Free Speech Movement
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The Free Speech Movement (FSM) was a student protest which took place during the 1964–65 academic year on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley under the informal leadership of students Mario Savio, Jack Weinberg, Michael Rossman, Brian Turner, Bettina Aptheker, Steve Weissman, Art Goldberg, Jackie Goldberg, and others. In protests unprecedented in scope, students insisted that the university administration lift the ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge the students' right to free speech and academic freedom. Sol Stern, a former radical who took part in the Free Speech Movement, stated in a 2014 City Journal article that the group viewed the United States to be both racist and imperialistic and that the main intent after lifting Berkeley's loyalty oath was to build on the legacy of C. Wright Mills and weaken the Cold War consensus by promoting the ideas of the Cuban Revolution.
In 1958, activist students organized SLATE, a campus political party meaning a "slate" of candidates running on the same level- a same "slate." The students created SLATE to promote the right of student groups to support off-campus issues. In the fall of 1964, student activists, some of whom had traveled with the Freedom Riders and worked to register African American voters in Mississippi in the Freedom Summer project, set up information tables on campus and were soliciting donations for civil rights causes. According to existing rules at the time, fundraising for political parties was limited exclusively to the Democratic and Republican school clubs. There was also a mandatory "loyalty oath" required of faculty, which had led to dismissals and ongoing controversy over academic freedom. On September 14, 1964, Dean Katherine Towle announced that existing University regulations prohibiting advocacy of political causes or candidates, outside political speakers, recruitment of members, and fundraising by student organizations at the intersection of Bancroft and Telegraph Avenues would be "strictly enforced." (This strip was until then thought to be city property, not campus property.)
Jack Weinberg and sit-in
On October 1, 1964, former graduate student Jack Weinberg was sitting at the CORE table. He refused to show his identification to the campus police and was arrested. There was a spontaneous movement of students to surround the police car in which he was to be transported. The police car remained there for 32 hours, all while Weinberg was inside it. At one point, there may have been 3,000 students around the car. The car was used as a speaker's podium and a continuous public discussion was held which continued until the charges against Weinberg were dropped.
On December 2, between 1,500 and 4,000 students went in to Sproul Hall as a last resort in order to re-open negotiations with the administration on the subject of restrictions on political speech and action on campus. Among other grievances was the fact that four of their leaders were being singled out for punishment. The demonstration was orderly; students studied, watched movies, and sang folk songs. Joan Baez was there to lead in the singing, as well as lend moral support. "Freedom classes" were held by teaching assistants on one floor, and a special Channukah service took place in the main lobby. On the steps of Sproul Hall, Mario Savio gave a famous speech:
... But we're a bunch of raw materials that don't mean to be — have any process upon us. Don't mean to be made into any product! Don't mean — Don't mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We're human beings! ... There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious — makes you so sick at heart — that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.
At midnight, Alameda County deputy district attorney Edwin Meese III telephoned Governor Edmund Brown, Sr, asking for authority to proceed with a mass arrest. Shortly after 2 a.m. on December 4, 1964, police cordoned off the building, and at 3:30 a.m. began the arrest. Close to 800 students were arrested, most of which were transported by bus to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, about 25 miles away. They were released on their own recognizance after a few hours behind bars. About a month later, the university brought charges against the students who organized the sit-in, resulting in an even larger student protest that all but shut down the university.
After much disturbance, the University officials slowly backed down. By January 3, 1965, the new acting chancellor, Martin Meyerson (who had replaced the resigned Edward Strong), established provisional rules for political activity on the Berkeley campus. He designated the Sproul Hall steps an open discussion area during certain hours of the day and permitting tables. This applied to the entire student political spectrum, not just the liberal elements that drove the Free Speech Movement.
Most outsiders, however, identified the Free Speech Movement as a movement of the Left. Students and others opposed to U.S. foreign policy did indeed increase their visibility on campus following the FSM's initial victory. In the spring of 1965, the FSM was followed by the Vietnam Day Committee, a major starting point for the anti-Vietnam war movement.
The Free Speech Movement had long-lasting effects at the Berkeley campus and was a pivotal moment for the civil liberties movement in the 1960s. It was seen as the beginning of the famous student activism that existed on the campus in the 1960s, and continues to a lesser degree today. There was a substantial voter backlash against the individuals involved in the Free Speech Movement. Ronald Reagan won an unexpected victory in the fall of 1966 and was elected Governor. He then directed the UC Board of Regents to dismiss UC President Clark Kerr because of the perception that he had been too soft on the protesters. The FBI had kept a secret file on Kerr.
Reagan had gained political traction by campaigning on a platform to "clean up the mess in Berkeley". In the minds of those involved in the backlash, a wide variety of protests, concerned citizens, and activists were lumped together. Furthermore, television news and documentary filmmaking had made it possible to photograph and broadcast moving images of protest activity. Much of this media is available today as part of the permanent collection of the Bancroft Library at Berkeley, including iconic photographs of the protest activity by student Ron Enfield (then chief photographer for the Berkeley campus newspaper, the Daily Cal). A reproduction of what may be considered the most recognizable and iconic photograph of the movement, a shot of suit-clad students carrying the Free Speech banner through the University's Sather Gate in Fall of 1964, now stands at the entrance to the college's Free Speech Movement Cafe.
Earlier protests against the House Committee on Un-American Activities meeting in San Francisco in 1960 had included an iconic scene as protesters were literally washed down the steps inside the Rotunda of San Francisco City Hall with fire hoses. The conservative film Operation Abolition depicted this scene and became an organizing tool for the protesters.
The 20th anniversary reunion of the FSM was held during the first week of October, 1984, to considerable media attention. A rally in Sproul Plaza featured FSM veterans Mario Savio, who ended a long self-imposed silence, Jack Weinberg, and Jackie Goldberg. The week continued with a series of panels open to the public on the movement and its impact. The 30th anniversary reunion, held during the first weekend of December 1994, was also a public event, with another Sproul Plaza rally featuring Savio, Weinberg, Goldberg, panels on the FSM, and current free speech issues. In April 2001, UC's Bancroft Library held a symposium celebrating the opening of the Free Speech Movement Digital Archive. Although not a formal FSM reunion, many FSM leaders were on the panels and other participants were in the audience. The 40th anniversary reunion, the first after Savio's death in 1996, was held in October 2004. It featured columnist Molly Ivins giving the annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture, followed later in the week by the customary rally in Sproul Plaza and panels on civil liberties issues. A Sunday meeting was a more private event, primarily a gathering for the veterans of the movement, in remembrance of Savio and of a close FSM ally, professor Reginald Zelnik, who had died in an accident in May.
Today, Sproul Hall and the surrounding Sproul Plaza are active locations for protests and marches, as well as the ordinary daily tables with free literature from anyone of any political orientation who wishes to appear. A wide variety of groups of all political, religious and social persuasions set up tables at Sproul Plaza. The Sproul steps, now officially known as the "Mario Savio Steps", may be reserved by anyone for a speech or rally. An on-campus restaurant commemorating the event, the Mario Savio Free Speech Movement Cafe, resides in a portion of the Moffitt Undergraduate Library.
The Free Speech Monument, commemorating the movement, was created in 1991 by artist Mark Brest van Kempen. It is located, appropriately, in Sproul Plaza. The monument consists of a six-inch hole in the ground filled with soil and a granite ring surrounding it. The granite ring bears the inscription, "This soil and the air space extending above it shall not be a part of any nation and shall not be subject to any entity's jurisdiction." The monument makes no explicit reference to the movement, but it evokes notions of free speech and its implications through its rhetoric.
- Berkeley riots, associated with the FSM and other events at the time
- Counterculture of the 1960s
- William E. Forbes, chairman of a Regents' committee investigating student activities in this era.
- Free speech fights
- New Left
- Students for a Democratic Society (1960 organization)
- Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District
- Town and gown
- Lovio, Grace (August 28, 2013). "'Berkeley in the Sixties' aims to affect the present". The Daily Californian.
- "Hearing echoes of Berkeley in student activism today | PBS NewsHour". Pbs.org. 2014-10-16. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- Sol Stern is a City Journal contributing editor. (2014-09-25). "The Free Speech Movement at 50". City Journal. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- Dayna Holz. "SLATE Archives". SLATE Archives. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- American Rhetoric - Mario Savio. See also Robert Cohen, Freedom's Orator, pp. 178-179.
- "Time, Place and Manner Statement". Content.cdlib.org. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- "Ronald Reagan launched political career using the Berkeley campus as a political target". Berkeley.edu. 2004-06-08. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- Elizabeth Stephens. "Free Speech Movement Archival Collection Guides". Bancroft.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
- "Operation Abolition," 1960 - YouTube
- "Operation Abolition", Time magazine, 1961.
- Operation Abolition (1960) - YouTube
- "Operation Abolition", video.google.com and Time magazine, Friday, Mar. 17, 1961.
- Lynn Ludlow, "Savio Breaks 20-year silence about Free Speech Movement," San Francisco Examiner, September 30, 1984, p. A10; Stacy E. Palmer, "Berkeley, Birthplace of 1960's Unrest, Tries to Preserve Its Activist Image," The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 26, 1984, pp. 12-14; and Lynn Ludlow, "The Free Speech revolutionaries, 20 years later," the first of six parts, San Francisco Examiner, December 9, 1984, pp. A1, A14-15.
- Elaine Herscher, "Echoes of Free Speech Movement Heard 30 Years Later," San Francisco Chronicle, December 2, 1994, pp. A19, A23.
- "Taking Part: FSM and the Legacy of Social Protest," brochure published by the Bancroft Library for the April 13–14, 2001 symposium.
- Charles Burress, "UC's change of heart - celebrating transformation of a pariah into an icon," San Francisco Chronicle, October 6, 2004, p. B1, B5; Charles Burress, "Celebrating 4 decades of mouthing off," San Francisco Chronicle, October 8, 2004, p. B5; Charles Burress, "Free speech returns to Sproul," San Francisco Chronicle, October 9, 2004, p. B1,B5; Meredith May, "40 years on Free Speechers talk all they want," San Francisco Chronicle, October 11, 2004, p. B5.
- Wolfgang Saxon, "Reginald Zelnik, 68, Historian of Labor Movements in Russia," The New York Times, June 1, 2004, p. C13.
- Cloke, Kenneth. Democracy and Revolution in Law and Politics: The Origin of Civil Liberties Protest Movements in Berkeley, From TASC and SLATE to FSM (1957-1965), Ph.D. Dissertation, Dept. of History, UCLA, 1980.
- Cohen, Robert. Freedom's Orator: Mario Savio and the Radical Legacy of the 1960s. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-518293-4
- Cohen, Robert and Reginald Zelnik, eds. The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2002. ISBN 0-520-23354-9
- Cohen, Robert, ed. The FSM and Beyond: Berkeley Students, Protest and Social Change in the 1960s. Unpublished anthology, Berkeley, Ca.: n.d. 1994.
- Freeman, Jo. At Berkeley in the Sixties: Education of an Activist, 1961-1965. Bloomington, IN: Indiana U. Press, 2004. ISBN 0-253-21622-2
- Draper, Hal. Berkeley: The New Student Revolt. New York: Grove Press, 1965.
- Goines, David Lance. The Free Speech Movement: Coming of Age in the 1960s. Berkeley, Ten Speed Press, 1993. ISBN 0-89815-535-5
- Heirich, Max. The Beginning: Berkeley, 1964. New York: Columbia University Press, 1971.
- Horowitz, David. Student: What Has Been Happening at a Major University, The Political Activities of the Berkeley Students. New York: Ballantine Books, 1962.
- Katope, Christopher G., and Paul G. Zolbrod, eds. Beyond Berkeley: A Sourcebook in Student Values. Cleveland: World Publishing Company, 1966.
- Kerr, Clark. The Gold and the Blue: A Personal Memoir of the University of California, 1949-1967.
- Lipset, Seymour Martin and Sheldon S. Wolin, eds. The Berkeley Student Revolt: Facts and Interpretations. Garden City: Anchor Books, 1965.
- Lunsford, Terry F. The "Free Speech" Crises at Berkeley, 1964-1965: Some Issues for Social and Legal Research, A Report form the Center for Research and Development in Higher Education, University of California, Berkeley, December 1965.
- Rand, Ayn. The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution. Revised ed. 1971; Plume, 1993. ISBN 978-0-452-01125-0
- Raskin, A.H. "The Berkeley Affair: Mr. Kerr vs. Mr. Savio & Co." The New York Times Magazine, February 14, 1965, pp. 24–5, 88-91. Reprinted in Miller and Gilmore, 1965, pp. 78–91.
- Rorabaugh, W. J. Berkeley at War: The 1960s. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989. ISBN 0-19-505877-1
- Rosenfeld, Seth. Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012.
- Rossman, Michael. The Wedding Within the War. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Co., 1971.
- Seaborg, Glenn, with Ray Colvig. Chancellor at Berkeley. Berkeley: Institute of Governmental Studies Press, University of California, Berkeley, 1994.
- Searle, John. The Campus War: A Sympathetic Look at the University in Agony. New York: The World Publishing Company, 1971.
- Stadtman, Verne A. The University of California 1868-1968. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1970.
- Stewart, George R. The Year of the Oath: The Fight for Academic Freedom at the University of California. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1950.
- Wolin, Sheldon S., and John H. Schaar. The Berkeley Rebellion and Beyond: Essays on Politics & Education in the Technological Society. A New York Review Book, 1970.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Free Speech Movement|
- articles by Jo Freeman on social protest at Berkeley
- documents from SLATE — the UC Berkeley student political party (1958–1966) and the first of the student organizations in the rising New Left and student movements
- John Searle account of FSM; some photos on John Searle's site.
- "People's History of Berkeley" — extensive history at the Barrington Collective's Wiki
- Online Sound Recordings from the Free Speech Movement — UC Berkeley Library
- Free Speech Movement Archives
- Free Speech Movement Digital Archives from UC Berkeley
- Free Speech Movement Photograph Gallery 1964–1965 by Student & Chief Photographer of The Daily Californian Ron Enfield — includes the iconic photograph of the Free Speech Movements student march through the college gates and photographs of Mario Savio, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, and more.
- FSM@40: Free Speech in a Dangerous Time
- Text, Audio, Video of Mario Savio's Sproul Hall Sit-in Address delivered 2 December 1964
- "Berkeley in the '60s"
- Photos taken in Sproul Hall during the sit in, including the police take-over of the building
- California State Senator John F. McCarthy's speech 'The Situation at the Universities' to the Commonwealth Club of California
- Former Chancellor Edward Strong's speech 'What's Ahead for the University' to the Commonwealth Club of California
- Chancellor Roger W. Heyn's speech 'University Tradition and Social Change' to the Commonwealth Club of California
- Photos of the Free Speech Movement on Calisphere
- Guide to the Free Speech Movement Participants Papers, 1959-1997 (bulk 1964-1972) at The Bancroft Library