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Indybay Feature
UC Places Initial Fencing Around People's Park, More to Come
by Anonymous Park Defender
Tuesday Jan 19th, 2021 8:41 PM
January 19th, the day before Biden's inauguration in DC, the University of California at Berkeley has placed the initial fencing on People's Park. "Work is coming", said Kyle Gibson, the director of communications for UCB Capital Strategies (quoted speaking to Berkeleyside).
If you have told yourself, "I'll show up when the fences come", well it's happening. The fences are starting to arrive. It's now. It's real. People's Park needs you.

According to UC Berkeley, the construction at People's Park won't start until 2022. However, here and now in 2021, the pre-construction work is commencing. The UC is now slowly introducing fencing, slowly starting to nudge people away from the area, and starting to drill for the soil stability and hydrology tests.

People's Park survived the 4 years of Trumpism, including a Proud Boy march from Sproul Plaza to the People's Park stage led by fascist Kyle Chapman. The question is now can People's Park survive an attack during the Biden-Harris regime?

The city leadership that worships Kamala Harris' former home in Berkeley as a sacred shrine, will not help People's Park. There is too much personal financial and political incentive for them. They will continue their idolatry of the Harris home, while People's Park is attacked.

Local press is already repeating the UC talking points. The website SFist wrongly suggests the protesters in 1969 stopped a dorm from being built. This is not true. The University didn't have the money to build a dorm. After the conflict in 1969, the best the University could think of was a parking lot. The SFist author says that the current park protesters are anti-development. This is not true, as the protesters want the new dorm, just elsewhere on UC property. The UC has previously openly admitted there are various other locations for new dorms. Of course, the UC has also started talking to Berkeleyside, to feed their point of view to local residents and visiting students. Berkeleyside inexplicably misnamed James B Rector as James Reston, in their latest article. James Rector was killed in 1969 by law a member of law enforcement. The least Berkeleyside can do is get his name correct.

What can you do? People must contact the Berkeley police review commission and Berkeley city council, to demand that the city police not involve itself in any conflict regarding People's Park. During the Memorial Oak Grove protest, over a decade ago, the city police did not engage the protesters. The same precedent must be upheld. City police must not be in conflict with protesters who are defending the park.

Contact the UC Board of Regents and tell them to stop the project. https://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/contact/index.html If you are a donor to the UC, stop all donations. Your money is going to fund a violent police response against peaceful protesters. Boycott all UC related merchandise.

If you can get to People's Park physically, be on the ground and get involved. Now is the time for civil disobedience. Now is the time to start documenting the UC police. Now is the time for mutual aid and resistance. Wear a mask, to prevent Covid, and for protection against surveillance.

People's Park is a landmark, and an important local open space. There can be dorms elsewhere in the city and elsewhere on UC property.
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