Occupy the Farm: Police Arrest Sleeping Protesters
News reports say that officers in riot gear were outside the site early this morning, where at least two sleeping demonstrators had been arrested after refusing to get up and leave.
According to Occupy, the group started packing up last night and vowed to leave the camp by 10 a.m. today. But obviously, not everyone was awake when police moved in this morning, giving the demonstrators 10 minutes to get out. Occupy issued this statement at 1 a.m.:
The Gill Tract Farmers Collective has broken down camp and moved it off the plot of Class I agricultural soil and outside the gates of the Gill Tract. The only thing standing in the way of the Gill Tract scientists from conducting their research is UC's own barricades and police.Hilariously enough, Occupiers still made one last demand on UC Berkeley, which owns the site: Give protesters a little extra time today to get out of bed and get moving.
"We ask UC administrators to allow us until 10 a.m. on Monday, May 14, before moving in with their tractors to till the land for the scientists. We need some time to wake up, stretch our legs, get our blood flowing (it's cold at night!), and do a final run-through to make sure the plot is clean and tidy," Occupiers said.
At 6:45 a.m., NBC helicopters were circling above, reporting that police had a few protesters in handcuffs, but the scene appeared to be calm and "not violent." Whatever happens, Occupiers want to make clear to everyone that this in no way means they plan to abandon their efforts to make the site a community farm.
"Until the gates are open to the public from sunup to sundown seven days a week, we plan to maintain a constant presence outside the gates of the Gill Tract to ensure our crops are safe and healthy and so that we may continue facilitating open dialogue about the future of the Gill Tract," the group said.