know this because one of the students in my american studies class (which just got out) was part of it, and we were talking on the bus ride back (he was going back to check in, I was going home, where I read the Sentinel article on the protest). you can definitely feel that something happened, there’s a sort of palpable feel of excitement in the air–bits of conversation heard walking past groups of people–“I got maced, but it wasn’t bad,” “they’re already out of jail,” etc.

I respect the beliefs and feelings of the protesters, but there’s one glaring question I have about this treesit: aren’t treesits generally started because of the imminent threat of development? Maybe not all sensationalistic, with idling bulldozers and sinister construction workers standing around, but enough to make people feel that if they don’t physically prevent it, the trees will be felled and ground will be broken.

the thing is, construction has been stopped by a court order, brought on by the university’s failure to adequately address the facility’s impact. the case is due back in court sometime in december, but considering the fact that mediation hasn’t even been started, and the university probably doesn’t want to pursue (costly) appeal and further litigation, there really isn’t any imminent risk to the small grove of trees.

the sitters state that they’ll be staying up there until the proposal is scrapped. optimistic? yes. idealistic? yes. likely? no. Come on, the University is hell-bent on expanding, are they really going to let a few college students stop them? no. are they even college students? don’t college students have to, like, go to class? It’s kind of hard to attend section when you’re up in a tree, isn’t it?

personally, I think expansion is imminent, and if it’s done intelligently can improve the campus and the surrounding area. protesters like these are a tempering influence, and thus serve a legitimate purpose. but their willful idealism and unrealistic expectations just kind of rub me the wrong way, y’know?

ucsc protest turns violent -SC Sentinel

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