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Approval of controversial housing project in People’s Park

Approval of controversial housing project in People's Park

Half a century after Berkeley-University of California’s proposal to build student dormitories in the dirt site sparked a historic uprising, with university regents this week approving a student housing project for the land that is now the world. Known throughout as People’s Park.

The UC Board of Regents on Thursday approved spending 31 312 million to build a 1,200-story and six-story building on 1.1 acres of the 2.8-acre park.

The other 1.7 acres will remain open in honor of the colorful and occasional tumultuous history of People’s Park.

A memo detailing that construction will begin in the summer of 2022 and that students can stay there until the fall of 2024.

But the project still faces a handful of legal challenges from workers and community groups that could delay it, as well as the remnants of a resistance movement that promises to protest at every step.

Community groups make UC a good neighbor, and the People’s Park Historic District Advocacy Group sued the university in August for its “long-distance development plan” violating state environmental laws and displacing long-term residents. Will and fire.

Harvey Smith, of the People’s Park Historic District Advocacy Group, said in announcing the lawsuit in August: will have.” “UC’s corporate growth model monetizes public assets with minimal care for its host community.”

Some speakers at the Regents Committee meeting promised to continue opposing the school’s housing plan before the full board vote.

Despite the legendary history of Pushback and People’s Park, university officials and city leaders have called the project an opportunity to provide much-needed accommodation for students who have been forced to stay away from the university because of Berkeley’s rising fares. ۔

In addition, the accommodation will accommodate more than 100 currently homeless people who will be able to get help and services from a non-profit organization that will manage the site.

Berkeley Chancellor Carol Masih told the Regents Committee on Wednesday that the university accommodates about 23 percent of its students, a lower rate than other UC schools. This year, the school evicted 5,000 students from their homes.

Christ said, “I think this is the most important issue for Berkeley.” “Berkeley is a land-limited campus, and we have to use every piece of land to meet our student housing goals.”

But Christ also acknowledged the concerns of workers and residents in the area who fear the displacement of those who are currently sleeping and roaming in People’s Park. He promised that construction would not begin until the university finds housing for 40 to 45 homeless people who sleep there.

Even when the work continues to ensure that when the park is temporarily closed for construction their needs will be met, our full-time social worker is at the People’s Park every day, to help those in need. Helps connect with their services and support. Wrote in a message to the campus community on Thursday about the project’s approval. “To date, it has provided permanent housing for more than 80 homeless people.”

But such reassurances have not convinced those who want to preserve the history of People’s Park, which emerged as a protest center in 1968 from the university’s original project to build student housing.

In the 1950s and 1960s, the university purchased lots for student accommodation, and in 1968 demolished homes on a 2.8-acre plot just east of Telegraph Avenue that would become People’s Park.

While waiting for money to pay for housing, People’s Park has become a hub for students and workers who will protest everything from the university’s housing plan to the tumultuous Vietnam War.

In May 1969, protesters tore down a fence erected by the university to keep people out of the park, leading to violent clashes in which protesters defended the park by throwing stones at hundreds of riot police.

Police responded by firing, and a bullet struck and killed James Richter, a 25-year-old San Jose student who was watching from the roof.

According to media reports at the time, many protesters were hospitalized – some with bullet wounds – one police officer was stabbed and three others were injured with stones and glass.

Over the years, the university made some attempts to reclaim the park but was thwarted and withdrawn – until 2018, when it announced His current plan.

Although the announcement. Some scattered demonstrations erupted when on one occasion protesters broke down a fence erected around the university. The park – reminiscent of a scene decades ago when the National Guard was called in – regents approved the latest plan.

Only UC Berkeley undergraduate student Regent Alexis Atlasusgi Zaragoza voted against it.

In his message on campus, Christ acknowledged that the move is still controversial today.

“Although I appreciate the support I have received, I know we have to work to create awareness, understanding and understanding among people in doubt,” he wrote. “I look forward to an equal, meaningful engagement with every section of my community, supporters and opponents.”