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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Environment & Forest Defense
Statement from silent meditators halting construction at the Gill Tract farm
The farm defenders halting construction are holding a day of silent meditation - so they pre-released a statement about their action.
Greetings beloved ones! May this statement find you in your way to full liberation. Not fully fleshed but this is some of the main point we'd like to stress as "Gandhians"/"Dolores-Huertians"
Ohlone elders of the San Francisco Bay Area—upon whose ancestral lands we live — and Indigenous voices from throughout the part of the Planet we call the US, the Americas, the world living in the Bay Area, have been voicing a Call to Heal Climate Change. They have invited all people of good will who share their vision for fundamental change in structures of power and privilege to join them in solidarity. We must restore caring connections to each other, to the Earth and to the sacred that will guide us in healing our communities and restoring a healthy climate to the Earth.
We undertake this work to protect the historic Gill Tract: the remaining ~20 acres of ancestral homeland, ecologically-rich urban farmland held in public trust by the Regents of the University of California (UC). The Gill Tract represents the global struggle to restore caring relationships with Mother Earth and the contest between resource and human exploitation and healing connections. The Gill Tract offers us the chance to learn cooperation and stewardship—indigenous can practice now to bring about deep systemic healing.
Among the many reasons the Gill Tract must be protected are:
1: Free-breathing wild or lovingly cultivated land sequesters carbon, the main cause of pollution and climate change.
2: The careful communal cultivation of the land would be a source of locally grown organic food to feed the people without houses and destitute of our community.
3: The land is the home for deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, hawks, owls and other wildlife whose habitat urban construction has greatly damaged and reduced.
4: The land would provide the much-needed commons amidst the concrete hardness of the city in which community would be built in shared work and recreation; where families and children could learn to love and tend the land; where they could observe and learn of our fellow creatures, the four-legged and the winged, and other forms of life, insects and plants.
We are here to remind the administration of the University of California and Albany City council the voices of the Association of Students of the UC and other students (124 page report), professors and community; the voices of the Indigenous Land Access Committee, the voices of local wise elders.
UC President Janet Napolitano, together with UC’s 10 chancellors, launched the UC Global Food Initiative in July 2014: "The University of California Global Food Initiative addresses one of the critical issues of our time: how to sustainably and nutritiously feed a world population expected to reach eight billion by 2025. The initiative aligns the university’s research, outreach and operations in a sustained effort to develop, demonstrate and export solutions — throughout California, the United States and the world — for food security, health and sustainability."
We find ironic that while this is the intention hold in a paper, in reality on the land and you can feel in these deep scars, the UC Berkeley administration is paving over farmland to build a corporate store --Sprouts (Fake)Farmers Market-- that will be damaging the local economy of real farmers; housing for seniors who can afford to pay $6,000 a month; and a bank. We are here to remind all people what are the real purpose of public universities. Here's a dangerous trend. While the UC Berkeley Capital Projects (brothers Bob Lannane, Kevin Hufferd, UC Berkeley Real State Property Development, Dan Mogoluf PR UCB, and Jeff Bond claim this is a 7 year process, we are here to remind that this has bee a process of decades to defend this peace of land to keep it for agricultural process as the Gill Tract "WikiLeaks" demonstrate it.
As residents of the East Bay we invite you to hold your word with integrity and walk the talk to create a more regenerative Bay Area to inspire not only California but the whole Planet.
Together we will re-learn and practice our ways of caring for the Earth, ensuring the regeneration of the precious land that nourishes us and will ultimately heal the damaged climate.
Together we can heal the toxic legacies of colonialism and consumerism by reestablishing caring relationships with the land, with each other and with the sacred.
We carry on this work in solidarity with native peoples and all people of goodwill around the globe working to preserve our communities and homelands in reverence for life and for the Earth. Jai Jagat!
PS: Of course we are part of a team that uses a broad spectrum of tactics, including direct action, to reclaim and expand the commons for sustainable farming and community education. We are building a network of relationships with nature and each other that will sustain us, respect our common human heritage, and unite us in our struggles against oppression. Our goal is to heal our ecosystems, expand biodiversity, and embrace the wisdom of indigenous & traditional practices of stewardship and knowledge of the land, as we work to dismantle the systemic injustices which have separated people from these central relationships.