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Tree clearing occurs despite protest

BERKELEY, Calif., Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Thirty-five redwoods have been cut down on University of California-Berkeley property despite an ongoing protest against their removal, officials say.

A university spokesman said while four protesters continued their 21-month-long protest from one tree, workers cut down 35 of the 42 redwoods in the campus grove, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday.

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Campus spokesman Dan Mogulof said with so many of the trees now gone and a state appellate court rejecting construction delay requests, the demonstration is now "pointless."

"With the trees gone, the protest is completely pointless," Mogulof said following Saturday's tree removal. "We believe the reality of the legal situation will sink in and they'll come down voluntarily."

While university officials had no plans to use force to remove the protesters, they were to remove the tree stumps to begin making room for a $124 million athletic training center.

"They're not holding us back," Mogulof told the Chronicle. "They're not stopping us from doing what we need to do."

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