Occupy the Farm protesters continue to break into Gill Tract

The Occupy the Farm encampment on April 16, 2012 included tents, a kitchen, various gardening supplies, and a chicken coop.
Danielle Lee/File
The Occupy the Farm encampment on April 16, 2012 included tents, a kitchen, various gardening supplies, and a chicken coop.

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Occupy the Farm protesters continue to trespass on UC-owned research land in Albany, illegally harvesting and weeding the crops that they planted on the Gill Tract earlier this spring, and campus officials say they lack the resources to keep the protesters away.

In order to tend to crops they planted during their occupation of the tract, protesters have cut the lock off the gate on three occasions — most recently on Sunday — since the encampment was broken up by police on May 14.

“We are in a difficult situation and don’t have the resources to monitor the Gill Tract around the clock,” said UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof. “There is a group that seems to care little about property rights or the rule of law. We need to focus on ensuring that the research goes unimpeded and unharmed.”

On April 22, protesters — including campus students and alumni — erected tents on the Gill Tract and began planting crops in response to the proposition of the University Village Mixed Use Project.

The project, passed by the Albany City Council on July 9, entails the construction of a Whole Foods Market, a senior housing center and a retail center on a portion of the Gill Tract south of the research land.

The university filed a lawsuit against 15 members of Occupy the Farm on May 9. However, the lawsuit — which alleged that the protesters’ presence on the land interfered with research — was dropped on June 6 due to legal costs and the concern over the length of the process.

Mogulof said pursuing a second lawsuit against the protesters would be a long and expensive process and is not currently a priority for the campus.
UCPD Lt. Alex Yao said the tract is being monitored by both the community and the UCPD. He also said the participants of the break-ins are videotaped by officers.

Occupy the Farm member and UC Berkeley alumnus Krystof Lopaur said he thinks it is inappropriate to call tending the crops a break-in.
“When people talk about a break-in, people usually think it (took place) in a house,” Lopaur said. “This isn’t someone breaking into a screen door.”

According to campus alumna and Occupy the Farm member Stefanie Rawlings, the police have not said or done anything to keep the protesters from harvesting and weeding their crops. Rawlings also said as long as there is no open access to the Gill Tract, Occupy the Farm will continue to use the land to grow crops.

UC Berkeley researcher Damon Lisch, who grows corn for research on the Gill Tract, said the protesters have respected requests to leave his research intact, but he does not support the movement.

“I understand that the UC is trying not to escalate the situation, and I appreciate that the protesters are just harvesting their crops and not damaging our research, but it doesn’t mean that I am happy about it,” Lisch said.

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  • Raul Gjijalva

    Oh My Gawd….Someone broke into the garden and planted something…Call out Homeland Security, the TSA, the Berkeley Keystone Kops and the National Guard (Gotta bring them back from Afghanitsn first) to deal with the terrible Vandals!

    • Raul Gjijalva

      Won’t Someone Please Stop The TERRORISM????

      • How about stopping your silliness first?

    • On the contrary

      Yeah, it’s not a garden; it’s an agricultural research center that’s actually furthering our understanding of how crops fare in various conditions. And people didn’t just plant something. And we don’t need to call homeleand security or the TSA or the National Guard. All we need is some local cops to hand you your whiney, self-righteous little ass.

  • Guest

    these people are assholes

    • Raul Gjijalva

      Yes, you are

  • its why the FBI want them erased,although the FBI IS 75% TALMUDIC EVIL JEW LED TOO,AND CIA IS WORSE,,,and nsa,,,,they all have bloodlines in them from when humans started to speak properly via languages….200,000 years old,,,,evil culs ,evil orders,as for said in book of damned,,,,i found evil kings,evil leaders have ruled earth from zero to today too ! caannaites,,,serpent brtherhood mason jews,bablyonians,,,sumerian annuki,some of our laws ! and many others….. breaking u.n treaty on corruption….they run police too..courts,court steps are baal alrtrar they say,they wera saturnian,,satan robes black…..

    • I_h8_disqus

      Let me see if I am following this. The evil jews are behind the occupy efforts and the efforts to stop the occupy efforts? I guess Jews are really powerful in the world of the paranoid conspiracy theorists if they are the secret society behind both sides of the fight.

      • Usually I agree with you, but following kooks is like chasing your own shadow. All you do is go around in circles getting nowhere in particular…

    • (Please excuse the caps everyone…)


  • also OCCUPY TORONTO did weishapt illuManti triangle with members and protesters and public,,,,,,free mason watch.org explains unless erased,they are tubal caine followers………….

  • OCCUPY was built by david guleb a nwo jew yet on t.v he said it grew naturally,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,who are jews? you;’ll note they run u.s.a go to zog wordpress.com,,,,,,,,,,,,,joseph ran samaria 10 non jew tribes,,jew ss ran judeah,,2 jew tribes both evil,,,dan rtribe and other evil tribe !

  • I_h8_disqus

    Is Krystof really an alum? I don’t expect a Cal alum to not understand that if you are breaking the padlock on a fence and entering, you are breaking in. And when I see a sign that says compost capitalism, like the one in the photo, I wish that we could let these people live in a non-capitalist country so they could get a reality check.

    • Current student

      his name is Chris Cantor. He has a phd in vision science from Berkeley, and he’s been a postdoc here for the last seven years.

  • These little marxists are starved for attention. How about shipping them off to Venezuela so they hang out with Hugo Chavez and Sean Penn?

    • libsrclowns

      Thug Obama must be proud of these scum organizers

  • CantorSux

    Krystof Lopaur’s last name used to be Cantor. He’s a major pro-palestinian facist who is ashamed of his roots as a Jew and an Ivy League undergrad. .

    • I_h8_disqus

      It still seems to be Cantor. Christopher Cantor has a linked in account that keeps him connected to the working world.