Hayes Valley Farm Occupation Raided By SFPD: Tree Sitter Jumps From Perch

After around two weeks of occupation, the former Hayes Valley Farm is clear of protesters.

According to KTVU, the San Francisco Police Department began gathering outside the farm at 2 AM, and moved in shortly thereafter.

According to KCBS, Forty-four people were living inside the camp. Seven occupiers were arrested and police removed three others from six treehouses built on the site.

“Police used a cherrypicker to access trees where 3 protestors were ‘treesitting’ on makeshift platforms they had erected last week,” Hayeswire reports.

According to SFPD spokesperson Sgt Dennis Toomer, one protester who was reportedly injured during the raid actually jumped from a tree.

“The protester was hanging from a tree limb and let go of the limb landing on foam padding SFPD had in place under the tree in case of emergency,” Toomer said.

Two others were arrested on the ground inside the site, and two more were arrested outside for disorderly conduct, Toomer said.

The names of the seven activists taken into custody have not been released.

Related: A Report From The Hayes Valley Farm Occupation

The “Liberate the Land” protestors had entered the site at Fell and Laguna streets on Saturday June 1, a day after proprietors of the farm vacated the land. The protesters dubbed the space “Gezi Gardens” after a park in Istanbul that has been the subject of recent protests.


Occupied Hayes Valley site cleared by police, seven held [SFBG]
7 development protesters arrested in SF [Chron]

The group said that it had planted gardens, served meals, organized workshops and activities and built a village “to demonstrate ecological living in the city.”

On June 7, workers sent to cut down trees on the site were locked out, the protestors said.

Hayes Valley Farm had operated under a temporary interim use agreement, in which the city granted fiscal support and use of the land formerly occupied by a freeway on-ramp that was torn down. It began in January 2010.

But the land, which the city sold to developers Avalon Bay and Build Inc., was always slated for development. A 182-unit housing project is slated to start construction later this year.

The occupation does not involve Hayes Valley Farm organizers, who have said that the farm’s resources were distributed to a number of legacy projects throughout San Francisco, including The Bee Farm, Bloom Justice, 49 Farms, BRANCH/Youth Education, Please Touch Community Garden, The Potrero Hill Learning Garden, Beecology and Urban Commons SF.

The Ex notes that some of the occupiers say that they plan to reconvene this Friday evening at Octavia and Fell streets.

Police remained at the scene as of 8:30 a.m. cleaning up the site, and Laguna Street was closed to traffic between Fell and Oak streets.

The windshield of a nearby green Volkswagen Passat was smashed, but police did not say whether the vandalism was related to the protest.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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