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Fri Jul 12 2013 "Occupy the Farm" Continues to Fight Against Unsustainable Development at the Gill Tract
A Struggle for Land Sovereignty in the East Bay and Across the World Occupy the Farm (OTF), an assembly of East Bay activists focused on a future of food sovereignty through sustainable agriculture, continues to raise its voice against unsustainable development and for reclaiming a piece of the University of California's Gill Tract that is once again slated for commercial development. OTF aims to shed light on the fact that agricultural land for growing food is increasingly difficult to access worldwide.

The Gill Tract in Albany was first occupied in 2012, resulting in hundreds of pounds of produce being given to local communities, even after the occupation was first raided by UC police. Additionally, due to OTF pressure at the time, “natural” and organic foods retailer Whole Foods backed out of a deal with the UC and the UC transferred a portion of the Gill Tract from UC Capital Projects to the University’s Department of Natural Resources.

This year, in the space of nine days in May, occupiers again broke ground to establish an urban farm, and replanted the field twice. Each time the UC police ploughed over the seedlings. However, due to the renewed pressure from OTF, the UC has initiated negotiations for a parcel of land adjacent to the site of OTF resistance to be set aside for public use. Miguel Altieri, Professor of Agroecology at UC, is offering his lab’s field on the north side of the Tract to the community for a participatory urban agriculture research project to demonstrate the benefits of community involvement at the Gill Tract.

Currently, Occupy the Farm is launching a pressure campaign against Sprouts Farmers Market, a supermarket chain with over 150 stores that intends to develop on the land. OTF is building its base by supporting other community actions and holding workshops centering on issues of food sovereignty.

photoRead More | Occupy the Farm (OTF)

See Also: photoOccupy The Farms Garden In Justin Herman Plaza | calendarOccupy the Farm Work Party & Land Occupation | photoA Few Words from a David Grefrath, who is currently in jail for farming | photoPolice Raid Volunteer Farm, arrest 4, & illegally abuse UC Berkeley student | calendarRe-Occupy The Farm! | Occupy the Farm RePlants the Gill Tract! | Four Arrests, A Tractor Sit-In, and A Destroyed Farm | photoOccupy The Farm Raided | Occupy The Farm RAIDED Monday, May 13, 2013 | photoDay One Occupy The Farm 5/11/13 Albany Gill Tract Farm | calendarLiberate the Land Party! Occupy the Farm Returns to Gill Tract | calendarFood Security - Keep it Local, Gill Tract and beyond... | calendarDance Party to benefit maintaining Gill Tract as urban farmland

Previous Related Indybay Feature: Occupy the Farm Activists Reclaim Prime Urban Agricultural Land in SF Bay Area (2012)

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