Occupy the Farm Prepares for Police Raid

Kate Conger
Update (9:42 a.m.): SF Weekly correspondent Kate Conger is at the scene and tells us the raid has not yet happened. Occupiers seem to believe the raid will now happen later tonight. Police have closed nearby roads, but protesters believe that's merely a tactic to cut off water supply to the farm.

(Original story 7:46 a.m): Occupiers over at the "Farm" in Albany say police have surrounded the area, and have started to raid the land that protesters have occupied since April 22.

According to a statement released by Occupy the Farm this morning, police came in at about 7 a.m., barricaded the farm, and evicted the demonstrators. Cops are reportedly threatening to use "chemical agents" if protesters don't leave.

NBC has a news helicopter out there, and reports that the scene appears calm for now. Protesters are milling around the land, which is owned by UC Berkeley and used for research.
University officials threatened to evict the protesters if they did not leave, initially giving the group a Saturday deadline. But when that day came and went, Occupiers, who still hadn't left, made their own demands on the university, including maintaining the site as a community farm.

Demonstrators took over the 10-acre Albany property, known as the Gill Tract, on Earth Day, declaring it a new community farm. Since then, they have been tilling the land and planting thousands of seeds.

Check back for updates on this story.

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The Occupy the Farm organizers have created open dialogue with both the UC and the surrounding community. The efforts to create the tract, which is long standing historic site of farm land, have been requested by the community and members of the UC to the UC administration for a long time. Occupy has occupied as a means to halt and give pause to considering this ongoing request to maintain the land as farm land (via community farm) while the administration requests redistricting to sell the land to Whole Foods. 

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