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People's Park: AntiFascism and Park Defense
by Anon-E-Moose
Saturday Aug 31st, 2019 9:36 AM
After anti-fascists announced plans for a rally in People's Park, the UCB chancellor sent out a press release that the UC is determined to move forward on their plans to eradicate the park.
On Sunday Sept 1st, at 10AM, anti-fascists (ANTIFA!) will meet in People's Park to march against the alt-right, who will gather at Sproul Plaza. Sproul has been a favorite gathering spot for the alt-right (and their alt-light conspirators). In 2017 and 2018, the university had repeatedly given right-wing groups protection and assistance of the UC Berkeley police department. This type of assistance has historically never been offered to left leaning protesters.

In 2017, UC Berkeley police escorted a Patriot Prayer march from Sproul down to People's Park, to harass the park community. The ring-wing rally tomorrow is a similar event, where they again plan to march down Telegraph Avenue.

With this confrontation brewing, UC Berkeley chancellor Carol Christ has been silent about yet another alt-right rally occurring on campus property. Conversely, Carol has not been silent on the issue of People's Park. A press release and news interview went out Friday (Aug 30) to impress upon the public that the UC is moving forward on the eradication of People's Park.

People's Park was born out of revolutionary struggle. With Nixon in the White House, it was a time of political and social upheaval. Our current conditions in this country is another time of revolutionary struggle, against Trumpism and the rise of fascists cells throughout the country. The Bay Area, despite it's progressive reputation, is not immune to the virus of fascism. Unlike local officials, there are community organizers associated with People Park who have committed to directly challenging the alt-right. Meanwhile, city leadership and university administrators continue to pursue their policies of gentrification, which arguably create conditions where social divisions and strife can take root. In their agenda, the university (with the blessings of city council) wants to erase People's Park, taking away a place of social organizing.

The Sunday rally in People's Park is at face value a rally against the alt-right. However, it could be more. The rally could foster a discussion about the future of People's Park. Out of the protest, a support network for Park Defense could coalesce. Earlier this year, the university removed the small urban forest on the eastern edge of People's Park, leaving only a few token trees. The park is wounded, but not yet down and out. Perhaps as community members assemble in People's Park, new volunteers will come forward.

{Note: A common attack against the People's Park activists is that they are NIMBYs and are against new housing. The parks activists do want new housing, but take the opinion that while there aren't other good locations for a centrally located park, there are other good locations for housing projects. The argument is that there is a way to have new housing and to keep park.}

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