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Monday, May 14, 2012

Occupy the Farm: Police Arrest Sleeping Protesters

Posted By on Mon, May 14, 2012 at 8:21 AM

  • Kate Conger

Early this morning, Occupy farmers released a statement, explaining that they agreed to peacefully leave the Gill Tract by 10 a.m., and have already started breaking down the encampment on the site that they took over on April 22. However, it doesn't appear that police are waiting around for protesters to back up and move.

News reports say that officers in riot gear were outside the site early this morning, where at least two sleeping demonstrators had been arrested after refusing to get up and leave. 

According to Occupy, the group started packing up last night and vowed to leave the camp by 10 a.m. today. But obviously, not everyone was awake when police moved in this morning, giving the demonstrators 10 minutes to get out. Occupy issued this statement at 1 a.m.:

The Gill Tract Farmers Collective has broken down camp and moved it off the plot of Class I agricultural soil and outside the gates of the Gill

Tract. The only thing standing in the way of the Gill Tract scientists from conducting their research is UC's own barricades and police.

Hilariously enough, Occupiers still made one last demand on UC Berkeley, which owns the site: Give protesters a little extra time today to get out of bed and get moving.

"We ask UC administrators to allow us until 10 a.m. on Monday, May 14,

before moving in with their tractors to till the land for the

scientists. We need some time to wake up, stretch our legs, get our

blood flowing (it's cold at night!), and do a final run-through to make

sure the plot is clean and tidy," Occupiers said.

At 6:45 a.m., NBC helicopters were circling above, reporting that police had a few protesters in handcuffs, but the scene appeared to be calm and "not violent." Whatever happens, Occupiers want to make clear to everyone that this in no way means they plan to abandon their efforts to make the site a community farm.

"Until the gates are open to the public from sunup to sundown seven days a week, we plan to maintain a constant presence outside the gates of the Gill Tract to ensure our crops are safe and healthy and so that we may continue facilitating open dialogue about the future of the Gill Tract," the group 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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