ALBANY (KCBS / AP) — Occupy activists who set up an encampment and planted crops on land owned by the University of California, Berkeley said they will only leave if officials meet certain demands.

A group called Occupy the Farm said in a proposal issued Monday night that it wants continued access to the 10-acre parcel and for researchers who do agricultural work there to stop using pesticides and other chemicals.

About 200 Occupy squatters broke into the Gill Tract on April 22 to protest planned housing and commercial development nearby.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

The protesters want the parcel preserved as an urban farm to serve the community and educate children. The land is the remainder of a larger piece of farmland the university acquired in the 1920s.

Protester Anya Kamenskaya said people are committed to the farm project. “People wouldn’t be sitting through those meetings if they weren’t committed to keep on farming this land,” she said.

Occupy the Farm spokesman Gopal Dayaneni said the group’s biggest vision is the preservation of the Gill Tract for “practice and promotion of sustainable urban agriculture for the greater East Bay.”

He added that he wants to give the researchers the transition that they’re looking for.

A UC Berkeley spokesperson told KCBS the school has been patient and is hoping the protesters choose a path of collaboration and not confrontation.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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