At about 2:30pm on Tuesday (6/24) forest activists stormed the Life Sciences building at UC Davis where research is conducted on GE trees. Their goal? To bring attention to the Genetically Engineered tree programs taking place at the campus. The five demands are:
1. End to research on GE trees at UC Davis.
2. Full disclosure and acknowledgment of hazards of GE trees.
3. End of Corporate funded Bio-research at University of California
4. Cancel plans to build new Bio-Weapons lab at UC Davis.
5. Full public discussion and full public envolvement in all discussions about potentially hazardous research.
The lockdown occurred in the 4-story stairwell where a sculpture of DNA hangs through the middle if the stairwell. Two activists repelled with climbing equipment from the top of the stairwell and hung next to the sculpture, then u-locked themselves to each other and attached themselves to the sculpture. Another activist u-locked to the railing next to them.
Twenty supporters were inside the building holding banners, offering words of encouragement, and monitoring police activity, as well as reading the demands (above) several times.
About 50 others rallied outside in tree costumes and waving banners calling for an end to corporate dominance over ecosystems.
After about an hour the police gave an order to disperse, threatened to use chemical/less-lethal weapons, then pulled their sticks out and began pushing everyone out. At least one activist was assaulted by the police.
A medic was allowed to remain in the building, but then a screen was put up so that the medic couldn't see what was happening anyway. We were told by the medic via cell phone that the lock-down activists asked if they would be allowed to disperse without charges if they agreed to come down on their own. The cops denied this request.
Outside, riot cops blocked access to the building and activists rallied on the steps.
After about an hour a scout at the back door reported that the person u-locked to the railing was being brought out.
Everyone ran around back and gave cheers of support as the cop car pulled away.
After another 20 minutes or so, the other 2 were cut down by the fire department and brought out back to a cop van. They were also given cheers of support.
All 3 were brought to Yolo County Jail and have been charged with Conspiracy (felony), failure to disperse (felony), resisting arrest, and disturbing the peace.
The names they are using are Pacific Yew, Port Orford Cedar, and Douglas Fir - and they need your support!
Photos of the action will be posted as soon as they are available.