Two protesters arrested outside former Hayes Valley farm site

June 15, 2013 9:30:17 AM PDT
Scuffles between police and protesters outside of the former site of Hayes Valley Farm in San Francisco has led to the arrest of two protesters Friday evening, according to police.

The activists returned to the space Friday evening at around 6 p.m. after they were removed Thursday morning when police raided the "Liberate the Land" encampment on the Laguna Street site between Fell and Oak streets, which protestors had occupied since June 1.

Hayes Valley Farm opened in January 2010 under an interim-use agreement with the city that allowed organizers to temporarily use the land to build community and raise awareness about growing local food. The land in question used to be the site of a freeway on-ramp that was torn down after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

The interim agreement has now ended and a 182-unit housing project is planned on the site, which is owned by developers Avalon Bay and Build Inc. Farm organizers left the land peacefully and are not associated with the current protest.

Activists have said they hope to preserve the site as open space, and have renamed it "Gezi Gardens," after Gezi Park in Istanbul where anti-government protests have been occurring over the past several weeks.

Activists planned to reconvene on Octavia Street between Fell and Hayes streets today. When they did, they blocked streets and traffic, causing transit disruptions. Police said that some protesters threw objects at the police and that two had been arrested as of about 9 p.m.

A few dozen protesters and police remain in the area Friday night, police said.


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