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Police Raid People’s Park in Berkeley Again

Once the focus of student protests in the 1960s, yet again People’s Park in Berkeley has been raided by the police. The center of a vibrant community since it was taken over by people protesting the plans to develop the park more than 50 years ago.

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Confrontation at People’s Park, Berkeley, on Bloody Thursday, 1969

Once again UC Berkeley has decided to develop the land, for more student housing. This caused residents and students to again protest the plan. Seven people were arrested. In 1969 there was a confrontation between students and police over the future of the park. Then Governor Ronald Reagan called on the National Guard to act saying “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with.” The result was Bloody Thursday.

Dozens were shot, hundreds were arrested, and thousands were teargassed – protesters and innocent bystanders alike. During the military occupation of Berkeley by National Guardsmen, a helicopter launched a chemical attack on the University campus, children were surrounded by bayonet-wielding soldiers, and journalists were detained under the supervision of brutally sadistic guards. Following the upheaval, Gov. Reagan cracked, “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with, no more appeasement.”

East Bay Yesterday

Protesters claim there are more than a dozen other locations where the dorms could be built. In the meantime, the authorities decided to surround the park with 150 shipping containers piled two high, encasing the park in ugly steel.

People’s Park, Berkeley surrounded by shipping containers now.

Read more about People’s Park

Sources: East Bay Yesterday