Le 21/09/2022. Port Oakland, in the San Francisco Bay, is the fifth busiest container port in the USA. Danny Wan,...
Niveau B1 (intermédiaire)
In Berkeley, California, People’s Park is a problem for the city of Berkeley and the University of California. Why? In the 60s, the park was a symbol for community and freedom of expression. But today, the park is home to the homeless. And not everyone is happy about that.
There isn’t enough accommodation in Berkeley. Even though the park belongs to the university, students can’t find accommodation. The solution is to build apartments in the park. Many citizens agree with this solution because they don’t want the homeless to live in the park. Other citizens don’t agree because they want a park with trees in their city.
© Ameer Mussard-Afcari / Shutterstock.com
© CC BY-SA 3.0
Early on August 3rd 2022, the police evicted the homeless from the park. A few hours later, workers began felling trees. At 9.23am, protesters from the group Defend People’s Park blocked construction trucks and pulled down fences protecting the workers. The protest group put a message on Twitter. It said, “They are throwing residents’ items away.” Which residents? The homeless.
The university told journalists that they offered shelter to the homeless. They said, “Alternative shelter, transportation, and storage for belongings was offered to each and every person when the park was closed, an offer that remains available for all who need and want it.” The university also said they planned to keep 60% of the park’s trees and green spaces. Due to the protests and violence, the university stopped construction.
On August 5th, activists filed a lawsuit and a judge stopped the construction of a 16-story building for 1,100 students. Nobody knows what will happen next. If the university wins in court, construction will continue in October. The university says that they plan to accommodate 125 homeless people, not just students. And they want to include a commemoration of the park’s history. But People’s Park was created by political activists in the 1960s which means the park is a significant historical site. In fact, it has a place on the National register of Historic Places in Berkeley.
You’ll have to wait for October to find out what will happen to People’s Park!
freedom = liberté
a homeless = un sans domicile fixe
accommodation = hébergement, logement
even though = bien que
to agree = être d’accord
to evict = expluser
to fell = abattre
a shelter = un refuge
available = disponible
due to = à cause de
to file a lawsuit = intenter un action en justice
to mean = vouloir dire