Police Lockdown the Gill Tract Farm Occupation

by

ALBANY, California – On April 22nd, a few hundred demonstrators broke ground at the Gill Tract empty lot on San Pablo and Marin and established a guerrilla garden. The land owned by the University of California, Berkeley, was periodically used for agricultural research, but was otherwise untouched. Community activists have spent a decade in dialogue with the university to open the land to the public. However, talk of selling the land to build a strip mall on this high grade agricultural soil launched demonstrators into action. On the 22nd, demonstrators tilled the land, transplanted seedlings, established chicken coops, set up tents, organized events and workshops, and inspired the community to flourish.

Although support for the new community farm flooded in from neighbors and members of the University of California, administrators at the UC threatened eviction multiple times through the course of the next two weeks, and then last week they finally gave demonstrators an ultimatum. Around 7am on May 9th, the UCPD [locked the west gates and placed concrete barricades to prevent vehicular traffic].

Update:

8:00am – The UCPD told press that they are only restricting vehicular access, and that the East entrance is still accessible. (via Susie Cagle)

10 May, Thursday

Around noon, UCPD closed the last remaining pedestrian gate. However no arrests have been made as of Thursday night. Read more.

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