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Feature Archives

On April 23, celebrating Earth Day and the fourth anniversary of the original occupation, about 30 farm defenders occupied two acres on the south side of the Gill Tract. The group made three demands: 1) stop the development, 2) preserve the land for sustainable agriculture, and 3) create a community process for design & stewardship of gill tract. Not reaching the numbers they had hoped for, the occupation was abandoned the following night.
Louis LaFortune passed away unexpectedly on the morning of March 13 at his family home in Live Oak. Media reports indicate he died in his home after suffering heart trouble. His family states that he passed quickly without pain or discomfort. Louis’s untimely passing, at the young age of 64, was a sad shock for his family and wide circle of friends.
UPDATE: On April 15, UC Davis students ended their sit-in, saying they had accomplished their goal of bringing attention to the need to fire Katehi. On April 27, Katehi was placed on leave while the university investigates her misconduct.

Students at UC Davis have been occupying Chancellor Linda Katehi's office and holding tight since Friday, March 11, demanding that Katehi resign or be fired. Administrators escalated their response with threats of suspension and even expulsion if occupiers do not vacate the building. Demonstrators are also calling for the hiring process to be redesigned "so that UC Davis students and workers are not only a part of this process, but a major deciding body in the selection and confirmation of a new Chancellor."
Sun Feb 14 2016 (Updated 02/16/16)
Three Arrested Defending Gill Tract from Development
On February 9, farm defenders halted construction on the Gill Tract farm in Albany once again. Five farm defenders sat in silent meditation in the path of heavy machinery that was removing topsoil. Contractors attempted to operate the heavy machinery around them despite the risks to the safety of those on site. Three were arrested and two were taken to jail. The two were released later in the day.
A letter of support for Indybay's Alex Darocy was approved by unanimous vote by the Board of Directors of the ACLU of Northern California Santa Cruz County Chapter. Darocy still faces a misdemeanor charge after being cited in March of 2015 by a CHP officer after photographing the six UCSC students who locked themselves together and blocked Highway 1 as part of the “96 Hours of Action” protests against police violence and tuition hikes.
On January 11, construction work began on the southern portion of the Gill Tract. The UC is privatizing this section for a high-end senior assisted living facility, a Sprouts supermarket, and a parking lot. The next day after working hours, about fifteen individuals entered the Gill Tract to remove surveying stakes marking the paths for the heavy machinery brought to pave over land. On January 28, farm defenders chained themselves to an excavator that was removing valuable topsoil, halting a day of construction.
On November 12 students at UC Santa Cruz joined students at college campuses across the country for a "Million Student March," a day of local actions organized nationally around three principle demands: tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers. Million Student March actions were organized at over 100 schools.