(Εκεί βέβαια η διοίκηση της πόλης είναι στο πλευρό των κατοίκων και όχι του κατασκευαστή, έστω και αν αυτός είναι ένα από τα σημαντικότερα δημόσια πανεπιστήμια στον κόσμο. Και δεν προέβαλε επιχειρήματα για τα οικονομικά ωφέλη που θα προκύψουν ούτε για τις θέσεις εργασίας. Μακάρι να διάβαζαν την ανάρτηση αυτή οι δικοί μας υπουργοί Οικονομίας και Κατασκευών και ο δήμαρχος της Αθήνας).
Μια ενδιαφέρουσα πλευρά της διένεξης είναι η επί δύο έτη (!), κατάληψη των δένδρων που θα κοπούν από φοιτητές του Berkeley (αυτοί δεν είχαν άσυλο...).
Μια άλλη ενδιαφέρουσα διάσταση είναι το οικονομικό κόστος της διένεξης.
Two years after the tree-sit and its associated lawsuits began, the bills are coming in and all parties involved are re-evaluating how they can prevent the town-gown relationship in Berkeley from deteriorating.
The campus spent at least $2,230,681 on security at the tree-sit from Dec. 2, 2006 to Sept. 9, 2008. The largest portion, $1.17 million, went toward police services. The second-largest expense was overtime pay for UCPD officers, which cost upwards of $604,000. In legal fees, the university has so far spent $1,118,041 defending itself in the three lawsuits and their appeals.
On the other end, the city of Berkeley will have likely spent at least $400,000 on its suit against the university. Panoramic Hill Association, another plaintiff, has spent approximately $60,000 to $70,000 of private donations on its case.
The numbers are particularly striking as both the city and campus are facing drastic budget cuts from the state, and the nation sinks into a recession.
But UC Berkeley officials say the costs will likely be absorbed by private donors and discretionary funds, while city council members say they will use money from the general fund.
At the heart of both the suit and the 21-month-long protest-the longest urban tree-sit in history-was UC Berkeley's plan to construct a $126 million athletic training facility on the west side of Memorial Stadium.
The city and the Panoramic Hill Association sued in objection to what they said was the campus's incomplete planning process. The California Oak Foundation also sued to prevent the removal of 42 trees near the stadium.
A judge issued an injunction preventing construction in January 2007, further delaying the project and surprising many. But after months of legal proceedings, a state appellate court ruled in September that the campus could begin construction at the site and remove the tree-sitters.