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People’s Park activists are considering a last-ditch effort to stop construction

Shipping containers surround the perimeter of People's Park.
Wikimedia / Creative Commons
Shipping containers surround the perimeter of People's Park.

Around 70 people attended a panel Wednesday night to discuss a potential “last stand” for People’s Park. Several political candidates spoke at the event, including state senate candidate Jovanka Beckles, state assembly candidate Margot Smith, and Berkeley mayoral candidate Aidan Hill.

Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court ended a legal battle between UC Berkeley and People’s Park activists. The court ruled that the university could begin constructing high-rise student housing and additional low-income housing at the park.

But at the panel, participants brought up the possibility that indigenous artifacts could be discovered in or near the site.

The activists claim that discovering remains or artifacts could be grounds for another legal challenge against the university. As of today, no such artifacts have been uncovered.

Berkeley currently sits in the indigenous territory of the Lisjan people. The Lisjan Nation’s tribal chair, Corrina Gould, says she hopes that the university will conduct a report to investigate this possibility.

Gould says the park represents a historic place for many people, as well as a place that is “representative of our own people being on those lands for thousands of years."

Sheree is a writer and journalist based in the Bay Area. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from San Francisco State University. Her work can also be found on The Spectacle, TED.com, and KQED’s Rightnowish podcast.