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UC Berkeley builds wall, calls in cops to stop construction protestors

Activists oppose the new residence hall development

University of California Berkeley officials have built a wall using cargo containers and barbed wire to keep out protestors of a proposed residence hall.

UC Berkeley deployed at least 100 police officers to guard People’s Park, the proposed site of the new residence hall, according to the student newspaper. The university plans to operate 24-hour dining to feed law enforcement Berkeleyside also reported.

“While the university is unable to start development of the park pending a decision by the California Supreme Court, the university is allowed to place fencing around the park,” The Daily Californian reported on Thursday.

The park has been the site of protests from students and local activists who want to preserve the park for open use. In August 2022, activists mourned the loss of trees cut down with a Sunday memorial service, as previously reported by The College Fix.

The university previously used fencing in August 2022.

Trees were removed and cars will be towed to allow the university to build a cargo container wall, much like the one Arizona built along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Around 2:30 a.m., crew began taking down trees along the perimeter of the park, as permitted by a city public works permit issued Wednesday,” the student newspaper reported. “However, multiple sources have reported that cars along the park’s perimeter streets — Haste Street, Dwight Way and Bowditch Avenue — have been towed.”

Legal challenges have had some success, the student newspaper reported in a separate article on Wednesday.

“The project is intended to build housing for more than 1,100 students and 125 units of permanent supportive housing,” according to the Daily Californian. “However, Resources for Community Development — the initial developer for the supportive housing arm of the project — pulled out in May 2023 over developmental delays stemming from the ongoing legal case surrounding the park. The university has stated they intend to find a new developer for this part of the project.”

Activists and police faced off on Thursday over the barricades.

“More than 100 people gathered for the protest on Telegraph Avenue late Thursday morning, where they chanted and gave speeches vowing to continue their efforts to block the university’s plan to build student housing at the park,” Berkleyside reported.

“Dozens of law enforcement officers in body armor and helmets stood opposite them behind a metal barricade, while behind them workers in orange vests and hard hats continued building the shipping container wall,” the outler reported.

Police arrested at least 11 people so far for protesting, including one “after he allegedly moved barricades,” according to Berkeleyside. (Presumably traffic barriers, not cargo containers).

MORE: Baltimore HBCU will build wall to keep out ‘bad actors’ following shooting

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.