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.