55-year-old professional tree-sitter Matthew "Midnight Matt" Dodt was convicted yesterday in an Alameda County court of two misdemeanor counts of of illegal lodging and pointing a laser at a police officer, following a three-day trial. Dodt began his occupation of a platform in a cedar tree in People's Park in November 2010, and stayed there until January 27, 2011, when he stabbed a man who climbed the tree to try to talk to him.

Yay! Peaceful protest! Anyhow, the charge of assault with a deadly weapon was ultimately dropped, and yesterday's conviction means Dodt will get a 60-day suspended sentence and three years probation.

As his defense attorney told the court, Dodt began his protest "because he believed the space belonged to the Ohlone Indians, and because he was angry about police treatment of the homeless." UC Berkeley, which claims ownership of the park, remains touchy about