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Occupy the Farm Protesters Forcibly Removed from Encampment

13 May

Press Release from Occupy the Farm

In August, protesters attempting to harvest crops were originally unable to enter the Gill Tract due to a locked gate and the police. They later entered through another entrance. http://www.dailycal.org

In August, protesters attempting to harvest crops were originally unable to enter the Gill Tract due to a locked gate and the police. They later entered through another entrance. http://www.dailycal.org

Albany, CA – UC police moved in to break up the two-day Gill Tract Farm in the early morning hours of May 13. Despite a transformation of the vacant lot from abandoned field to blossoming community farm and democratic forum, the UC used police force to evict the peaceful farmers. Occupy the Farm will continue to maintain a presence all day, and will be reconvening at 5 pm in order to water and continue caring for the recently transplanted vegetables.

“The University claims to care about ‘community interests and democratic processes,’ but this morning’s response is just another example of their one-sided and poor-faith interactions with the community groups who have been articulating an alternative vision for the Gill Tract over the past fifteen years,” says Jackie Hermes-Fletcher, Albany resident and founding member of the Albany Farm Alliance.

Approximately thirty police officers amassed shortly after 4:30 am, prepared to remove people from the newly planted farm. This show of force came in spite of Occupy the Farm’s public announcement declaring that the farmers would intentionally de-camp on Monday May 13th. Given the neglected quality of the land, it was decided that another day of farmwork and soil remediation was needed to get the farm into productive shape.

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