…but it can’t all be plain and simple, there is more to it. Based on what I have read it seems Berkeley is to some degree haunted by its history, and this keeps it from moving forward. No doubt the “left” caused disruption on University grounds in the 60s, and at People’s Park-- by claiming the land for public use when it was owned by the University to be used in part for housing. When protests in 1969 were met with gunfire (by police under the direction of Reagan’s Chief of Staff), killing one and injuring over 100 others, the conflict would be symbolized as the “Flower children vs. the Establishment.” This is the image people like to hold, to the detriment of progress.
There is a meaningful comment on the Berkeleyside article by Piero (a longtime resident with connections to People’s Park who says he is on the left). This is just part of it:
The place that once meant safety for counter cultural people, runaway teens, and hippies who just wanted to explore themselves and the world, became a place lethal to women and children, and a festering open wound on the psyche of the left in this town.
This is something that the city never came to terms with, something that the liberal left in this city refused to talk about, or even acknowledge, preferring the fading pipedream of their 60s utopia fantasy, or what was left of it, to the very real responsibility of understanding that lasting progressive change, requires non-romantic, functional common sense to be applied. It’s work. Not a vacation.