Saturday, May 16, 2015

People's Park

photo: Mural at Haste Street and Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley, California. Detail showing the killing of James Rector by Alameda County Sheriff's Deputies on May 15, 1969. Photo by Tom Benson, February 2013 (copyright).

On May 15, 1969, students at the University of California, Berkeley, and local citizens, demonstrated against California Governor Ronald Reagan's arbitrary fencing off of an unused field near the university that had become known as People's Park.

Oakland police, state police, and, Alameda County sheriff's deputies, many of them Vietnam Veterans, were called on to quell the demonstrations and were issued live ammunition. The deputies were apparently armed with shotguns, loaded with buckshot.

James Rector, a graduate student, was with a group of friends watching the events from a rooftop when deputies opened fire. Rector was killed. Another bystander was blinded.

No comments: