7 arrested in Berkeley’s People’s Park after protesters, police clash

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Arrests were made and officers were injured during what UC Berkeley called “unlawful protest activity and violence” at People’s Park over a student housing project.

7 were arrested and 2 officers were injured in the incident. One of the arrestees was released on an out-of-custody complaint and transported to the hospital for minor injuries. 

The protesters were charged with battery on a peace officer, trespassing and resisting, obstructing, and delaying an officer. 

According to the university, it has decided to halt construction due to the destruction of materials, unlawful protest activity, and violence. All construction personnel were withdrawn for their safety.

The construction crew started to fence off the park and clear the way for demolition on Wednesday when a small but loud group of protesters clashed with the police. 

“As a climate change activist, it is really painful to see a park, built by the community for the community, being torn down,” says Aisha Wallace Palomares, a U.C. Berkeley student.

The resistance was met by the police force, who are in riot gear, and was trying to prevent people from entering the fenced-off People’s Park. 

“I feel like I was doing what I can. But the more people we get out here, the better,” says Tatum Loma, who took part in the protest.

A few people, like U.C. Berkeley student Bryce Smith, were able to break through the fence and make their way into the park.

UC Berkeley says it will assess the situation and decide when to restart construction. 

See the full statement from UC Berkeley below:

“Yesterday, due to the destruction of construction materials, unlawful protest activity, and violence on the part of some protesters, the university decided to pause construction work on the People’s Park housing site. All construction personnel were withdrawn out of concern for their safety. In the course of preparing and planning for the start of construction, safety has been the university’s highest priority, and that remains the case now. The campus will, in the days ahead, assess the situation in order to determine how best to proceed with construction of this urgently needed student housing project.”