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You know what's really scary for me...."

Speech on January 18 by Andrea Pritchett

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...You I know, I wish could meet the opposition. I wish I could find the people who really think it's a good idea for us to have sports courts in People's Park. I'd like to find them. I want to meet them, I want to talk, to reason together. But I don't find the people who want it, I find the institution that wants it.


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And what I'm looking for is ... if you folks are our leaders, right? You know what's really scary for me -- more than the idea of the university coming and taking People's Park -- is the idea of our democracy being so crippled and so lame ... and so impaired that our leadership -- when clearly the people of Berkeley want to work on People's Park in a community kind of way, and that we don't want the university involved...

Their police come and they hurt us, they threaten us, they harass us. We want to build something ourselves. And we want you folks to be our leaders. We're putting you forward to go and tell the University, "No, no, no, no, no. This is our town and these are our people, and this is our plan."  So we're indicating that to you and if you don't do that, then our democracy is pretty much non-existent, isn't it?  And that's a pretty scary prospect.

You know, we told you all in 1991 that it wasn't a good idea. You had good counsel back them -- some of you... I know some of you weren't here. You had good counsel. Remember when the Police Review Commissioner got beat up. Beverly Kelly, she got beat up by the police during that time.   Remember on Haste St, wasn't it August 2nd, 1991?  

When the Berkeley police, who used to shut off traffic so we could have our marches down the street, and we stood there, behind a "Defend Free Speech" banner, and we got beaten and we said "No, no, it was a mistake" and we sat down and when the protesters sat down, we were beaten by clubs ... by the police. Is that what we're moving towards?  And really between us and the University are you folks. Are you going to represent us or not? I mean I think it's pretty clear what we want. And so if you go ahead and tell the University "Ok. This. Whatever you want..."  It terrifies me really. I hope you do the right thing. Because I don't know what else to do."
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