Seattle Activist Occupies Tree, Prevents Construction for Affordable Housing

(U.S. Forest Service via AP)

Given the insanity of the Left these days, it’s rather refreshing to see the next generation of Libs getting back to their roots, so to speak. It does this old ex-Lefty’s heart good to see some old-school, non-violent activism — with a little quirkiness thrown in for good measure. A woman who calls herself Droplet 2 has taken up residence in a 200-year-old cedar tree she has named “Luma.” The goal is to keep Luma from being removed to make way for an affordable housing product. In Seattle. What city did you think I was going to say?

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Droplet 2’s fellow activists are stationed at the base of the tree, and apparently, everyone gets a turn in the branches to man the pickets. People are encouraged to come out, show their support, and hug Luma. There is also a list of supplies needed to aid in the fight. Those include:

  • A Wifi hotspot device
  • Locking storage bins
  • Butane lighters w/refills
  • Belays and climbing gloves
  • New carabiners
  • A new arborist harness

All of those make sense since Droplet 2 is about 50 feet in the air. Jason Rantz at KTTH in Seattle took some time to talk with the activist and her compatriots. Droplet 2, who claims that she was “chosen” to guard Luma, believes that the tree can remain where it is without affecting construction. She told Rantz:

I do wish that the council would talk to the neighbors … would talk to the tribes and say, ‘Look, we want affordable housing, and we need to have some trees stay. And why can’t we make that all happen? We can,. What can’t happen? We can’t dig really deep, and have homes that are just the same homes we’ve seen everywhere. We need to realize we’ve got to get creative. If we’re going to survive, we have to get creative. And it’s actually not harder, it’s funner [sic]. It’s way more fun to be creative than to do the same thing.

You can watch part of Rantz’s interview with Droplet 2 below.

Droplet 2 requires a “ground support team,” which is a group of people in lawn chairs at the base of the tree. They are responsible for Droplet 2’s safety and for making sure she gets the needed supplies through the use of a bucket on a rope. She is claiming some success, having convinced three arborists to bow out of removing the tree. Droplet 2 and her backers are anticipating a long haul and stopped short of adorning Luma with an American flag, because as she put it:

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…we’re not the America we should be. I was thinking, what if the American flag was held and then below it, it had a hopeful message like ‘Redefining America,’ because right now we’re so divided. And this neighborhood is, and this tree Luma has connected us together again. We were separated, and all of a sudden, we’re glued together. So if we can, in this block, actually create what we wish to see, then maybe we can have an example of how to live. (sic)

I don’t doubt that Droplet 2 and her supporters are earnest. She seems like a genuinely sweet person. And all things considered, it is gratifying to see activists who are not breaking windows, setting fires, or beating up random people in the street. It’s nice to see good old-fashioned tree hugging coming back into vogue.

On the other hand, the same leftists who are opposed to cutting down a cedar tree will also demand that there is affordable housing for everyone who needs it. Just not in an otherwise-empty lot that is zoned for residential use. And that happens to have a cedar tree in the midst of it. Someone else must make the concession. Someone else must sacrifice.

In his piece, Rantz points out that the activists are all older people who are trying to recapture the glory days of the late 60s and early 70s. I suspect that then, as now, there was a great deal of self-identity and self-worth tied up in those movements. And it is still trendy to support whatever the latest thing is at any given moment, consequences be damned.

Droplet 2 and her comrades appear relatively benign. But let us not forget that when activists were spiking trees in the Pacific Northwest, it was with the hope that loggers would contact the spikes with their chainsaws and be either killed or maimed.

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In the county in which I lived for many years, it was the practice of outside activists to partially drive rebar in the roads leading to the oil and gas fields. These activists wanted the company trucks to strike the rebar, resulting in an accident. That someone might die or be seriously injured by this behavior was something they may not have considered. The only more ominous possibility is that they did consider it. And such a result may have been factored in as part of the reward.

Related: ‘Just Stop Oil’ Protest Hits Pride™ Parade: Social Justice Civil War

Left-wing activism is rarely designed to achieve results. It is frequently a means to a dopamine hit and a feeling of self-worth and superiority. As I have opined before, you never see wealthy Leftists emptying their coffers to fill up a local food bank, put clothes on children’s backs, or even build affordable housing. How many people could Zuckerberg, Gates, or Soros house, clothe, and feed? Likewise, you never see the rank-and-file holding food or coat drives, repairing distressed homes, or even picking up litter along the highway. Because there is no immediate reward in those things. No headlines, no fear among the privileged, and no sense of self-satisfaction.

Droplet 2 and her comrades could easily take any donations they have received and plant a stand of cedars in an adjacent location to replace Luma. Granted, they would not be around to see the results. And it would require, at the very least, some sweat equity, as opposed to being robed in praise and controversy for nestling themselves in branches.

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But I submit that incumbent in an act of heroism is the notion that one may not directly benefit from one’s deeds. Quite the opposite. A hero cares more about others than himself. By contrast, an activist would prefer to bask in a moment of glory than invest in the future. It is far easier to squat in a tree or burn a store or police car and to engage in acts of disruption and destruction than it is to build something.

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