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Bay Area: Occupy The Farm Raided; Reconverge May 15th!

Posted 2 years ago on May 14, 2012, 10:58 a.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

occupy the farm

Occupy The Farm has held an encampment on prime urban agricultural land that is slated for re-development by the owners the property, University of California-Berkeley. For over three weeks, community activists have weeded, planted, hauled, and tended to land. After repeated harassment by police, the UC regents filed a civil lawsuit last Wednesday accusing 13 activists of trespassing. Afterward, they built a fence around the land, known as the Gill Tract.

Occupy The Farm declined an invitation from the university to discuss what to do with the land. Instead, they built a ladder to scale the fence and promised to continue tending to the vegetables, fruit trees, and other plants on 2 acres of the land. They noted that community members, local residents, activists, and university faculty and students had worked toward a compromise with the university for 15 years. Despite widespread support for their cause, the university has always betrayed them. Community members have tried for years -- including six previous months of deliberation -- to encourage the university to use the land for urban agriculture, and it was never even considered until people took direct action and started planting it themselves.

Now, they have been evicted by riot police and bulldozers and are calling for support. Via OccupyTheFarm.org:

Albany, CA - Well over 100 UCPD and Alameda County Sherriffs officers, armed with less-than-lethal impact-force projectiles, 36" batons, and pepper-ball guns, arrested nine people at the Gill Tract Farm near 7 AM on Monday morning. Of the nine that were arrested, two were watering plants on the agricultural land and seven were watching the police from San Pablo Avenue.

The Gill Tract Farmers Collective has called for a reconvergence at the Albany Community Center, 1249 Marin Ave., at 5 PM tomorrow.

Follow @OccupyTheFarm or on Facebook.

46 Comments

46 Comments


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[-] 2 points by aaronparr (597) 2 years ago

The comments seem to ignore the post above, preferring to wallow in ignorance of the history around this piece of land. The post above however does succinctly describe the history to you as follows:

[Occupy the Farm] "noted that community members, local residents, activists, and university faculty and students had worked toward a compromise with the university for 15 years. Despite widespread support for their cause, the university has always betrayed them. Community members have tried for years -- including six previous months of deliberation -- to encourage the university to use the land for urban agriculture, and it was never even considered until people took direct action and started planting it themselves."

It is obvious that UC has never negotiated in good faith with the neighbors of this tract of land (nor for that matter have the done so with the state of california nor with their own employees, but that does not directly pertain to this case except that it further highlights the bad behavior of the institution's "leadership"). How can you blame a group for refusing to go to "the table" yet again when the other party doesn't negotiate in good faith? Maligning Occupy the Farm for that is just willful stupidity piled on top of ignorance.

UC is a land grant university. Public money was used to purchase the GIll tract. Who is the actual owner then? You can split legal hairs and claim that UC can do whatever it damn well pleases, but then if they betray the public trust long enough the ability to do as they please goes away requiring increasing levels of police and other inefficiencies. Eventually a new social order will emerge.

You can not betray the public trust forever. Eventually it leads to an uprising, and change.

[-] 2 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 2 years ago

In a world with arguably too many people, increasing automation and a future with not enough work what do you do? Grow stuff. What else is there to do? It keeps people busy and has numerous other benefits such as reducing health care costs because of improved diet.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

From the OccupyTheFarm.org web site:

said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. "All they needed to do was agree to work with us to coordinate activities."

The regents had said they would drop their suit if the protesters quit trespassing and joined in a discussion Saturday about how to use the land for both urban farming and for the plant research faculty members are planning for the site.

So... The university was prepared to allow the farming to continue, but Occupy is whining because...

Somebody please help me to understand this because it's really confusing. Occupy acknowledges that the university owns the property, and they could have continued their farming if the had gotten permission, which the university was apparently prepared to give. But Occupy is throwing a fit because they object to working with the legitimate property owner?

Does this really make any sense to anybody?

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

When is it okay in your mind to bring up the issue of ownership and discuss its legitimacy? Never. Because the subject has been regulated to taboo by the ruling classes of society.

Jeffrey Friedman argues that natural law libertarianism's justification for the primacy of property is incoherent: if...the liberty of a human being to own another should be trumped by equal human rights, the liberty to own large amounts of property [at the expense of others] should... also be trumped by equal human rights. This alone would seem definitively to lay to rest the philosophical case for libertarianism... The very idea of ownership contains the relativistic seeds of arbitrary authority: the arbitrary authority of the individual's 'right to do wrong.

Is it making more sense now?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

No, sorry, it really isn't. You seem like you're rationalizing as hard as you can to come up with a justification for disregarding any authority and just doing whatever you want. It's hard to believe that Occupy is trying to fight against the concept of property ownership. A university's campus is not a fiefdom, used as a device to keep the population in slavery. They're trying to build a research facility. In your anarchist fantasy vision of the future, there would be no property ownership? Nobody could own a house?

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

No. Friedman said 'LARGE' amounts of property ownership. You did not even give that a proper perusing, probably just skimmed right over it and wrote it off as unworthy of proper consideration. Like I said, the subject is relegated to taboo because it deals with authority and -- authority does not like to be questioned.

I think in a few hundred years, most of today's traditional views on ownership will be greatly enlightened.

Finally, I am not trying to disregard authority, but I reserve the right to question the practical basis and moral intention of said authority.

"Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory"~Leonardo da Vinci

[-] -1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

To the less enlightened, Occupy might come off like toddlers, throwing a tantrum when they're told that they can't do something.

This might seem to parallel the incident when Occupy turned against Trinity Church in New York. After Trinity provided assistance to Occupiers, somebody decided that the church was evil because they wouldn't let Occupy use Duarte Square, which is the church's private property. Occupy decided that it was outrageous for the church to say no, and simply stormed the property by jumping the fences.

In the case of Occupy The Farm, the university was actually willing to let Occupy use the property to grow vegetables. In both cases, Occupier have turned against people willing to help them on certain terms, because they wanted access to other people's property on unconditional terms. It reminds me of a toddler grabbing a toy from another toddler and yelling, "MINE!!", and then breaking out in a crying fit when an adult tells them that they can't have that toy because it belongs to the other kid.

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

This is the same argument used when the rich exploit the tax system and funnel the money to the top. When the growing income inequality gets brought to light - you resort to the POLITICS OF ENVY. Anyone who questions authority must be childish for not accepting their place under the heel of authoritarian oppression.

This see-through ploy shows your callous attitude toward having any sort of real discussion about what is merited and unmerited in our society. You are obviously fine if we end up with a future world where Donald Trump's great, great grand daughter owns every square inch of New York.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I fail to see how Trinity church was "oppressing" anybody by denying Occupy's request to set up an encampment on their property. And I fail to see how the university is "oppressing" anybody by offering to coordinate with the Occupiers to let them grow vegetables on the university's property. This isn't even about the Occupiers being prevented from growing vegetables. It's about their refusal to cooperate with somebody who was offering to allow it. The Occupiers just can't handle the idea of being given permission. Do you assert the right to break down my front door and walk into my living room without asking me for permission to enter my house?

[-] 2 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

What we have here is a failure to communicate. Yes, all things you say are true when viewed through the same lens that you've been trained and conditioned to see things with for your whole life. I'm sure the slave owners "failed to see" and made similar arguments back in the day.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I admit that I have been "conditioned" to believe that you need to get my permission before barging through my front door into my living room. I'm very confused at the notion that Occupy seriously expects people to support them in protesting against the concept of property.

[-] 3 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I'm sure gay people have often been ridiculed and told no one would ever take there protests seriously. Now, don't take this notion of property so personally. Don't get all bent out of shape over planting some vegetables in the ground and compare it to someone banging down your front door. They are not the same thing and you know it. The question that I'm presenting is more about ownership than property anyway. It also extends to working for an owner who pays only a slave wage. You see how they go hand in hand. Ownership of people & things is very much in play simply because people are tired of being exploited by the powerful.

Occupy should have never been forced out of a park. You are welcome to view that through your lens, but my perspective is it amounted to nothing more than the powers that be suppressing an uprising of the oppressed. Same thing happened in Egypt. and the media language that covered it was totally different. In Egypt, these were oppressed people standing up for their rights. In America, the Occupy crowd was a bunch of hippies and socialists. All about perspective.

[-] 0 points by DSams (-71) 2 years ago

Ah, the media frame of reference... AKA propaganda.

[-] 1 points by JadedCitizen (4277) 2 years ago

I went with a nice neutral term of perspective. I didn't want to scare my opponent to much at once. Finding out your own media is throwing propaganda at you on a daily basis tends to shake one's sense of security.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Propaganda www.ask.com/Propaganda Get Propaganda Search for Propaganda Dictionary.com Free Toolbar Dictionary.com Define Propaganda Instantly. Faster Page Loads With Fewer Ads.

prop·a·gan·da    [prop-uh-gan-duh] Show IPA noun

1. information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.

2. the deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.

3. the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement.

4. Roman Catholic Church .

a. a committee of cardinals, established in 1622 by Pope Gregory XV, having supervision over foreign missions and the training of priests for these missions.

b. a school (College of Propaganda) established by Pope Urban VIII for the education of priests for foreign missions.

5. Archaic . an organization or movement for the spreading of propaganda.

Origin:

1710–20; < Neo-Latin, short for congregātiō dē propāgandā fidē congregation for propagating the faith; propāgandā, ablative singular feminine gerundive of propāgāre; see propagate

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

Martin Luther supported open posting

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

And?

Matt you have a disconcerting habit of commenting on a comment without really making a comment. Just leave the reader of the comment to draw their own conclusions.

[-] 0 points by DSams (-71) 2 years ago

What JadedCitizen points out certainly fits a dictionary definition of propaganda...

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

What do I suggest?

What I have from the start - push issues. Support good issues and oppose bad issues.

Unite in common cause - the health and prosperity of all.

Own the democratic process it is ours - The People's.

See my post unite in common cause. Be active. Be proactive. Participate.


[-] 0 points by DSams (95) 1 minute ago

Problem is, how do we use their propaganda against them? Choice. The myth-construct the elite uses is the illusion of democratic choice by funding and managing the two dominate parties for their own ends. They use fear-based motivators, incentives and narratives (what used to be called "yellow journalism") against "the other." An "outside" threat will unify them.

To successfully puncture their illusion, we must offer a clear-cut democratic choice acceptable to at least a plurality of Americans (hopefully a majority). I've made a few suggestions along those lines; the Separation of Wealth and State*. What do you suggest?

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Yes - what most people do not consider though - is - propaganda - is - advertizing by another name.

Commercial advertizing, Political advertizing - it is all done the same way.

[-] -1 points by DSams (-71) 2 years ago

Problem is, how do we use their propaganda against them? Choice. The myth-construct the elite uses is the illusion of democratic choice by funding and managing the two dominate parties for their own ends. They use fear-based motivators, incentives and narratives against "the other" to influence and control their target audience. An "outside" threat will unify them.

To successfully puncture their illusion, we must offer a clear-cut democratic choice acceptable to at least a plurality of Americans (hopefully a majority). I've made a few suggestions along those lines; the Separation of Wealth and State*. What do you suggest?

*Please see EvolutionNow's posts at www.theMultitude.org

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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

The regents had said they would drop their suit if the protesters quit trespassing and joined in a discussion Saturday about how to use the land for both urban farming and for the plant research faculty members are planning for the site.

trespassing where ?

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Trespassing on the university's property.

If a bunch of people were to declare my front yard a farm, and insist on jumping my fence so that they could plant and tend their tomatoes, then would you support that?

What if I told them that I didn't mind them growing tomatoes on my front lawn, but that they needed to at least get my permission to go into my yard to work? Would you support them giving me the finger and showing up at whatever time they want on their own terms instead of coordinating with me?

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

use to be plot behind on of the apartments I lived in

where homeless people would defaecate,

that stopped once a garden was put in

[-] 0 points by DKAtoday (23961) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Do we really need the tomatoes? Is there a dire shortage and need? Is your property the only arable land to use in the area?

So many ( silly ) questions/hypothetical's so little time.

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[-] -1 points by Rush123 (3) 2 years ago

The owners of the land can do what they want with it, it is THEIR land.

[-] 0 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

The owners of the land also were going to let the Occupiers keep farming if they just got permission, which the Occupiers definitely knew because they posted it on their web site.

[-] -1 points by Robespierre (89) 2 years ago

The first man who had fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.

[-] 1 points by JPMcMahon (18) 2 years ago

Maximilian, I think that the earliest people that saw someone putting up a fence, at least the ambitious and intelligent ones, thought,"Damn! what a great idea. I want that too!" Native Americans, though they did build stockades and religious enclosures because incessant warfare was an essential part of their culture, didn't fence in their land, and look what happened to them.

[-] 0 points by DSams (-71) 2 years ago

The first man who fenced a piece of land... was a farmer. He did it to keep animals in or out (or both). Agriculture, food storage for the winter, and shelter from the storm all contributed to the rise of private property. Some land was better than other, some farmers more industrious, and some were just plain lucky -- surplus accumulated. Wealth. Trade. Specialization.

You picture an idealized hunter-gatherer state of being. Natural? Yes. Low impact? Yes. As wonderful as you picture it? Doubtful. But anyway, how do you keep us down on the farm after we've seen gay Pariee? All muscle power again? Technology is so luxuriously seductive, which is why we burn hydrocarbons so copiously.

Philosophically? I agree with you. The idealized, abstract concept is attractive. Walking the land as a man among equals. A beautiful dream...

But, at the moment, our government protects the weak (the 1%) from the strong (us). We, the people, are our own legitimate governors. We require permission from no one, but we must act together in our own best interests.

Vote.

But for whom? An imitation candidate mired in the elite "heads I win, tails you lose" twin-party political game?

Or to withdraw your consent to be governed under the Constitution; "NO CONSENT". To compel Congress to call an Article V Convention. To demand the Separation of Wealth and State. To directly confront elite power and control over and in our government...

How many of us do not consent to the present conduct of the government of the United States of America? How many of us want removal of all elite and corporate money from both our electoral and representative political processes?

It's our Constitution, our government and our vote. It's our decision.

www.theMultitude.org

[-] 0 points by JPMcMahon (18) 2 years ago

Actually DSams, pastoral people like the Tutsi or the Bedouin almost never build fences, but I liked the rest of your description of the beginning of civilization. I think that the first historical reference to the idea of being "equals" is among the Spartans, which may be why the film "300" is so popular. Of course 85% of the people who lived in Sparta were Helot slaves whose lives weren't worth a plug drachma, but they didn't get into that in the movie. I think that the rest of your post exemplifies one of the main problems with Occupy, and that is the focus on national politics, when it would be more effective for people to expend their energies at the local level. Thinking that anyone is going to change national policy, let alone the Constitution, through protesting alone is completely delusional. Whatever happened to "Think globally, act locally"? Acting locally means at the city council, planning commission, and school board level, which means a lot of going door to door, making phone calls and sitting through 7PM to 11PM meetings on week nights. The Tea Party just gave the 3rd most senior Republican in the Senate the heave-ho, and they didn't have any protests or rallies to do it. They just got organized and worked really hard. Figure out how to get what you want at the township, county, and state level before trying to change the whole country.

[-] 3 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Good comment. There was a lot of talk last year on this forum dealing with tactics to act locally, but with the approaching election, the focus has turned more to the national debate. Which is understandable, I think, but we shouldn't lose focus of how effective local actions can be, both politically and personally. Personally in the sense that we as Americans need to change our mindset, get educated about the real problems and stop being such blind consumers looking for the cheapest price above all else.

[-] 0 points by JPMcMahon (18) 2 years ago

gnomunny, Thanks for your reply! But you have to get off of that " Americans need to change our mindset" way of presenting your case. You want to change American's way of thinking? That sounds like a PR, or propaganda campaign to me. People sleeping in parks and marching around (ineffectually) trying to shut things down do not sound like big selling points to me. The lack of identifiable leadership, or even just personalities except knuckleheads, is also a downer when it comes to trying to convince or educate people on the one of a thousand issues Occupy seems to be concerned about. It is amazing what you can get done in your community when you take the time and apply yourself. The local stuff, whether it be on some kind of board or commission, or as an activist, allows you to actually get stuff done that makes a better life for people that you actually KNOW. I was watching the movie "Reds" the other day, and one of my favorite writers, Henry Miller, said this, "Some people feel like they have to change the world, because they can't deal with their own problems."

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Agreed. But I'm not going to change my attitude about us changing the way we think. I don't mean about everything or everybody, of course, but when more Americans care about the latest Idol winner than they do about the real issues, when they'll camp out for a week to buy an iPhone, when they think their new car makes them better people than their old car, I see that as a serious problem.

Miller's quote may apply to some people, but I don't think it's a reflection of the majority of OWS supporters, not the ones I've met on this forum anyway. Most have jobs and seem to be doing reasonably well in their lives. They see a whole host of big problems just getting bigger and decided to put their foot down, although they may have little idea of how to actually fix these problems. That's why a lot of us are here, I think. Trying to figure out what to do.

[-] 1 points by JPMcMahon (18) 2 years ago

Here is a little tip on how average people think: PRIORITIES in order:Myself, my family, my friends, my neighbors/co-workers, my community (including everyone that likes the same team I do), people on television, my country (mostly people I don't know personally in the USA), and every body else. People will always, ALWAYS, look after their self interests first. That's why capitalism works better than any other system utilized by man, because it is based on that premise. Not perfectly, because no system works that way because actual people are involved. Capitalism just evolved! Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" was merely a critique of something that developed on its own. Any form of socialism has had to be forced on people using a "plan", always resulting in piles of dead bodies. Huge piles. Yeah I know, but there are still plenty of very very wealthy people in Scandinavia. About 1% of their population I think.

[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Personally, I have no problem with capitalism. I don't care that people spend their hard-earned cash on things they might not need. I enjoy spending money. But, if you believe Americans in general don't have a priority problem, I certainly won't be able to change your mind. Most people feel that way. You should have seen the vicious attack one of our regulars got for suggesting the same thing.

But I stand by my belief that Americans priorities are seriously out of whack. When more Americans watch American Idol than a presidential debate, that's a priority problem, IMO. I don't watch the debates myself (it was just an example) but I also take pride in the fact that I've never seen a single episode of Idol either.

[-] 1 points by JPMcMahon (18) 2 years ago

I have never watched Idol either! I haven't watched TV since the Bush the Elder administration. But I don't really take pride in it. It's just the way I live. Most people prefer Idol because it is more entertaining than a policy debate. I've haven't watched a presidential debate for longer than I haven't watched Idol. But I always vote. You do know that half of the people in our land have below average intelligence don't you? It's a statistical certainty. And they'd rather read People than Harpers, and they'd rather watch the Jersey Shore than Frontline. But they are still just as equal as you and me.Who are you, or who is anyone to tell them that their cultural choices are wrong? gnomunny, Do you think you are better than them because they prefer worrying more about how Snooki is dressed, than to worrying about the Glass Steagal Act? If your answer is yes, you are on a slippery slope my friend.

[-] 3 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

Better than them? Hardly. I don't consider myself better than anybody. Smarter yes. Better no. But you taking offense doesn't surprise me. It's just like the vicious attack I referenced above. Tell Americans their slavish worship of their iPhone is a problem and watch them have a fucking coronary. Tell them they're idiots for trampling people and causing near-riots on Black Friday and watch the insults fly. Proves our point. Americans, by and large, have a priority problem.

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[-] 2 points by gnomunny (6885) from St Louis, MO 2 years ago

And this is directed at me because . . . ? For the record, I'm not DKAtoday. You can tell by the username, dumb ass. Also, I've never had anyone banned, nor have I ever complained to the moderators about anything. And, I have no intention of voting for Obama or Romney in November. If you had paid attention to any of my comments over the last month or so you would know this. You'll have far more credibility if you direct your attacks at your supposed enemy and not by copy-and-pasting shit at random.

[-] 0 points by DSams (-71) 2 years ago

There is no discontinuity with "think globally, act locally". That is exactly the intent.

Representatives are elected within state districts and Senators within the state itself. This is a local vote with national, even global, implications.

And perhaps "thinking that anyone is going to change national policy, let alone the Constitution, through protesting alone is completely delusional." But then, we're not just protesting. We're voting on it. The reason we are doing so? Because for far too long we've been unable to change disastrous national policies by voting for Ds and Rs. And it's time for change. To clean house...

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[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

land can't flee the state to dodge taxes like the elite

demand elections be national and state holidays

[-] -1 points by XenuLives (1645) from Charlotte, NC 2 years ago

Disgusting on the part of UCPD. I guess we can't even grow our own food now?

All hail Monsanto!

[-] 2 points by field (2) 2 years ago

you can grow your own food, on your own land.

[-] 2 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Or on somebody else's land if they give you permission. Which apparently the university was prepared to do. But Occupy didn't want to have to get permission, apparently.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

most people don't own land and would have to get permission form their landlord

[-] 0 points by field (2) 2 years ago

this whole episode give an insight into the agenda of ows.