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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Education & Student Activism
People's Park Needs to Serve Students
The Berkeley community needs to face reality, which is that People's Park has lived out its present incarnation, and a new life benefitting the students who actually have a need to be there is now primary.
Having been involved with People's Park beginning in the summer of 1972, I have weathered a lot of its history. From the utopian beginnings when music and poetry prevailed and people really liked one another, through the unfortunate 80s when some nasty drug related problems first appeared, to the rise and fall of East Bay Food Not Bombs in the 90s, to the current situation of cluelessness and postmodern survival. At this point, the park needs to serve the students who actually have a serious reason to be in the area. Student housing is the only rational recommendation for the park's future. With all due respect to everyone, it is time to let go of People's Park and allow it to freely be what it needs to be. A refuge for stoners, or a site for low income housing, or some general fantasy invented to somehow satisfy an essentially unrelated list of complex social concerns is NOT what People's Park needs to be. People's Park needs to be a resource serving the UC students first and foremost. If anybody laments the decline of the park over the past decades, the blame is on the people who failed there. It's that simple. Thanks for listening.