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People's Park: Resources from The Bancroft Library

June: The University of California purchased land in Berkeley to develop for campus use. Included was a 2.8-acre parcel bounded by Dwight, Haste, and Bowditch Streets.

November: Campus officials began development on the lot, razing existing structures in preparation of installing a playing field. However, progress was soon halted by lack of funds. The vacant lot became a muddy eyesore, turning into a dumping ground for trash and abandoned vehicles. Local residents became increasingly distressed by the University's inaction and the derelict state of the property.

April 18th: A call to action appeared in the Berkeley Barb, the weekly underground counterculture newspaper. "A park will be built ... Bring shovels, hoses, chains, grass, paints, flowers, trees, bull dozers, top soil, colorful smiles, laughter and lots of sweat."

April 20th: Berkeley residents, artists, activists, and students came together to beautify the space, and People's Park was born. In the days that followed, the once-derelict lot was infused with flowers, trees, playground equipment, artwork, benches, and a bulletin board.

April 30th: Campus officials announced that development of the property would resume. Alarmed, some Park supporters sought to lease the space in an attempt to continue its existence. Others turned to more radical measures, claiming that the land of People's Park belonged to those who built it. All efforts to preserve the Park in the days following were rebuffed by campus officials. Meanwhile, community work on the property continued.

May 14th: Campus officials posted "No Trespassing" signs throughout the Park.