BERKELEY -- Though the group of people camping out at Berkeley's historic post office in protest of plans to close it have been warned to move off U.S. Postal Service property, they have no plans to disperse.

A group of postal inspectors and postal police met with protesters Friday and told them that they needed to break camp and remove signs posted on the post office's walls at 2000 Allston Way, said U.S. Postal Inspector Jeff Fitch.

Fitch said the visit went well and that protesters are more than welcome to express their views on the post office's imminent sale and closure, just not on the steps of the property.

With the group blocking the steps with their tents and setting up tables and serving food in the area, Fitch said the U.S. Postal Service is growing more concerned for the safety, security and health of both post office employees and customers.

"We completely appreciate everybody's enthusiasm," he said. "We don't want anybody to get injured. We support free speech and we welcome them to protest and carry signs and engage the public. But (camping on the post office's steps) is a violation. It is against the law."

The U.S. Postal Service said in July that it would proceed with plans to sell the post office along with hundreds of others across the country despite an appeal and community protests.

Protesters set up camp Saturday, led by the groups Save the Berkeley Post Office and Strike Debt Bay Area.

Mike Wilson, who is part of Strike Debt, said despite the Postal Service's warnings, he and others have no intention of leaving.

He said tensions surrounding the threat of arrests have subsided since Williams Rogers, Berkeley's deputy city manager, said the city would not be participating in enforcing any postal codes or regulations because the post office is not in the city's jurisdiction.

However, Wilson said he and the roughly 30 others who are camping at the post office remain vigilant at all hours, with a few staying awake throughout the night to monitor any law enforcement activity.

"We are staying. We are keeping our tents there and we are holding our position," Wilson said. "This is not a piece of property that can just be sold."

The 52,000-square-foot building, which was built in 1914, is on the National Register of Historic Places. Berkeley officials including Mayor Tom Bates, Assemblywoman Loni Hancock and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, have also said they will fight its closure.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report. Contact Katie Nelson at knelson@bayareanewsgroup.com and follow her at Twitter.com/katienelson210.