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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Occupy the Farm: UC Sues, Hopes Courts Will Evict Protesters

Posted By on Thu, May 10, 2012 at 9:23 AM

  • Kate Conger
The University of California isn't waiting around for the cops to boot demonstrators from its land. As the Chron reports today, the UC Regents have filed a lawsuit against 14 demonstrators, claiming they cut through gates and have trespassed onto the 10-acre site that's used for university research.

The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, seeks a restraining order and an injunction against the protesters, which could result in six months behind bars.

What's more, the suit claims, protesters are interfering with the annual corn-planting on the site, which is not meant to be a 24-hour-a-day encampment.

"We're happy to have a conversation about both the short- and long-term future of the Gill Tract," Dan Mogulof, a UC Berkeley spokesman, told the Chron. "But that conversation must include members of the Albany community who have been involved with us in a collaborative planning process for more than eight years."

Meanwhile, occupiers are doing what they can to at least share the land with professors and students. Here's a statement Occupy the Farm released this morning:

Yesterday evening, in order to free up as much space as possible for researchers, the farmers began relocating the temporary camp to a more southern portion of the Gill Tract which has long been vacant, not used for agricultural research. The move was completed this morning, after the scheduled planting with Professor Altieri, and offers a win-win scenario, where the farmers can maintain access to the crops and the researchers can begin their research unimpeded.

Protesters moved onto the Albany site, known as the Gill Tract, on Earth Day, in an effort to preserve the land as a community farm. Since then, demonstrators have ignored all requests by police and the university to leave, and have continued to till the land and plant thousands of new seeds and vegetables.

Yesterday morning, police barricaded the area, and protesters sent out a statement, saying they were preparing for a raid. Obviously, that never happened.

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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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