Cal halts construction at People’s Park due to ‘violence’

The University of California at Berkeley said Wednesday afternoon that it has temporarily halted construction work that began this morning on a student housing project in People’s Park due to “destruction of building materials, illegal protest activity, and violence.”

Riot police descended on a square plot off Telegraph Street before sunrise to clear a small camp for the homeless and put up a fence around the area. The staff showed up on site as soon as the sun came up, bringing construction and logging equipment.

A worker cuts down a tree at People's Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3.  3, 2022

A worker cuts down a tree at People’s Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 3, 2022

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

“They are currently cutting down trees in the park with chainsaws,” said Ramon Mendoza, who is part of a movement to conserve the park. A video was posted on Twitter At 9:36 AM it showed tree work in progress.

krone Spread A 9:23 a.m. video of protesters blocking construction trucks “to prevent them from removing any trees.”

As the day progressed, more protesters descended on the area, tearing down the fence and flooding the park.

Protesters attempt to demolish a fence at People's Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3.  3, 2022.

Protesters attempt to demolish a fence at People’s Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

UC Berkeley said several arrests have been made, but it cannot provide detailed information about the numbers and charges until 2 p.m.


People’s Park Defense Group He said Early this morning, several forklifts, large moving vehicles and trucks with fencing were in the park before sunrise.

“They are throwing residents’ things away,” the group wrote. Twitter.

The university said in a statement that when work began this morning, two or three unoccupied people in the park were “previously provided with shelter, were repeatedly notified that the park would be closed soon, and were advised that overnight camping in the park is not permitted.”

“Last night, alternative shelter, transportation and baggage storage were again offered to everyone when the park closed, an offer that remains available to everyone who needs it and wants it,” the university said.

People prevent contractors and their logging equipment from leaving People's Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, August 13.  3, 2022.

People prevent contractors and their logging equipment from leaving People’s Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, August 13. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

An Alameda County Supreme Court judge ruled Friday that UC Berkeley can begin construction of a 16-story building that accommodates more than 1,100 students.

Activists and student groups stood on the sidelines protesting the park’s closure. They have long opposed the university’s project and advocated that the site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, be kept a public green space.

Heavy machinery is seen pushing a redwood tree down in People's Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3.  3, 2022.

Heavy machinery is seen pushing a redwood tree down in People’s Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

UC Berkeley is located in the midst of the high-priced and notoriously cramped real estate market in the Bay Area, facing a shortage of student housing; According to a 2017 survey, it “has the lowest family-to-body ratio of its students of any campus in the University of California system.” The survey also found that 10% of respondents identified themselves as having experienced homelessness at some point while attending UC Berkeley.

In addition to student housing, the People’s Park residential complex will provide up to 125 apartments offering supportive housing with on-site services to non-residential and low-income residents, as well as open landscaped areas.

Protesters sit on top of a building in People's Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3.  3, 2022.

Protesters sit on top of a building in People’s Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

“More than 60% of the 2.8-acre site will be preserved as open space and revitalized into a renewable park space that enhances the history of the site,” the university said. The site will also contain a “memorial of the park’s past and historical significance”.

The university’s plans also include providing temporary housing for individuals living in People’s Park, with services to support the transition to permanent housing, according to a website dedicated to the project.

This is an evolving story and details will be added as they emerge.

A lone protester sits in the last standing redwood tree in People's Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3.  3, 2022.

A lone protester sits in the last standing redwood tree in People’s Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

Police monitor an entrance formerly used by contractors to enter the fenced area at People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 3.  3, 2022.

Police monitor an entrance formerly used by contractors to enter the fenced area at People’s Park in Berkeley, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

sign announces

A sign proclaiming “53 Years of Resistance” is seen in People’s Park in Berkeley, California, Wednesday, Aug. 3. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

A person shakes his finger at a California Highway Patrol officer during a protest at People's Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3.  3, 2022.

A person shakes his finger at a California Highway Patrol officer during a protest at People’s Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

Police take a protester away after he was arrested during a demonstration at People's Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, August 3.  3, 2022.

Police take a protester away after he was arrested during a demonstration at People’s Park in Berkeley, California, on Wednesday, August 3. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

Protesters talk to each other as California State Highway Patrol officers police at a protest at People's Park in Berkeley, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 3.  3, 2022.

Protesters talk to each other as California State Highway Patrol officers police at a protest at People’s Park in Berkeley, Calif., on Wednesday, Aug. 3. 3, 2022.

Jungho Kim / SFGATE Special

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