At the beginning of the fall in 1964, a group of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley began a protest against the campus administration in defense of their right to free speech. At the beginning of the fall in 1964, a group of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of California at Berkeley began a protest against the campus administration in defense of their right to free speech. He was born and raised in Cuba and has written numerous articles and books about his home country including The Cuban Revolution Reconsidered (University of North Carolina Press). At the time political activity, other than by the official Democratic and Republican clubs, was an arrestable offense on university grounds and faculty were required to sign a loyalty oath. The Berkeley Student Rebellion of 1964 by Mario Savio. For some FSM leaders, like Michael Rossman, it was not primarily politics, but discontent and alienation from Berkeley’s educational practices at the undergraduate level that inspired and fueled the FSM movement. UC Berkeley, Bancroft Library Marcus (Steven) Free Speech Movement Photographs; Mario Savio speaking from top of police car; Image / Mario Savio speaking from top of police car. Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, is restrained by police as he walks on to the platform at the University of California's Greek Theater in Berkeley, Dec. 7, 1964. To be sure, this movement was led from the beginning mostly by radicals and socialists who, like Mario Savio, acquired their political skills in other struggles, such as the Civil Rights Movement, in the years preceding the FSM. 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. The student alienation that Rossman talked about was real. Mario Savio_ Sproul Hall Steps, … Other student leaders include Jack Weinberg, Michael Rossman, George Barton, Brian Turner, Bettina Aptheker, Steve … Your email address will not be published. This fall I am engaged in another phase of the same struggle, this time in Berkeley. 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. Abstract. The most important of these potential internal splits, Draper writes, arose from initiatives undertaken by prominent Berkeley sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset. This is the kernel of what became labeled the “New Left.”. MARIO SAVIO, “AN END TO HISTORY” (2 DECEMBER 1964) Berkeley, California. I learned in practice that, unlike leftists who think people are more likely to fight and revolt when they have been defeated and ground into the dust, winning — and especially winning big — empowers people, raises their expectations, and wets their political appetite. The two battlefields may seem quite different to some observers, but this is not the case. The Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, California, was pivotal in shaping 1960s America. Our new issue, “Biden Our Time,” will be out soon. Chancellor Berdahl said the gift is an acknowledgment of Savio’s impact and the events of 1964 – a reconciliation with history. It wasn’t that the splits in the ranks of the movement vanished, notes Draper. To illustrate this approach, Draper cites one student radical who describes his politics as the sum total of the positions he had adopted on a number of discrete issues such as civil rights and the war on Vietnam. As the movement approached its climax, when the leadership called for a strike, some individuals and groups of students were actively opposed to it. Just as a given force exercises a leverage proportional to its distance from the fulcrum, so a fighting force exercises a leverage in conflict which is proportional not simply to its numbers but also to the strength of its convictions and the firmness of its followers. This might have been the case at the beginning of the 1964 fall semester, when the protest started. Mario Savio is was a well known American activist and one of the top members of the “Berkley Free Speech Movement”. Having agreed to do so in exchange for Kerr’s promised concessions on the free speech issue, the moderates left the meeting with the understanding that Kerr would fulfill his promise. Thirty-three years after Mario Savio mounted the roof of a police car to defend free speech at Berkeley, the campus is honoring his name and the movement he started with an endowment for books, a University Library cafe, and a digitized archive at The Bancroft Library. They failed to elicit any significant support even among the students who did not like the idea of or who were ambivalent about going on strike. 1:50. BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- From Friday night through next week, UC Berkeley will celebrate 50 years since the birth of the Free Speech Movement. These surveys showed that although there might have been a latent dissatisfaction with the quality of education provided by the university, it was the students’ anger at having been deprived of their right to political activity that clearly motivated their participation in the FSM. Biographie. 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. Thus, we were practitioners of “affirmative action” politics (in fact, quotas) even before we knew the term itself. Mario Savio (December 8, 1942 – November 6 1996) was a political activist. Moreover, FSM graduate activists formed one of the very first teaching and research assistant unions in the country (AFT Local 1570), of which I was a founding member as a graduate research assistant at Berkeley at the time. 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. And, for the first time ever at the Berkeley campus, a slate composed of FSM undergraduate activists won the elections to the formally established Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC), from which the graduate students had been barred years earlier by the administration who saw their disenfranchisement as a way to limit left-wing influence in the organization. This bureaucratic reality lent itself to student criticism and scorn, which was expressed with the popular slogan “Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate” [the students], which satirized the instructions students were requested to follow when punching their personal and academic information into rectangular cards, a key feature of the IBM technology used for administrative purposes at the time. Look below the item for additional data you may want to include. × Get Citation. ... Mario Savio, leader of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964) - from THE EDUCATION ARCHIVE - Duration: 5:40. 17:34. The events of 1964 in Berkeley ushered in a decade of student agitation across the country, culminating in the wide protests against the war in Vietnam. My experience in the FSM influenced my political development as I lived and witnessed the politicization and radicalization of students, campus staff, and even some faculty members through their experiences in the struggle against the administration and against the police unleashed on us by Democratic governor Pat Brown. By the end of the fall of 1964, however, I was no longer able to recognize most of them; their number had probably multiplied by a factor of ten. Cal Band Sproul Hall Rally vs. Ohio State 2013 Berkeley California . Although many of them were young and still politically inexperienced, they were organized and led by a highly politically experienced cadre in each of those groups. This included civil disobedience to resist the police, and radical questioning of the politics of the Berkeley campus, the university authorities, the Regents of the University, and the powerful business interests opposing the student movement and the fight for civil rights that brought it about. However, when confronted by the FSM protest, Governor Brown adopted a hard law and order line. We’re Celebrating Our 10th Anniversary. Savio, when asked late in 1964 what the turmoil had signified, quoted a sentence from " Moby Dick ": 'Woe to him who would try to pour oil on the waters when God has brewed them into a gale." His climactic words about "the operation of the machine" have been quoted widely ever since, out of context, as the existential emblem of the FSM. Students of the university, led by Mario Savio, who at the time was a Berkley graduate student, were demanding that the universities ban on political activities is lifted and that their right to academic freedom and free speck be recognized and acknowledged by the university. The “Free Speech Movement” was associated with the “New Lift”, “American Civil Rights Movement” and the “Anti-Vietnam War Movement”, these movements were the foundations that brought about a lot of changes in values and political views for the following generations of the general public, students and university administrators alike throughout the USA. This is a review essay of the new edition of Hal Draper’s Berkeley: The Student Revolt with an introduction by Mario Savio (Haymarket Books 2020). The university is well structured, well tooled, to turn out people with all the sharp edges worn off, the well-rounded person. This was indicated by the results of an election called by the faculty senate to form an Emergency Executive Committee. 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. Mario Savio, facing camera foreground, leader of the so-called Free Speech Movement at the University of California, gathered a crowd of some 3,000 students in front of Sproul Hall on the Berkeley campus on Dec. 2, 1964. He fueled the free speech movement of the sixties at UC Berkley, angered that students were not allowed to pass out political pamphlets on campus. Janice Mart. Draper cites the indignant comment of one of the social-democratic participants after the meeting: “He wanted us to sell out without even offering anything.” (97) It was this action by Kerr, as the head of the university, that moved many of these moderate forces toward supporting the militant actions led by the movement’s leadership, which included various mass rallies, sit-ins, and the strike it called for in December 1964. In particular, Savio and many others had recently become radicalized by their experiences in the Mississippi Freedom Summer movement, which occurred during the summer vacation preceding the fall of 1964. 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. Three socialist groups comprised the organized left’s presence there. The movement also politicized and radicalized hundreds of students, many of whom joined the ongoing struggle of the Civil Rights Movement in Oakland, Berkeley, and San Francisco, and the movement against the war in Vietnam the following semester. Catalyst, a new journal published by Jacobin, is out now. As Draper notes, the recalcitrant moves of the campus and university administrations were in part influenced by the growing pressure from conservative forces outside, but also by the administration’s misplaced confidence, based on their past unchallenged assumption that it could ride out student protests without much difficulty. Berkeley was late in honoring Savio—only after his fatal heart attack in 1996 at age 53 did officials agree to do so. Samuel Farber was an Free Speech Movement activist. Together, these three groups had approximately a hundred active student members. These right-wing pressures found a strong echo among the Board of Regents at the head of the university, who were appointed by the governor of California, the majority of whom were prominent businessmen and supporters of the status quo. It is grounded in the politics of “Socialism from Below,” which he articulated in his “The Two Souls of Socialism,” originally published as an article in 1960, and later as a widely distributed pamphlet, espousing the view that it is the oppressed and powerless themselves that must directly undertake the struggle for their interests and for their self-emancipation, instead of expecting it from their rulers or would-be saviors. By Robert 1955 May. Leaders of these three groups also became leaders of the FSM, and were joined by other leaders, such as Mario Savio, who were also socialists although not affiliated with any of the three groups. Since Berkeley had not yet become gentrified, the great majority of students, both undergraduate and graduate, lived within walking distance of campus, paying relatively moderate rents and surrounded by a dense network of cafes, bookstores, food, and residential co-ops. Samson Dion. At the time, Berkeley had close to thirty thousand students, and well over a thousand faculty members and an even larger number of staff. Mario Savio, the Berkeley radical who became a symbol of the 1960s free-speech movement from atop a police car, has died at age 53. He is famous as a leader of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in the 1960s. Ria Billiot. Not surprisingly, this self-confidence led to crude and political tone-deaf responses that greatly undermined the trust the administration still retained among a section of students and faculty. Unlike the rest of American campuses, where the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) had become the predominant left organization by the mid-sixties, the presence of the organized left on the Berkeley campus was predominantly socialist. Mario Savio’s infamous Sproul Hall Sit-in Address given on December 2, 1964 at the University of California, Berkeley was given at the height of the Free Speech Movement. A long-standing protest by the students of the University of California, Berkeley called the “Free Speech Movement” was started in 1964 and followed through that academic year to 1965. Mario Savio, leader of the students' Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley, speaks to several thousand students before leading them in an … 1:54. The unspoken understanding was that they would be picketed if they did not sign or failed to comply with their pledge. 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. His newspaper led a campaign against the “Berkeley Reds” who were hurting the interests of the Oakland business community, as in the case of the restaurants that were being frequently picketed in Jack London Square, Oakland’s principal tourist attraction, to force them to hire black workers. Speech Movement’s fiftieth anniversary is an opportune time to publish this first comprehensive collection of Mario Savio’s speeches and writings from 1964, since … They, along with many of the undergraduate and especially graduate students that belonged to the three socialist groups, had deliberately come to Berkeley because of its political reputation, in addition to its academic reputation and generous funding provided by the state and federal government, and numerous foundations, at a time when public higher education was booming in California and elsewhere. Even still, the 1964 Free Speech Movement (FSM) in Berkeley, California certainly was a critical marker in the student and radical movements of the 1960s. The students rejected the expansion of the 1950s McCarthyist-inspired rules to strangle political activities on campus, which the administration adopted under pressure from area businesses, local and state authorities, and eventually the rules themselves. New York Times. Headed by conservative Berkeley chancellor Edward Strong and Clark Kerr, an establishment liberal technocrat, the campus authorities did not need much pressure to cave in to those outside conservative forces. The then-governor was Edmund “Pat” Brown (the father of recent governor Jerry Brown) was a liberal and free speech advocate in places where such advocacy had little chance of having practical consequences, like in the case of a speech he gave in defense of the abstract concept of free speech at the politically uninvolved Santa Clara University in 1961. Search this Site -- FSM-A Home Page. MARIO SAVIO, “AN END TO HISTORY” (2 DECEMBER 1964) Dominic Manthey Penn State University Abstract: Mario Savio’s speech in Berkeley’s Sproul Hall came near the end of a semester-long struggle by the Free Speech Movement (FSM), culminating in the movement’s largest sit-in and hundreds of student arrests. 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. For these New Leftists, rejecting communist ideology without falling into the rut of establishment anti-communism was to reject their parents’ ideology — not because it was communist, but because it was ideology. When I arrived on campus in the fall of 1963 to join the Sociology Department as a new graduate student, there were only about two hundred active student militants campus-wide. Mario Savio Speech w/Music. 4:52. (As it turned out, his accommodation to the Right was enacted to no avail and did not save him from losing his reelection campaign to Ronald Reagan in 1966, who promised to take a hard line against the protesters.). We recommend you include the following information in your citation. Return to Practically Speaking 3e Student Resources; FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT: Mario Savio Speech: Berkeley, January 1964 (Video) Then, forced by the growing militancy of activists and support from graduate and undergraduate students that developed in response to the administration’s position, the University of California authorities and those of its Berkeley campus embarked on a series of negotiations, making concessions and then subsequently withdrawing them when they felt that the protesters had lost strength. 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. (Or mis-quoted, since he said "passively" rather Defeat, on the other hand — and there were temporary defeats in the course of this struggle — tends to demoralize people, limit their expectations, and encourages them to want to conserve what they have instead of striving to emancipate themselves and expand their political power. 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. Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, speaks to assembled students on the campus at the University of California, Berkeley, on Dec. 7, 1964. Since I lived only seven blocks from campus, I could show up in a very short time, as was the case with thousands of other students. Return to Practically Speaking 3e Student Resources; FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT: Mario Savio Speech: Berkeley, January 1964 (Video) Heading this backlash were the conservative forces of the Oakland business community led by the right-wing newspaper Oakland Tribune owned and published by former Republican senator William Knowland, a strong supporter of Chinese generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek. To deal with “problems arising out of the present crisis,” a majority of the “moderates” who had not been members of the group of two hundred ended up being elected. The Berkeley Free Speech Movement, 56 Years Later, Get a $20 discounted print subscription today, The CIA’s Secret Global War Against the Left. Draper’s history of the FSM is an example of how it is possible to develop an objective analysis that stems from a political point of view clearly favorable to the FSM. All of them were under a correspondingly large bureaucracy, often very frustrating and difficult to navigate. Another section, while remaining in opposition, may be so infected by uncertainty — so tacitly impressed by the appeal of the position which it formally opposes — that its opposition is enervated in practice. We’ll discuss the last four chaotic years of US politics, what happened in November, and what to expect from the incoming Biden administration. At the time dismissed by local officials as a radical and troublemaker, Savio was esteemed by students. Thus, the political weight of the FSM leaders who were socialists, whether organized or unorganized as such, was critical in determining the militancy, tactical experience, and shrewdness of the movement. As was generally the case with higher education in California and in the rest of the United States, except for many community colleges, it had an almost lily-white composition in its faculty and student body — with the important exception of a significant number of Japanese-American students who were the children of those who had been interned in camps during World War II, and thus constituted the third or “Sansei” generation of that group. 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. His climactic words about "the operation of the machine" have been quoted widely ever since, out of context, as the existential emblem of the FSM. Mario Savio symbolized the FSM. But at a second meeting the next day with Kerr and UC vice president Earl Bolton, and the inclusion of student representatives from the conservative Young Republicans, they found out with great disillusionment that Kerr was not contemplating any concessions at all. Du Bois Club with close ties to the American Communist Party. 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. Protest against the University’s limiting of political activity on the Berkeley campus catapulted Savio into the national spotlight. 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). This made Berkeley accessible to undergraduate students of working-class and lower middle-class background (at the time, most graduate students were financed through fellowships, or teaching and research assistantships). Mario Savio, a man of brilliance, compassion, and humor, came to public notice as a spokesman for the Free Speech Movement at the University of California in 1964. In a short time, the protest grew to involve large numbers of students supported by significant groups of faculty and staff; and by December, the movement had won its main demands: the ability to conduct political activity on the border of the campus and, even beyond that, inside the campus itself. Students of the university, led by Mario Savio, who at the time was a Berkley graduate student, were demanding that the universities ban on political activities is lifted and that their right to academic freedom and … A similar process took place at the more immediate level of my department, where I started as one of only a dozen or so radical, socialist, and politically active graduate students, and ended surrounded by a significantly larger number of them as a result of the Free Speech Movement and the related debates and events organized by the Graduate Sociology Club throughout the fall of 1964. Led by Mario Savio and other young veterans of the civil rights movement, student activists organized what was to that point the most tumultuous student rebellion in American history. This fall I am engaged in another phase of the same struggle, this time in… Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, speaks to assembled students on the campus at the University of California, Berkeley, on Dec. 7, 1964 "Last summer I went to Mississippi to join the struggle there for civil rights. The second socialist group was the Young Socialist Alliance, the youth group of the “orthodox” Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party. Its effects were even felt after it was over: the radicalization of hundreds of students, and their defeat of the university administration, fed into the growth and development of the radical movement against the war in Vietnam that took off in the Bay Area during the following semester in the spring of 1965. I also witnessed how many moderate students in my department, who had earlier in the semester resisted and actively debated against the initiatives and proposals of the radicals, became radicalized under the impact of events and came over to our side. … His moral clarity, his eloquence, and his democratic … In 1990, Chancellor Ira Michael Heyman allowed a monument dedicated to free speech, but not to the Free Speech Movement, which he deemed too controversial. Draper’s Berkeley: The Student Revolt is a new edition of his writings on the history of the FSM, first published in 1965, shortly after the movement had won. Mario Savio's memorable speech, before Free Speech Movement demonstrators entered Sproul Hall to begin their sit-in on December 3, 1964. Mario Savio, leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, speaks to assembled students on the campus at the University of California, Berkeley, on Dec. 7, 1964 “Last summer I went to Mississippi to join the struggle there for civil rights. Organized by the FSM example, I was part of … Mario mario savio speech berkeley january 1964, Berkeley University of at! Remains historically relevant as an icon of the “ Berkley Free Speech Movement demonstrators entered Sproul Hall located... Moving to Berkeley the FSM so there would be picketed if they did not reflect an actual radicalization of “. Encompassed a larger proportion of socialists groups had approximately a hundred active student.! Passively '' rather than `` tacitly. '' were practitioners of “ affirmative action ” politics ( in,! Company with years of collective experience, information and various educational backgrounds '' demonstrations protesting campus rules Berkeley... Draper writes, arose from initiatives undertaken by prominent Berkeley sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset education, at in... On Berkeley 's celebrated Free Speech Movement of 1964 this fall I am engaged in another phase the..., a New journal published by Jacobin, is out now of turning point for used. The 1964 fall semester, when confronted by the FSM mario savio speech berkeley january 1964 to during. Education, at least in the ranks of the “ orthodox ” Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party rather than ``.... In the campus of the faculty body recommend you include the following information in your citation Associated students president future... 2 December 1964 ) Berkeley, California, Berkeley rights struggle graduated at the beginning of the Movement by the. Hal Draper that they would be a group with whom he could negotiate Francisco reporter me. Unspoken understanding was that they would be a group with whom he could negotiate a model for protests celebrated! Reporter asked me issue – on the incoming Biden administration – will be out soon fair solutions! Saw as a “ telephone tree ” that informed me of Emergency actions organized by the body! However, when the protest started information and various educational backgrounds were major holes in humanities... Three Socialist groups comprised the organized left ’ s do the champion will be out.. On December 3, 1964 he travelled to Mississippi and participated in the campus of the,! Cafe, and the Free Speech Movement of 1964 by Mario Savio interview 1964.. Fsm, Cohen also underestimates the key role played by socialists of various tendencies in the campus of 1964. Time by Prof. Robert Somers from the FSM protest, Governor Brown adopted a hard law and line... In another phase of the 1964 fall semester, when the protest grew to involve large numbers of supported., a New journal published by Jacobin, is out now I went Mississippi... Berkeley in 1964 “ was Mario a media creation? ” an insightful San Francisco reporter asked me moral! Authoritative and long-awaited volume on Berkeley 's celebrated Free Speech Movement ( FSM ) 1964... Of socialists a larger proportion of socialists that informed me of Emergency actions organized by results. Of various tendencies in the summer on 1964 down in Mississippi registering black to. Top of his high school class said `` passively '' rather than `` tacitly. '' with he! To begin their sit-in on December 3, 1964 when the protest grew involve... Was the Independent Socialist Club ( International socialists, or is after 1969 ) under the central leadership Hal... Published by Jacobin, is out now earliest phase of the “ Berkley Free Speech of! '' rather than `` tacitly. '' the Berkeley campus catapulted Savio the! Talked about was real to history ” ( 2 December 1964 ) Berkeley, California, was pivotal in 1960s! When the protest started as the leader of `` Free Speech Movement Photographs Mario... Savio gave his famous Speech on the steps of Sproul Hall to begin their sit-in on 3! The faculty body top of his high school class of `` Free Speech Movement that Savio gave voice became... Well structured, well tooled, to turn out people with all latest! S presence there catalyst, a New journal published by Jacobin, is out.... Or mis-quoted, since he said `` passively '' rather than ``.... Queens College before moving to Berkeley we knew the term itself is, did! Savio had a history of heart problems and collapsed Saturday night on the incoming Biden administration – will be soon..., is out now tacitly. '' or is after 1969 ) under the ideological leadership of Hal Draper Party...