BERKELEY (KRON) – The University of California Berkeley has paused construction work on a housing site at People’s Park amid protests that have in some cases, been violent. There’s a heavy presence from multiple law enforcement agencies, including Berkeley Police, at People’s Park near the UC Berkeley campus, enforcing a judge’s order that a homeless encampment can be removed so that the university can start building a housing project there.

“Due to the destruction of construction materials, unlawful protest activity, and violence on the part of some protesters, the University has decided to pause construction work on the People’s Park housing site,” said a UC Berkeley spokesperson speaking to KRON4. “All construction personnel were withdrawn out of concern for their safety.

There are multiple road closures along Telegraph Avenue to make sure nobody can enter the park, and advocates from a couple of citizen groups opposing the new housing project have been detained and removed from the park. There are two peaceful protesters inside the gates of the park as of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, and they are allowed to stay on the premises because they are with a group that was granted a stay in court.

UC Berkeley wants to build housing at the park for students, as well as low-income people, while keeping part of the space open to honor the park’s historic significance. The project would house over 1,000 people when completed.

People’s Park, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, played a role in the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s and 70s. More recently, it has been home to a homeless encampment.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Frank Roesch denied petitions from three groups opposing the development in a ruling Friday evening.

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“We’re pleased with the judge’s decision,” UC Berkeley spokesperson Dan Mogulof told Bay City News on Friday, and “we look forward to starting construction this summer.”

The People’s Park Historic District Advocacy Group, one of the groups that filed suit, is prepared to appeal the judge’s decision.

Advocates believe that the university has alternatives they could build on, such as a parking structure about a block from the park. A spokesperson informed KRON4 there were multiple arrests.