People's Park Last Stand? The Struggle Continues! Save the Heart and Soul of Berkeley

The Struggle Continues! Save The Park!


People's Park banner

  • Jovanka Beckles – CA State Senate Candidate
  • Margot Smith– CA State Assembly Candidate
  • Moni Law – Affordable Housing and Police Accountability Activist
  • Joe Liesner – People’s Park Historic District Advocacy Group

People’s Park supporters cry “Foul!” in response to the California State Supreme Court’s recent ruling to allow the University of California (UC) to destroy the park. We pledge to continue the fight to save it.

Native American site of significance: People’s Park sits in Huichin, the name given the land by indigenous inhabitants of the Confederated Villages of Lisjan (local Ohlone nation). Derby Creek, which ran through the Park site, was filled in and culverted about 1901. The creek’s location suggests that an indigenous village was located in this area, and that significantly more recent remains or artifacts could be found during excavation. This would be grounds for another California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) challenge to UC’s construction plan. Many have suggested UC cede the Park to the Sogorea Te Land Trust as part of rematriation of lands lost to settler colonialism. UC “owns” the most real estate in California, all stolen from indigenous peoples. Adding insult to injury, after decades of struggling to fulfill commitments to more easterly native peoples, the US government refused to recognize any tribes in California so it would not have to provide any previously promised benefits, minimal as they were.

Desperately needed open space: Although the park has served as a place of last resort for unhoused and poor people, what the community desperately needs is open park space. Reducing People’s Park violates Berkeley’s Measure L, passed in 1986, which requires preservation and maintenance of the public parks and open space which exist in Berkeley, and acquisition of more open space in neighborhoods having less than the minimum amount of open space relative to population. People’s Park is the only public green space in the densely populated Council District 7, often referred to as Southside. It has served as refuge for many immigrants, starting with African-Americans in the 60’s and 70’s.

Historical Legacy: People’s Park was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 24, 2022, recognized in the letter of designation “as nationally significant for its association with student protests and countercultural activities during the 1960s.” In addition to this over half-century legacy of political and cultural events, the historical, architectural and environmental assets of this irreplaceable open space include a bio system of flora and fauna and a surround of highly significant architecture. Despite this, the current University administration remains intent on destroying the Park as one more part of making Berkeley unlivable for most.

Corrupt decision: UC has tried to avoid or undermine the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) process for its proposed People’s Park housing project. When noise impact was identified as a likely disqualifier, it sought and won a special exception via having the Legislature amend CEQA to allow UC to proceed. UC is making profit from student housing while there is NO actual low-income housing to help the displaced people. There are over 3,000 vacant units in Berkeley, many held off-market for speculation. And hundreds of dorm rooms are vacant due to the high price. UC plans to increase enrollment by 20,000 students over the next decade, with no agreement from the City or its residents, who will suffer most.

People’s Park Community
We Ain’t Going Anywhere!

Not a Panthers event, just listed as a resource for our members

June 19, 2024 at 7:00pm - 9pm
East Bay Media Center
1939 Addison St
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States
Google map and directions

Will you come?