Berkeley Peoples Park Protest Scores Win Against U.C. Berkeley

Berkeley Peoples Park Protest Scores Win Against U.C. Berkeley

by Steed Dropout
Nov. 22, 2014


Hate Hits the Streets protesting. Photo by Ted Friedman.

As major media covers a continuing sit-in by Cal Berkeley students protesting inevitable fee hikes (the hikes have already been adopted), a small band of Peoples Park residents–protesting a recent Peoples Park ban on cardboard and tarpaulins–has won its demands, Berkeley Reporter learned Friday afternoon.

“We, were all set-up here,” said the protest organizer, Hate Man, 77, sounding almost disappointed to be breaking up his encampment on a walkway alongside University Police Headquarters in Sproul Hall.

“We just got set-up here,” Hate complained.

“Hate man is sorry he won?” quipped “Bubble Lady, 70,” who–as well as Hate Man–is a South Side counter-culture figure.

As Hate, so-called by his loyalists in Peoples Park’s Hate Camp, began breaking camp, Friday, at Hate Camp annex outside university police headquarters, he reflected on how he had won against the university.

Hate breaking camp. Photo by Ted Friedman.

“We wanted to keep our protest small and non-threatening,” Hate told me, Friday, amidst a round of knuckling, his own version of hi-fiving.

Hate, a 60s front page New York Times reporter (“they sent me to protests because I looked like a kid”) still has influential former colleagues in high T.V. places, he has told me. “I had that in mind as a fall-back, but didn’t need it,” Hate said Friday.

Officer Sean Aranus, a popular South side university bicycle cop rolled in Friday to congratulate Hate and his tiny crew (“we never had more than ten people,” Hate said). After a round of celebratory knuckling, Aranus biked across the street to buy six coffees for the winners. “I buy stuff for people from time to time,” he said.

Aranus celebrates Hate's victory with a little knuckling. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Hate Camp’s second day UCPD protest was overshadowed Tuesday, by 250 fee-hike protesters on nearby Sproul Plaza and a continuing student sit-in, nearby.

Bigger protest at Sproul, Tuesday,a few feet away. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Hate has said previously, “Sproul is dead,” and rarely returns to the site of many of his performances which made Hate Man a Berkeley brand in the 90s; he was spotted by Berkeley Reporter, on the audience fringe at a recent Free Movement 50th birthday rally. “I participated in the free clothes box action, anti-apartheid, and the volleyball protests in the 90s,” Hate recalled.

Hate was told, by his lawyer he had won; the lawyer is a famous civil liberties attorney and a founder of People’s Park, Osha Neumann; Neumann’s apparently persuasive letter to UCPD Police Chief, Marguerite Bennet, disputed that cardboard was “camping paraphernalia,” adding, “I am appalled” to have to intervene “just as the weather turns cold and rainy….”

According to Neumann, UCPD Officer Wyckoff came by the park a week ago and informed them [park users] “that their use of tarps and cardboard are camping paraphernalia.”

Taking 'illegal' tarps to U.C. Police headquarters, right. Photo by Ted Friedman.

“By no stretch of the imagination can cardboard be considered “camping paraphernalia,” Neumann wrote. “I seriously doubt you can buy it [cardboard] at REI. Perhaps you can buy tarp there, but you can also get rain coats, pants, and shoes.”

The demands--with lots of 'illegal' tarps and cardboard. Photo by Ted Friedman.

Calling “5 California Code of Regulations Section 100005, banning camp paraphernalia a “shabby excuse” for the “crackdown.” Neumann went on to further denounce the university’s actions, which would have made a cold and rainy Thanksgiving–unbearable for Peoples Park refugees.

More demo photos at This EXCLUSIVE! story is an exclusive because only Berkeley Reporter, described by Google as “a news blog covering Berkeley’s less-affluent South Side” is interested.

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