ALBANY, Calif. — UCPD arrested nine protesters as they retook control of UC-owned land in Albany Monday morning.
Officers from UC Berkeley and seven other UC campuses issued a dispersal order to Occupy the Farm protesters — most of whom were outside the east gate to the land near the corner of San Pablo and Marin avenues — at 6:15 a.m.
Two protesters were arrested after remaining on the land, known as the Gill Tract, and seven were arrested outside of the encampment’s entrances for unlawful assembly.
By 7:30 a.m., about 40 UCPD officers — some armed with paintball guns, pepper spray and riot shotguns — had formed a perimeter around the east gate and into San Pablo Avenue. At least 30 protesters and supporters who had arrived after the raid was announced were left on the sidewalks along with supplies salvaged from the campsite set up outside the east gate.
Protesters had moved their encampment outside the fences surrounding the tract on Saturday, though they continued to farm and maintain a presence on the land.
“The camp was moved outside in a show of good faith,” said UC Berkeley alumnus and Occupy Cal member Navid Shaghaghi. “Why was there a need to do this?”
In a statement issued Monday morning by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer and Vice Chancellor of Administration and Finance John Wilton, campus administrators insist that they made every effort to communicate with protesters in order to avoid the need for police action.
“At every step of the way our efforts were either rejected or ignored, and sadly we have now run out of time,” the statement reads.
The campus had invited encampment representatives to a Saturday meeting with College of Natural Resources Dean Keith Gilless and members of the Albany community to discuss the future of urban agriculture on the tract. The protesters, who would have had to cede control of the tract in order to attend, refused the offer.
According to Occupy the Farm spokesperson Anya Kamenskaya, protesters will reconverge at the Albany Community Center on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
“It’s not over,” Kamenskaya said.
News editor Adelyn Baxter contributed to this report.
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