Protest: The Street People

Berkeley, Calif., was the cradle of the U.S. student rebellion. Recently, though, it had been Dullsville for activists. Demonstrations had petered out as the principal action shifted to the East. This was enough to irritate radicals on and off the University of California campus. Many of them were spoiling for a fight with university authorities but lacked an issue. So, joining some enthusiasts in a popular local-improvement project, they created a cause—with the cooperation of heavy-handed university officials and gun-happy police.

The alchemy was simple. The first ingredient was a dusty, three-acre tract in a dowdy neighborhood just off grim...

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