Being a relatively small number, I got to know most of them by sight, if not by name, as I began to participate in the civil rights rallies, demonstrations, and leafletting on the later disputed sidewalk on Bancroft and Telegraph. In a short time, the protest grew to involve large numbers of students supported by significant groups of […]. There were other factors that contributed to make Berkeley a pole of attraction in the 1960s. The two battlefields may seem quite different to some observers, but this is not the case. The most important of these potential internal splits, Draper writes, arose from initiatives undertaken by prominent Berkeley sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset. As the movement approached its climax, when the leadership called for a strike, some individuals and groups of students were actively opposed to it. Mario Savio, leader of the students' Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley, speaks to several thousand students before leading them in an invasion of Sproul Hall, 1964. We’re Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary. Through unprecedented mobilization, rejecting the expansion of McCarthyist-inspired rules to strangle political activities on campus, and a refusal to allow the administration's efforts to split the movement, students won their basic rights to free speech on campus. Many students, including Savio, spent the summer on 1964 down in Mississippi registering black sharecroppers to vote during Freedom Summer. Editor’s Note: The following is a transcript of the 15th annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture, delivered by Robert Reich, a UC Berkeley public policy professor and former U.S. Secretary of Labor. Mario Savio, (born December 8, 1942, Queens, New York—died November 6, 1996, Sebastopol, California), U.S. educator and student free-speech activist who reached prominence as spokesman for the 1960s Free Speech Movement (FSM) at the University of California, Berkeley. The third group was the W. E. B. However, if the growth of the FSM was propelled by the administration’s back and forth maneuvers that progressively delegitimized its authority, it was the movement’s leadership that played a key role in building up and cementing the students’ and faculty’s support for the FSM. Smaller discussion sections usually accompanied large classes but were handled by graduate students acting as teaching assistants (TAs), usually only slightly older than the undergraduates. There are quite a few students who have attended school at Berkeley who went South to work with the Student Non-violent Co-ordinating Committee, and who have been active in the civil rights movement in the Bay Area. He is most famous for his passionate speeches, especially the "put your bodies upon the gears" address given at Sproul Hall, University of California, Berkeley on December 2, 1964. The book is a political analysis, based on a careful and methodical presentation of a political struggle, by an author who stresses the constantly changing balance of power between contending forces on the ground. Through unprecedented mobilization, rejecting the expansion of McCarthyist-inspired rules to strangle political activities on campus, and a refusal to allow the administration's efforts to split the movement, students won their basic rights to free speech on campus. This might have been the case at the beginning of the 1964 fall semester, when the protest started. His widely read pamphlet “The Mind of Clark Kerr,” on Kerr, the president of the University of California system at the time, had a notable impact on the movement including Free Speech Movement (FSM) leader Mario Savio’s critique of Kerr’s view of the university as a knowledge producing factory. Students also had to contend with a suffocating administration. Catalyst, a new journal published by Jacobin, is out now. (Peter Whitney / Getty Images). But Draper notes that, in contrast with the increasingly militant and politically radicalized student body, the victory of the FSM faculty sympathizers was merely conjunctural. Many students, including Savio, spent the summer on 1964 down in Mississippi registering black sharecroppers to vote during Freedom Summer. He follows that dynamic in detail, from the moment the movement starts, when power rested with the campus authorities backed by enormous economic and political interests, to its end, when power had shifted to the side of the students, who obtained the support of the great majority of professors when faced with an intransigent and politically tone-deaf campus and university administration. Janice Mart. Mario Savio gave his famous speech on the steps of Sproul Hall, located in the campus of the University of California at Berkeley. Get a $20 discounted print subscription today! His moral clarity, his eloquence, and his democratic … Mario Savio, leader of the students' Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley, speaks to several thousand students before leading them in an … Click the button below to order a copy of the item by signing up for an Aeon account or logging in to your existing account. Close × Contact Owning Institution. The Free Speech Movement at Berkeley was a watershed moment in 1960s student organizing. However, Draper counters Rossman by citing the conclusions of two surveys conducted at the time by Prof. Robert Somers from the Sociology Department. There were many papers to fill out and the processes were so convoluted that it was often hard to discern who was in charge of what. The Berkeley students were able to win the battle for free speech with an unprecedented protest and radical mobilization going well beyond liberalism as usual. 17:34. In 1964 he travelled to Mississippi and participated in the Civil Rights struggle. When he returned to the Berkeley campus for the fall semester, he “found the university preventing us from collecting money for use there [Mississippi] and … On the other hand, this limited and constrained the political development of the movement (in the sense of connecting itself to other ongoing struggles), and narrowed its scope. These students were very active in the movement and played important roles in the FSM as activist cadres and organizers, particularly in academic departments such as sociology, history, and mathematics, as well as in the newly founded AFT local and the antiwar movement that grew dramatically on campus beginning in the spring of 1965. View source image on the Online Archive of California. ... Oct. 1, 1964 Publication Information The Bancroft Library;;, University of California, … When graduate student Jack Weinberg was arrested on December 2, 1964 for distributing political literature on campus, Savio’s speech from Sproul Hall steps (now officially renamed Mario Savio steps) launched the Free Speech Movement (FSM). Mr. Savio was best known as the leader of ''free speech'' demonstrations protesting campus rules at Berkeley in 1964. FSM-A \ Free Speech Movement Archives \ FSM-A . Californians hard hit since Wall Street crashed the economy in 2008, Refund California statement on the November 15th, 2011 Berkley Strike, Overview of the Refund California’s statement on the UC meeting cancellation of 2011, Refund public education action week of 2011. Initially, the campus administration adopted a hard line, rebuffing the demands of the nascent FSM coalition to continue using the now-famous strip of sidewalk for the dissemination of political literature. Mario Savio, shown here at a victory rally in UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza on Dec. 9, 1964, was the face of the free speech movement. He joined the “Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee” whereby he tried to raise funds for them only to find out that the university had put a ban on fundraising and political activity. 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