East Bay News

'Occupy the Farm' demonstration continues

Monday, May 07, 2012

UC Berkeley officials were hoping an Occupy encampment on a university-owned plot of land in Albany would have been voluntarily taken down by now, but that hasn't happened. The so-called "Occupy the Farm" demonstration continues on a piece of land know as the Gill Tract at San Pablo and Marin Avenues in Berkeley just east of Golden Gate Fields race track.

The Occupy movement detailed Monday night what it will take for the group to break its camp on land owned by UC Berkeley. Occupy's conditions include using local the water supply to irrigate its crops and banning UC researchers from using pesticides.

There's no sign the two-week old encampment is going anywhere anytime soon. Monday was just another day on "the farm" with little hint of any ultimatum from the University of California.

"There was nothing in our meeting on Thursday that indicated to us that there was any kind of Saturday deadline. That was news to us, that came through the news, to us," Gopal Dayaneni told ABC7.

Last week, members of Occupy met with the university administration to exchange views. Both sides say reports of a Saturday deadline for the encampment to be removed were overblown.

"We told them that we hoped and expected to have a response to our proposal by Saturday night. We were disappointed we didn't get it," Cal spokesman Dan Mogulof said. "The door remains open for a peaceful resolution of what's happening down there, but they understand that that needs to begin with voluntarily ending the encampment."

According to Mogulof, the university is open to continued dialogue with the occupiers, but in the short term, the administration wants them pull up their tents and go so the researchers that normally use the space can start preparing the soil to get their crops in by June 1.

"I don't really feel like they're up front at all about like what they want to do and we're still in discussion about how it is we're going to respond to them," Don Hughes said.

The university maintains they need the camp out by mid-May so researchers can get in and do their work.

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Tags:
albany, occupy cal, occupy wall street, protest, crime, east bay news, laura anthony
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