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People's Park: Resources from The Bancroft Library

Protest. People’s Park Committee rallies on Sproul Plaza to protest plans to build on park. There is a photo captioned the campus group Students Against Fascism and War sponsored a rally held by the People’s Park Committee on Thursday to advocate for saving the park. The rally drew about 40 people. In the photo, 5 supporters are seated on the Sproul Hall steps, engaging with someone walking by. In the background, 2 people hold up a large sign that says Save People’s Park and another person is playing a guitar. The photo is taken by Maya Valluru, Daily Cal staff.

People’s Park Committee rallies on Sproul Plaza to protest plans to build on park

Daily Californian, NEWSPRINT-1, November 16, 2018, Newspapers & Microforms Library, University of California, Berkeley

The spirit behind People’s Park has endured, and its tenuous survival over the years is a testament to community and student activism.

In May, the fence surrounding People's Park was torn down as part of an anti-Vietnam War protest and the Park was partially rebuilt. The City of Berkeley made efforts to lease the Park property from the University of California, but negotiations fell through. Campus officials proceeded with plans to develop student housing on the property.

With approval from campus officials, students established the People's Park Project/Native Plant Forum to refoliate the eastern portion of the Park with native California plants.

The Land Trust for People's Park was established to pursue options for the Park's survival.

The City of Berkeley's Landmarks Preservation Commission named People's Park a cultural and historical landmark.

UC Berkeley and the City of Berkeley reached an agreement over joint management of the Park. Campus officials then decided to redevelop the Park and put in volleyball courts, sparking days of rioting.

The volleyball courts were finally removed.

UC Berkeley ended its joint management of the Park agreement with the City of Berkeley, reclaiming sole responsibility for the property.

A series of “tree-sits” were staged in the Park, protesting campus oversight of the space. Later that year, UC Berkeley bulldozed the Park’s community garden and mature trees, citing maintenance and safety concerns.

Campus officials announced plans to redevelop People's Park to create student housing and provide supportive housing for the unhoused community living there. In December, over 30 trees in the Park were cut down.

People's Park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the unhoused inhabitants of the Park were relocated to temporary supportive housing. In July, construction of student housing began. Less than a month later, campus officials were forced to halt construction due to protests and lawsuits.