Naked Berkeley Activists Protest Tree Removal

On Saturday, activists at the University of California Berkeley undressed to save some trees that authorities are planning to cut down.

About 50 people showed up at a grove of eucalyptus trees on the campus of UC-Berkeley, stripped off their clothes, and began to intimately interact with the trees in the grove for the benefit of photographer Jack Gescheidt.


The display was organized by Gescheidt as part of his Tree Spirit Project, which involves taking pictures of people as they are frolicking in nature. The website describes the project's purpose to "raise awareness of the critical role trees play in our lives, both globally and pesonally [sic].”

The Daily Caller writes,

The Berkeley photoshoot was held in order to protest a plan by authorities in Oakland, UC-Berkeley, and the East Bay Regional Park District to cut down thousands of trees in the area. The plan, which has FEMA approval and could start by the end of August, is allegedly needed for both fire prevention and to check the spread of the invasive eucalyptus tree. Wildfires are no petty concern for the area. In 1991, a firestorm tore through Oakland and Berkeley, torching over 1,500 acres of land along with 2,800 homes. 25 people were killed.

 The tree removal is necessary for fire prevention and to check the spread of the eucalyptus tree.

"But the naked protesters claim the Conservancy has it all wrong, and that cutting trees down will only increase the fire hazard. Protester Ken Cheetham told The Daily Californian that the cutting plan was 'extremely misinformed' because living eucalyptus trees hinder fire by collecting moisture. Cheetham also dismissed concerns about invasive species, saying different lifeforms 'can find ways to adapt to each other.' "