Berkeley Big People's Wheelchair User

Posted October 19th, 2008 by Anthony

Last saturday, October 18, the People’s Republic of Berkeley, birthplace of the independent living movement, unveiled a massive, social realist statue honoring the town’s political activism. It’s depicts people engaged in some of the town’s different protests. For once a righteous, angry, political, powerful wheelchair user is depicted in public art.

statue of Berkeley wheelchair user

Berkeley Wheelchair User Statue

As soon as I say it’s the first in the US, I know previous examples will almost immediately crop up. But, it’s the first that fills me with pride while making me appreciate all the work we’ve done with our brothers and sisters for the disability community.

One of the coolest aspects of the statue is how visible it is. Perched on city property (CalTrans wouldn’t allow it on highway land) at the edge of Hwy 80, it will be seen by thousands each day. That stretch of road is claimed to be the busiest in the US. The sculpture designed the piece to appear differently whether the view is stuck in stop and go traffic ¬†or whizzing by at 70 miles an hour.

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