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Indybay Feature
Save People's Park rally and concert
by Rubble
Saturday Oct 27th, 2018 12:46 PM
Hear 2 hours of uncut audio from People’s park from a rally and concert which took place at People’s Park, on the U.C. Berkeley campus, on September 23, 2018. The purpose of the event is to organize support against the University’s stated plans to turn the free public park into a lot for student housing and subsidized low-income housing for up to 100 homeless people. (2hrs 20min)
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This park is one of the the only open spaces anywhere around downtown Berkeley that homeless and other people can congregate freely, a free public park. This is also yet another step to take back the park form the hands of the people, per the “Bloody Thursday” May 15, 1969 riot in 1968 which resulted in the takeover of the public park. Numerous attempts to pave it over and privatize it have been fought off over the years. The mainstream media seems to be gloating that this is a done deal, but it isn’t.

Activists note that there are other places that student housing can be built on. Numerous activists I’ve spoken to (and myself) don’t believe the low income housing for homeless people will even be built, as it is not in the stated plan for student housing.

During the event, numerous activists – many homeless themselves - speak in detail about the issues at hand, and several good bands performed. A decent number of people attended on this warm Sunday afternoon, including a few students. Numerous speakers cite Berkeley Liberation Radio, which has featured people’s viewpoints for decades.

There will be more events to build broader base of support built. The plan as stated will take about two years to be implemented. Thus, organizing will be leading to a larger action next Spring at the 50th annual People’s Park rally/concert.

Homeless people and local residence who value what the park takeover represents will be standing against this. It is unclear to me whether or not students and faculty can be brought into this organizing. Students and staff continue to struggle over well publicized problems with the University administration and state government in general, and some of the major issues may well be similar to those that led to the community takeover of the park in the 60’s.

Feel free to use and distribute this audio, as the issues need to reach many more people.
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