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In yet another setback to UC Berkeley’s plans to transform historic People’s Park into housing for students and the homeless, a state appeals court has issued an injunction temporarily halting construction.
The court’s decision means that the university will be unlikely to resume work on the site until at least October, assuming it prevails in the litigation.
University construction crews — backed by scores of police officers — had moved into the park early Wednesday and began felling trees to commence work on the controversial project, only to retreat hours later in the face of fierce resistance from protesters.
Park supporters view the UC property — long a symbol of 1960s counterculture — as precious open space and hallowed community ground. Many rushed a newly erected fence, clashed with scores of law enforcement officers and tried to dismantle construction equipment. Seven were arrested on various charges, and one officer was injured, UC Berkeley said Thursday.