Farm protesters decide to stay, solidify conditions for disbanding encampment

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Protesters occupying UC-owned land in Albany released a list of demands Monday they wish be met by the campus if they dismantle their encampment.

The release of demands follows up on a Friday request from the campus that the protesters decide by Saturday night to disband the camp and open up discussion with campus officials or stay and face legal action.

Protesters unanimously voted Monday afternoon to maintain the encampment, according to spokesperson Anya Kamenskaya.

The demands were made public in a press release — which also included a statement of goals and a clarification that the protesters responded to the Saturday deadline by postponing the decision till Monday.

Campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof said the campus did not have a chance to form a statement in response as of Monday night.

Read the demands below:

The Gill Tract Farmers Collective looks forward to addressing our mutual concerns around the unimpeded work of the Gill Tract researchers. We understand that the nature of genetic research necessitates extra precautions for the security of those experiments.

When the University presents a concrete proposal that satisfies the following concerns, we will break up the camp so that the researchers have access to their plots. The concerns are:

1. That municipal water at the Gill Tract be made available to us.

2. That the Farmer’s Collective and larger community have access to the field in order that we may:

a. Tend to the crops we have planted on the East side of the field.

b. Maintain the children’s garden in the northwest corner of the tract, as well as the BASIL seed bank homecoming site on the edge of the west field.

3. That in order to protect the organic food crops, the long-term health of the soil, the beehive, as well as the neighbors, including children and families, the researchers/the University refrain from the use of chemical herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, chemical fertilizer or plastic tarp in the soil on the farm.

We continue to be willing to facilitate this transition process for the researchers and to work jointly toward such tasks as the construction of new fences or gates would allow for our access to the locations referenced in Condition 2, so long as these conditions are met.

We look forward to further discussion around how to make this a truly collaborative process for all stakeholders in the Gill Tract. This includes not only the Albany community, the Gill Tract Farmer’s Collective and UC Berkeley, but also the residents of the greater East Bay. Because of its unique location in a thriving urban area, any future use of the Gill Tract has an immediate impact on East Bay food sovereignty, equity and access issues. We hope that more consideration for the time that is necessary to facilitate an open community dialogue is respected and that the UC ceases to levy ultimatums such as the one issued on Friday, May 4th.

Christopher Yee is an assistant news editor.

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  • Urban Planner

    I really can not believe UC Berkeley allows this happen! This is the most ridiculous protest with the most ridiculous demands I have ever seen. If this continues to happen, soon I will be there to protest these guys!  

  • Current student

    three words:  live fire ammunition

  • student

    Hi, I’m going to break into your house and you can’t get rid of me until you agree to give me room and board free of charge.

    Guess what? NO CIVIL SOCIETY works on this basis.

  • Berkeleyprotest

    Water access and banning pesticides and herbicides are examples of lobbying and smart decisions

    • student who is sick of this BS

      Guess what? IT’S NOT YOUR LAND. Sorry to bust your bubble, but you have no right to make demands when you’re on someone else’s property.

  • I_h8_disqus

    I think it is time for the researchers to occupy the dorm rooms, apartments, and homes of the people in the tents.  It seems the occupiers are not utilizing their old homes the way they were intended, so the researchers should move in.  Fair is fair.

    • Carlos

       And if they aren’t satisfying the sexual needs of their partners, it is now our right to move into their beds and do so.  Fair is fair.

      • Stan De San Diego

         I tend to agree you in principle, but if you see they type of women who hang around with these people, you might have second thoughts. The term “hygenically challenged” comes readily to mind…

        • Carlos

           I want access to the guys.

          • Guest

            The term “hygienically challenged” applies to those kooks as well.

  • Guest

     Time to dust off the water canons.

  • GeorgeM

    Hi.  I am robbing your house.   I will stop if you agree to my conditions.  Otherwise, I’m going to steal all your shit.

    • Guest

       Yeah, but these protestors are questioning the house-owner’s initial right to the “deed”. It’s not like they’re questioning the law, they’re questioning the validity of the system.

      • Guest

        I’m questioning the validity of a system that respects private property. It’s clearly okay then to rob your house.

      • I_h8_disqus

        Then this is an easy problem to resolve.  You go to court with the university and see if the university has the right to the “deed” that was given to them by the owner of the land.  From what I can see, Occupy and the university are considering using the land in a way that the owner did not want his land used.

        • Nano1

           U.C. Berkeley paid 400k to buy the land from the Gill family back in 1920.  It is their land, so they have every right to kick these ignorant dirty hippies off of it.

      •  [Yeah, but these protestors are questioning the house-owner’s initial
        right to the “deed”. It’s not like they’re questioning the law, they’re
        questioning the validity of the system.]

        In other words, they are a bunch of kooks, right?

      • Carlos

         So guest, rules don’t apply.  I just need to feel that some rule is invalid and then it doesn’t apply to me anymore.   Hey — I like your bike, and you don’t seem to be using it well enough to merit owning it.

  • What a freaking spineless UC administration. But then again, what can you expect when you put liberals in charge?

    • Guest

      Why the fuck are these UC liberal administrators so brainless and fearful of a band of filthy hippies? Fire the lot of them and replace them with people with spine.

      • Guest


    • Russell Bates

       Tony,have you ever been to the tract?

      •  No, because I am an adult with a real job and real responsibilities. I work for a living, and take some of that money and by food from grocery stores with it. While I don’t have a problem with people who garden as a hobby with their own land (or people who have PERMISSION to grow stuff on other people’s lands), I don’t fill my head full of wacky concepts such as “food insecurity”, or think I’m going to solve the world hunger issue by playing agrarian revolutionary worker – not only because I have far better things to do, but I know how such concepts have worked in places such as Russia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, and other places where a bunch of freaking IDIOTS thought they could do a better job of farming than the professionals if they just stole the land from them. Berkeley is one of the few places left on this planet where people are so ignorant and deluded that they still think they can somehow make Communism work…

      • Nano1

         I’ve worked at the tract for over a decade!  I’ve worked the soil, planting corn, and helped turn it into a working farm.  These idiot occupiers are trashing the place!  They’ve built unstable structures, spread their waste around, scared off all the wildlife, and turned it into a dirty campsite!  I’ve tried talking to these idiots, they are all willfully ignorant and have no idea how to farm.  Time to toss them out of there!