Columbia tree protester removed and arrested

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – After spending eight days in a tree to protest construction of a mid-Missouri nature trail, activist Sutu Forte has been arrested.

The Columbia Missourian reports that Columbia authorities on Tuesday removed Forte from the tree by using a fire truck’s hydraulic bucket. She was handcuffed and taken to jail, but released a short time later.

Forte says the police “handcuffed me very gently.” One of her supporters held the summons Forte was given by police that indicated a charge of first-degree trespassing.

Police Chief Geoff Jones and a city spokesman declined comment.

Supporters in the crowd sang “This Little Light of Mine” as Forte was brought down from the tree.

Forte staged the protest since Oct. 28 over concerns that the trail extension would lead to forest destruction.

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