Police Move on Occupy the Farm - NBC Bay Area

Police Move on Occupy the Farm

Police poised to move occupiers off Albany land.



    Nine people were arrested Monday morning by UC Police for camping on university property. (Published Monday, May 14, 2012)

    In an effort to move non-university people off campus property, University of California police on Monday morning moved in on protesters -- again -- to steer them off property known as the Gill Tract in Albany.

    By 8:30 a.m., campus authorities said nine people had been arrested; two for trespassing and seven for unlawful assembly. One person remained in a tree as of late Monday morning.

    Most of the protesters had left the 10-acre tract, near San Pablo and Marin avenues, over the weekend, but there were some who remained on the university property on Monday. One demonstrator said she was surprised the police came to roust them because she thought the protesters and the university were working on a compromise together.

    "We were demonstrating with a pretty clear good faith effort to meet their demands and cooperating with the them and I felt safe going home thinking they would not surprise us with a police raid," said Lesley Haddock.

    About two hours before the arrests, an NBC Bay Area helicopter flew over the scene, showing a row of about 100 police lined up in formation, poised to act. The scene looked mostly quiet from the air, with many sleeping bags and people lining the sidewalks and land.

    Despite one scuffle with a woman about 7 a.m., most of the arrests appeared to occur without violence.

    By phone, UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said the university is trying to gain control of the tract of land used for research by UC Berkeley's College of Natural Resources. He said officers will sweep through, giving occupiers a chance to move their belongings and get off the property.

    The group, who has named itself, "Occupy the Farm," has been protesting at this site for about three weeks. The occupiers want the land to be an urban garden, not a home for agricultural research.

    The last time policed moved in was Saturday, and the time before that was Wednesday.

    The protesters have been on this land since April 22 -- Earth Day.

    Activisits vow to regroup Tuesday to plan for the future.