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Monday, May 7, 2012

Occupy Refuses to Leave UC Berkeley Farm, University Officials to "Take Action"

Posted By on Mon, May 7, 2012 at 8:01 AM

click to enlarge KATE CONGER
  • Kate Conger

University officials gave Berkeley's latest crop of protesters until Saturday to vacate the vacant tract of land the group had occupied last month, which they've used as an urban farm.

On Friday, Berkeley officials issued a stern warning to the Occupy the Farm, demanding the group leave the 10-acre Albany property, known as the Gill Tract, by Saturday night. In return, the university said it would start a public dialogue to find ways to continue "urban farming" on the land, which the university currently

uses for agricultural research.

But Saturday came and went, and occupiers remained on site, which, we're guessing, was a stellar spot to view the super moon. As of Sunday, Berkeley officials told the press they were still waiting for the group to leave, and by Monday morning, when occupiers still hadn't budged, university officials said they were "weighing their options" to clear the site.

According to Dan Mogulof, it's imperative occupiers leave the site, as student and faculty researchers need to regain access to the property by mid-May where they will conduct their work. If protesters do not agree to leave the university will take action, he said.

"We did not get a response as we hoped and expected last night, so we're disappointed," Mogulof said Sunday. "At this point we'll need to evaluate other options to ensure that research can go forward."

Occupiers have been hanging out on the land since April 22 -- Earth Day -- when they marched down to the site and declared it a new community farm. Since then, they have been tilling the land and planting thousands of seeds.

Occupiers said they plan to meet with university officials again today to come up with some resolution. "We don't want a raid -- we don't want police action," said protester Gopal Dayaneni.

Still, Dayaneni noted that "it won't end well for them regardless.

"We're very committed to seeing the vision of the farm preserved and we have an enormous amount of community support, both in the immediate communities and in the wider area," Dayaneni said. 

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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