At approximately 4:30 a.m. Monday, 20 people were asked to leave the mixed-use development site in Albany or face arrest. The early-morning group left voluntarily with the exception of one individual who was arrested for trespassing and interfering with the police. A few hours later, as the university began to clear the field, three other individuals were arrested for the same charges.
The group, known as Occupy the Farm, took over the parcel of land Saturday, clearing the area and planting vegetables.
“The university chose to remove the trespassers in a safe situation that would cause the least disruption to the community,” said Claire Holmes, UC Berkeley spokesperson.
The area has not been farmed in more than 70 years, and is the former site of World War II barracks and student housing. The community, City of Albany and other interested parties have been involved in a five-year collaborative process to determine the next phase of the mixed-use site. Plans call for a grocery store and senior housing.
Police continue to monitor the area throughout the morning as members of the group remove their personal items and planting materials.