Occupy the Farm Agrees to Remove Encampment, Won't Cede Control

Click the "Keep me posted" button below for an alert about new items on this topic. See all the Gill Tract stories on Albany Patch at http://patch.com/bvbHo. This following post resulted from a conversation with Gopal Dayaneni today.

[Editor's Note: Gopal Dayaneni of Occupy the Farm shared these statements, during a phone conversation with us, just before 11 a.m. Albany Patch is heading into the meeting hosted by the university about the at the Gill Tract, and will provide more information afterward.] 

We are removing the encampments. We don't need the encampment to assert the right and responsibility to tend the crops. We don't need to camp here .... We're leaving all the things that are appropriate to farming.

We've been discussing it over the last day or so. We made that decision this morning. We're now executing it.

We're still doing our events today. We're creating access points. We're building a slide for kids to get in. We continue to assert the fact that we did on Day One: that the fence is not the issue.

People have invested, and they have the right to continue to farm here. We feel like we have a lot of support for the farm. The camp was a tactic to serve the farm. At this time we don't think we need it. So we're moving it. If we decide we need it in the future, we will bring it back.

The most important thing is that people have access to the crops, and that people can come and go. 

We're not ceding control or supervision. We're continuing to farm the farm. We're continuing to ask everyone to come and join us. We've committed to the researchers that we can coexist.... We created the space necessary for researchers to farm their crops.

The university is really the barrier here. They should keep the gates open and let people come and go. 

So long as we're under threat by lawsuit and arrest, we're not willing to trust them with our crops.

Click the "Keep me posted" button below for an update when we publish future stories on this topic. Read more on Albany Patch about the Gill Tract occupation.

Jon Meyers May 13, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I'm left wondering how UC is going to cover all the expense here - the legal team, security, staff time, clean up, etc. Does it add an incremental increase to tuition and/or fees? Do they reduce financial aid or scholarship for a student from a low-income family? Do they cut back on an agricultural research program?
Warren May 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM
We are all always under threat of arrest is we break the laws that we as a society have agreed to live by. Occupiers are breaking the law. The University has been patient in my opinion. I guess they will need to be arrested which will cost us all more civic funds but do they care?
GCrich May 14, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Please answer the question over corporate influence on UCB. You've been raising a ruckus over the perception that UC faculty are currently funded by Novartis, but James has shown that it simply isn't true since a quick scan of their funding sources all list Federal agencies. It may have been true a decade ago, but it isn't true now. You act as if you have evidence to refute this, please explain and show it, and please do not list more links to more 10 year old news stories.
Ellie May 14, 2012 at 12:51 AM
"We know that the majority of young people from California are unable to attend UCB, so the school is recruiting students outside CA who can pay for this." This is a highly misleading statement. Out of state students pay higher tuition because they are subsidizing the numerous grants and financial aid packages which enable low income CA students to attend UC for little to no cost. Tuition (or rather "fees") have gone up, but financial aid for low income families has expanded, not to mention the proposed middle class aid package which will hopefully become reality with the November election (the fate of this is in the voters' hands at this point). "Kirsten, How can UC "offer a remarkable education as a public service" when only students who can afford to pay up to $35,000 per year benefit from this "public service"." That is patently false. Over 50% (forget the exact percentage; you can look it up, if you wish) of UCB students receive financial aid which covers all or part of their fees. (I am currently a full time UCB student who pays NOT A SINGLE PENNY in fees, by the way.)
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