Tree Sitters and Activists Refuse Police Orders to Vacate in SF at Former Hayes Valley Farm Site

### FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ###

TREE SITTERS AND ACTIVISTS REFUSE POLICE ORDERS TO VACATE IN SF AT FORMER HAYES VALLEY FARM SITE

Contact: 201-388-2367

CONVERGENCE TONIGHT AT FORMER HAYES VALLEY FARM (Laguna and Oak Streets, SF)

PRESS CONFERENCE TOMORROW, FRIDAY June 7th 10:00 a.m. (Laguna and Oak Streets, SF)

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This past Saturday, June 1st activists marched to the site of the former Hayes Valley Farm to prevent the destruction of the farm and garden for development of luxury apartments.  The activists have been on site 24/7 since Saturday with several activists sitting in platforms in the trees, a non-violent  tactic commonly used to protect green spaces.  The former Hayes Valley Farm has been renamed Gezi Gardens in solidarity with the social uprising in Turkey that started when activists attempted to peacefully defend a green space in Istanbul called Gezi Park.

“I’m sitting in a tree because land is necessary in a time of survival when there is no hope in Wall Street or the oil economy,” says tree sitter Eddie Che, “We need to grow our own food within the city of San Francisco.  Monsanto grows so much of the food supply.  What do San Franciscans want?”

There is a threat of raid tonight at #GeziGardens (Hayes Valley Farm), the piece of land liberated by Liberate the Land, the organization who seeks to see the former Hayes Valley Farm retained as an open green space rather than the removal of trees and development of luxury apartments.

The group present at the former Hayes Valley Farm between Oak and Fell Streets on Laguna was delivered a Notice to vacate by the San Francisco police department tonight, Thursday, June 6th at 7:00pm.

The notice claims that people are “being asked to vacate..and that Refusal to comply and / or obstruction of our efforts may result in your arrest.”

The group is not leaving.  We are encouraging people to contact Mayor Ed Lee, Supervisor London Breed, and others to express support for the people who are taking direct action to begin a dialogue throughout the neighborhood and community about retaining this open green space rather than see luxury apartment development.4324904778_4fa20f2733_b

Please call Mayor Ed Lee and the Chief of Police and express your support for this community garden and demand that the police not raid, evict, or arrest the peaceful participants in this action.

Mayor Ed Lee: 415-554-6141

Chief of Police Greg Suhr: 415-553-0123

This is one of three urban gardens and permaculture farms in San Francisco that are slated to become housing developments by the end of the year.  This is during a fervent dialogue about the need for more spaces to grow local, organic food and current statistics of 36,000 vacant units.

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There will also be a press conference tomorrow, June 7th at 10:00 a.m. at the Laguna Street entrance between Oak and Fell Streets.

There is an open invitation to all supporters, media and press, and others to gather immediately at the Laguna Street entrance between Oak and Fell Streets tonight, Thursday, June 6th.

There is a community event with a barbecue, live music, workshops, and a neighborhood discussion on Saturday, June 8thstarting at 12:00 pm (neighborhood meeting at 3:00 pm).

Bay Area Callout- #GeziGardens in #SF has been handed violation notice  & needs more presence http://tinyurl.com/k77ahkf

notice and map included

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2 thoughts on “Tree Sitters and Activists Refuse Police Orders to Vacate in SF at Former Hayes Valley Farm Site

  1. ### FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ###

    Contact: 201-388-2367

    Tree Sitters Successfully Turn Away Workers Sent to Cut Trees at former Hayes Valley Farm

    On the morning of Friday, June 7th, the tree sitters and participants in the Liberate the Land action at Gezi Gardens, the former Hayes Valley Farm, successfully turned away the workers sent to cut the trees down. The tree cutting company arrived at about 8:00 a.m. and had the gates locked on them as climbers mounted harnesses to climb the trees inside the fence and prepare to climb those on the edge.

    There are 6 platforms built in trees on the land between Oak and Fell Streets on Laguna in San Francisco. Below, gardeners water the greens, edible perennials, and other plants as others prepare meals, organize workshops and activities, and build a village to demonstrate ecological living in the city.

    This Saturday, June 8th, Gezi Gardens is hosting a barbecue, live music, workshops, and a neighborhood meeting. Live music will start as early as 10:00 a.m. with a barbecue getting underway around noon. The neighborhood and community meeting will start at 3:00 pm to open a dialogue about preserving this open green space and potentially turning it into a commons for the people of San Francisco. This will be followed by a teach in on the situation in Turkey that started when the people of Istanbul attempted to stop the destruction of one of the last open green spaces in the city.

    The day before the green space was planned to be developed into a commercial shopping mall, people popped tents or slept under the stars with their kids or a book. In the morning, people stood in front of the excavation machines to stop the trees from being cut down. Police responded with tear gas and burned the tents of people in the park. The next day, 10,000 people showed up and sat shoulder to shoulder, stopping development of the green space until another violent police response.

    This sparked a social uprising throughout all of Turkey that goes far beyond environmentalism. The people of Gezi Park say they are trying to stop private interests from profiting off of their land. The #GeziPark protests, some of which calling themselves #OccupyGezi, has been joined by a general strike throughout Turkey of city workers and private employees, bringing the gears of industry to a halt. When Liberate the Land marched to the land in San Francisco, they called attention to the Free Farm and Esperanza Gardens’ displacement for housing development while calling for solidarity with Turkey and liberation of land from private interests around the world.

    HumanBeIn.org
    @LiberateLand
    #LiberateTheLand
    LiberateLand@gmail.com

  2. Over 100 SFPD officers raided Gezi Gardens in the early hours of Thursday morning. One person fell from their tree sit after the police CUT THE ROPE holding them up, and fell from 30 feet in the air. Another person was beaten during their extraction. 7-9 were arrested. We believe significant injuries occurred, but the extent is still unknown, because the police cordoned off a 2 block radius from the park, and shoved and twisted arms and arrested people who were not even on the land, to keep them from witnessing or recording the police raid and arrests.

    IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE RESPOND, AS A COMMUNITY, WITH MASS ACTION WHEN THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN TO OUR COMRADES.

    Tell everyone you know: RECONVERGE TOMORROW, FRIDAY, 6PM at OCTAVIA AND FELL in San Francisco, and we will RECLAIM GEZI GARDENS.

    In the meantime, support is needed at the ongoing vigil at Octavia and Fell Streets, and Gezi Gardeners encourage any and all autonomous direct action taken in an effort to liberate and reclaim the space.

    Gezi Gardens is a former farm and community space at Laguna and Fel that was occupied by direct action on June 1st, in an effort to save it from developers of luxury apartments. This action was undertaken in solidarity with the struggle going on in Turkey.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/283282598485176/?notif_t=plan_user_invited

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