A well-known member of Berkeley’s homeless community was ordered to stay away from People’s Park by campus police for one week on Sunday night.
Mark Hawthorne, more commonly known as “Hate Man,” was given a seven-day stay-away order prohibiting him from entering UC property, including People’s Park, at 7:29 pm Sunday night, according to the UCPD daily activity bulletin.
“The police lights were flashing in his face and they made him show some court documents,” said local artist Scott O’Keefe, recalling what transpired Sunday night. “(But) he handled it with grace.”
Hawthorne was issued the stay-away order for hoarding too many things in the park, said UCPD spokesperson Lt. Eric Tejada. Regulations do not allow people to store their property in the park, so those who stay in the park are only allowed to bring in as many items as they are able to carry out.
“It was becoming a trash heap,” Tejada said. “We’ve given him a wide berth so far but it was getting to the point of becoming a public nuisance.”
According to Tejada, Hawthorne was given multiple warnings by UCPD to clean up his area in the park prior to the issuance of the stay-away order.
Shortly after the police came, Hawthorne could be seen consolidating his belongings and moving them across the street with some help from other park residents, O’Keefe said. These past few days, Hawthorne has been roaming around the Telegraph area, according to O’Keefe and several of Hawthorne’s friends.
Nicknamed “Hate Man” due to his belief that people should be direct about their negative feelings toward each other, Hawthorne, once a reporter for the New York Times, has been homeless for over 25 years and is a well-known figure in the local homeless community.
“He’s a nice guy,” said Hank Chapot, a campus gardener who goes to People’s Park every morning to clean the area. “We’re all a little surprised. He always collects the bottles and cans. If he didn’t collect them, they’d go into the landfill.”
Hawthorne’s friends believe that the stay-away order may be linked to possible university attempts to make People’s Park more welcoming to others.
“It seems like there’s a general push to change the image of the park,” O’Keefe said. “There are a lot of people with drug addictions and mental health issues and that can scare (people).”