Legalize Marijuana? Voices from People’s Park, 2015

Legalize Marijuana? Voices from People’s Park, 2015

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On April 20, 1969, activists began work on People’s Park, an empty block of land not 1,200 feet as the crow flies from the main gate of the University of California, Berkeley.  Volunteers planted trees, shrubs, grass and flowers, but the chancellor of the university was determined to turn the space into student housing, so in mid-May of ’69, he and governor Ronald Reagan sent in the California Highway Patrol and the Berkeley Police to clear the park of well ensconced activists.

A confrontation ensued over the next few days between as many as 6000 protestors and hundreds of police armed in riot gear.  The governor declared a state of emergency and deployed the National Guard to help officers who hid their badges for anonymity and attacked activists with batons … tear gas rained down from helicopters, and police fired shotguns loaded with buckshot on unarmed citizens and ultimately killed Berkeley student James Rector.

Since then, there’ve been a few less violent protests and subsequent arrests over the fate of the land, but by the mid-1970s the city of Berkeley took control of the property and continues to maintin the area as a public park.

So on a cloudless Tuesday afternoon, on April 14, 2015, MJPM’s Brian Bahouth visited People’s Park and asked some of the people he found there about the impending vote to legalize cannabis in California and files this report … a mix of words, ambient sounds and music … (10:23) …

 

 

Photos by Brian Bahouth:

 

big-purple-art le-sign swing the-revolution tiles

 

 

Music credits in order of appearance and as reported through the Public Radio Exchange:

Title: Ventilador
Artist: Nortic Collective
Album: Nortic Collective: The Tijuana Sessions Vol. 1
Label: Mil Records
Year: 2001
Duration: (3:52)

Title: El Vergel
Artist: Nortic Collective
Album: Nortic Collective: The Tijuana Sessions Vol. 1
Label: Mil Records
Year: 2001
Duration: (2:04)

Title: La Fusee A Polo
Artist: Le Gooster
Album: Trip Hop & Jazz Vol. 4
Label: Urbana Arts
Year: 1998
Duration: (1:35)

Title: This Beat
Artist: Mark Farina & The Jazzual Suspects
Album: Mushroom Jazz Six
Label: Om Records
Year: 2009
Duration: (2:02)

Title: Synthakon
Artist: Nortic Collective
Album: Nortic Collective: The Tijuana Sessions Vol. 1
Label: Mil Records
Year: 2001
Duration: (1:52)

Title: Just Checking (Js Stripped Down Instrumental)
Artist: Mark Farina & The Jazzual Suspects
Album: Mushroom Jazz Six
Label: Om Records
Year: 2009