People’s Park was born in April 1969. But UC, not appreciating the free-wheeling ignorance of their property lines, quickly fenced the park. The National Guard was called in and violently fought protestors on “Bloody Thursday” — inspiring a mass march 30,000 strong, shortly thereafter. But the fence stayed up and a new approach was needed.
July 14, 1969:
During summer 1969, protesters baked wire clippers into loaves of bread and detoured another protest to the park. Lo and behold — the fence came down for a joyful evening.
May 8, 1972:
The fence was finally torn down for good, during a protest against Nixon’s plan to mine Haiphong Harbor in North Vietnam.
People rip up UC’s closed parking lot and create a community vegetable garden on the west end of the park. To defend it, they use pieces of pavement and logs to build a barricade on the sides of the park.
Protests and riots rage for months against a volleyball court installed by UC. In December 1991, a vandal cut down the court’s main post in broad daylight. UC eventually concedes and the court is removed.
January 29, 2021:
When UC installs fences to conduct soil testing on the park for the new housing project, students tear them down and cheekily deposit them on the steps of Sproul Hall.
August 3, 2022:
UC’s first attempt to begin construction in 2022 ends in humiliation. At 2am, contractors install military-grade fencing along the park’s perimeter. Park defenders can’t prevent the felling of many trees, but they do force the police to retreat by the afternoon. The “indestructible” fences are shoved down and stacked.