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Stay issued for construction at People’s Park

people's park protest 2021 wayne hsieh.jpg
Wayne Hsieh
/
Flickr / Creative Commons
A street protest last year to save Berkeley's People's Park

Workers moved into the park early Wednesday morning to start work on a $312 million housing project and by late morning had cut down trees. Protesters halted the work while law enforcement arrested seven people in the process, according to the university. The melee injured two law enforcement officers, UC officials said.

The housing project would provide more than 11-hundred below-market apartments for undergraduates and housing for extremely low-income and formerly homeless people.

A judge earlier in the week gave UC Berkeley the official go-ahead to begin work at the park, which was the site of protests in the 1960s and 70s when the university tried to convert it from open space.

Bay City News reported that People's Park Historic District Advocacy Group president Harvey Smith – whose group is involved in the appeal – accused the university of taking advantage of the initial lower court ruling. Smith added that he was confident a higher court would restore the status of the park.

Under the ruling in the 1st District Court of Appeal Thursday, UC Berkeley must refrain from further demolition, construction, and tree-cutting as well as altering of the landscape.

However, the workers for the university can alter the landscape for