Berkeley saw a large protest on Thursday for student housing.
The striking symmetry of this protest deserves to be mentioned. Berkeley was the scene of the People’s Park protest, a symbol of 1960s rebellion and chaos. In 1969, the state and city wanted to construct a sports arena in a residential neighborhood. Berkeley’s radicals protested the invasion of bulldozers to demolish the houses. The protests continued for months, with clashes with police that culminated in “Bloody Thursday” when one protester was shot and killed during a riot at this site.
The majority of the site was set aside by the city for a green space called People’s Park. It became a magnet to all far-left causes and those that weren’t.
The issue this time isn’t about a stadium; it’s urgently needed student housing. It didn’t matter what the park’s plans were. The park was “theirs”, “them” being radical community activists who wanted it for their purposes.
Our coverage at People’s Park is ongoing, with photos from @menanatera at the scene this afternoon. I’ll be at the protest planned at Sproul Plaza at 5 p.m. https://t.co/LlcituC5vj pic.twitter.com/uh7OyMCTNH
— Supriya Yelimeli (@SupriyaYelimeli) August 3, 2022
On Thursday, the school planned to start building housing for students. Sometimes violent opposition was encountered.
After an Alameda County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that the University of California Berkeley, the site’s owner, could proceed with its housing plan despite opposition from local groups, the park was cleared Tuesday night and fencing put up on Wednesday.
Protesters had already taken down parts of the fence by the afternoon. This led to small celebrations in the park. After the university stated that construction would be stopped for the day, some protesters were still present.
The school, the police, and the city should all realize that the protesters won’t be going anywhere. They won’t give up on this opportunity to get some great TV time. If the Berkeley cops are unable to control the scruffy nerf-herders illegally occupying the park, it’s all well and good. The “tree of liberty …”Yada Yada” is the best.
Brandon Mendoza, an activist with Defend People’s Park, has been protesting at this location since Wednesday morning. He said that activists are ready to occupy the park until UC Berkeley is stopped.
Mendoza, standing on the wooden structure that houses the People’s Park Kitchen, said, “We’ve been there for 53 years so, we’re continually being here.” “See you at our 54th anniversary. We won’t be leaving. This structure was built by us.”
Maybe someone should whisper to the California Regents running Berkeley, that perhaps they should have built more student housing instead of accepting thousands of students who had no place.