FSM: The Free Speech Movement at Berkeley
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1965 Copyright 1965©by the W.E.B. DuBois Clubs of America. All rights reserved Reproduced with the permission of Bettina Aptheker

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The function of the university is not simply to teach breadwinning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools or to be a center of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment which forms the secret of civilization.
—DuBois
Souls of Black Folk

who passed through universities with
radiant cool eyes hallucinating
Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy
among the scholars of war....
Ginsberg
Howl

The FSM: An Historical Narrative

Bettina Aptheker

(The following story is true. All resemblance to persons living and events lived is purely intentional. Only the names have been unchanged to detect the guilty and praise the courageous.)

Date: September 14, 1964 —first day of Fall Semester.

Place: The center of the world, the corner of Bancroft and Telegraph, Berkeley, California.

Actually it's the edge where two worlds meet. It's a wide piece of sidewalk, red brick. Across the street is Berkeley, the city, society, the "real" world. On the other side of the brick plaza is a row of concrete pillars; behind that, the world of the University of California. Back and forth across this sidewalk each day many of this campus' 27,000 students amble from one world to the other. At noon, there's always a rush, and the two worlds blend in a roiling river of people.

The red brick sidewalk has been the traditional spot where student political and social action organizations set up their tables to advocate off-campus action, to solicit funds, and to recruit members. Sometimes an impromptu rally is held here. Here we harangue and cajole and argue.

On that first day of semester Dean of Students, Katherine Towle, issued a series of prohibitions. On campus property we could no longer advocate off-campus political and social action, we could not take partisan views in the election, we could not solicit funds or recruit members. The Dean announced that the corner of Telegraph and Bancroft was really University Property; hence the prohibitions applied to our traditional free speech arena.

Monday, September 14 - Wednesday, September 30

The ruling came down shortly before the climax of the 1964 electoral campaign, and the response of the student organizations was heightened by this fact. Immediately, representatives of some 18 organizations on the campus went to see Mrs. Towle, to seek a redress of grievances. These included groups of the Right, the Left and the Center—Students for Goldwater and the Young Republicans, Young Socialist Alliance and the W.E.B. DuBois Club, Students for Fair Housing and Students for a Democratic Society, CORE and SNCC.

We met with the Dean and all the little deans; with the Chancellor, and all the little Chancellors, and finally were granted a few concessions. By September 30 we won the right to set up tables in nine areas on the campus. When we pointed out that members of the University community had taken a partisan view in the election concerning the passage of Proposition 2 (bonds for the University), we won the right to take partisan views in the election. However, we were still prohibited from advocating off-campus political and social action, and soliciting funds and members. We were permitted to hand out informational material.

The early forms of protest against the new regulations were varied. The tactics had to be ones which all groups could use, whether they were of the Left or the Right. We realized from the start that the only way we could defeat administrative rulings was to form a solid coalition of all the groups on the compus, and eliminate, as much as possible, "sectarian politics." It is a great tribute to this student movement that we


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successfully maintained a coalition. (We lost only one group when we began civil disobedience after October 2—the University Society of Individualists.) We used those tactics which would be most effective and involve the largest number of people. When one approach did not work too well, we tried another.

There was one all night vigil on the steps of Sproul Hall. Only about 100 people participated. This was followed by a huge noon rally under a giant oak tree, situated between two of the largest academic buildings. The rally culminated in a picket line through the lower student union plaza (opposite Sproul Hall) where Chancellor Strong was addressing a University meeting. A thousand people marched.

It was clear that large numbers of students were concerned about political freedom on the campus—many students who never had and probably never would want to set up a table or advocate off-campus political and social action were participating in the protest. Shortly after the picket-line demonstration, the Associated Student Senate (ASUC) passed a resolution supporting the rights of the students. Some five thousand students signed the ASUC petition. The organizations continued to set up their tables in violation of University regulations, not only at Bancroft and Telegraph, but at other areas on the campus, including in front of Sproul Hall.

Wednesday, September 30

The Deans came out. They took the names of eight students sitting at tables belonging to SNCC, SLATE, and YSA. The eight were ordered to appear at the Deans' Office at 3:30 p.m., presumably to face disciplinary action. When the deans had departed we circulated a "Petition of Complicity." There were hundreds of other students who considered themselves in violation of University Regulations but the deans only took eight names. Determined that all violators should be punished equally, 450 people signed the "Petition of Complicity" and all were at the Deans' Office at 3:30 p.m. sharp! The first sit-in within the sanctimonious halls of Sproul had begun. At 7:00 p.m. Chancellor Strong ordered the doors of Sproul Hall locked. Campus police were stationed at all the exits. We were permitted to leave the building, but none could enter.


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Thursday, October 1

At 2:00 p.m. Chancellor Strong issued a statement. He condemned the sit-in, called for law and order on the campus, accused SLATE of conspiring to destroy the Chancellor, and finally placed the eight students under "indefinite suspension." Stunned and shocked by the Chancellor's ruling, we left Sproul Hall at 3:00 a.m., resolving to set up our tables at 11:00 a.m..

Again let it be emphasized that students who participated in the sit-in and who sat at tables were from every conceivable section of the political spectrum. The tactic of civil disobedience and, in particular, the sit-in was considered from that time on as a legitimate and important tactic of a student protest movement on the campus. Moreover, the tactics of the movement were spontaneous. We had no real leadership at this time, with the exception of Mario Savio, who was recognized by all as the student protest spokesman.

At 11:45am on Thursday, October 1, four campus police drove into the center of the Sproul Hall Plaza. They got out and approached Jack Weinberg at the Campus CORE table. He refused to identify himself, but stipulated that his name could be found on the "Petition of Complicity." (This tactic was used to force the authorities to move against all, and not against a few.) Jack was placed under arrest. He went limp. He was carried to the police car, and placed inside. The plaza was flooded with people. Not everyone could see what had happened, but the presence of the police and the tables were evidence enough of a clash.

As Jack was placed in the car a cry went up. Sit down! Sit down! And hundreds did sit down. Around the car, and under the wheels we sat. And Mario carefully removed his shoes, and gingerly climbed atop the car and began to speak. Scores of students followed him. The roof of the car sagged as speaker after speaker urged their fellow students to remain, to hold firm until our demands were met. We called upon the University to (1) drop all charges against the eight suspended students, (2) drop charges against Jack, (3) change the University regulations to allow for maximum political freedom on the campus.


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A book could be written about the many hours around the car. There were times when we were discouraged and believed that other things would have to be done before the administration would meet our demands. It was cold at night and hot during the day. We were brought food, and there was a committee of students to make sandwiches and bring things to the demonstrators. Sleeping bags and blankets appeared. We contacted friends on other campuses, particularly within the state, and asked them to hold sympathy demonstrations, raise money, give whatever support they could. Can we ever forget the blazing sunset over the Bay, visible from the Sproul Hall steps, the passionate cheers when it was announced that demonstrations were being called at UCLA and Stanford, the inexpressible joy when adults in the community gave us money and food? And around the car we read books, discussed anything and everything. We sang songs, made speeches, told jokes, read the newspaper stories about ourselves. Time was long, and the end came slowly....

Friday, October 2

At 2:00 a.m. 200 freddies (fraternity "men") arrived on the scene. Our numbers had thinned considerably, but with the new danger students returned to the car. We were about 400-500 strong. The freddies amused themselves by shouting obsenities and hurling lighted cigarettes and eggs into the crowd. It was an ugly situation. We shouted back, but remained seated. The police did nothing to calm the situation. As things tensed, Father Fisher (of the Newman Club) mounted the car and spoke. He pleaded with the freddies to leave. He spoke of brotherhood, of peace. A hush fell over the crowd. Father Fisher stepped down. The freddies began again, but this time we did not respond. Slowly they and their catcalls receded into the night.

In the beginning the administration refused to meet with us, insisting that we disband the illegal demonstration. But, as Friday noon rolled around, it became clear that the students could hold out another twenty-four hours. That was crucial. Saturday was Parents' Day and the campus was to be open to the general public. It was imperative that Clark Kerr, President of the University, end the disorders before Saturday morning.


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At 5:00 p.m. those of us at the car received our first reports that large numbers of police were being massed on the campus. Meanwhile, President Kerr had begun negotiations with students, again including representatives from the entire political spectrum. Over 700 police, armed with tear gas and clubs, were assembled on the campus when negotiations began. The students were told that if the agreement wasn't signed within ten minutes the police would be used. President Kerr was on the phone with Governor Brown in another room. Faculty members were in a third room trying to work out some sort of agreement.

At the car we organized ourselves in preparation for the police onslaught. We packed closely around the car. Monitors formed a protective chain standing with arms linked on the periphery of the seated demonstrators. As we sang "Which side are you on" hundreds more sat down with us until well over 500 were seated. Thousands more were standing about, most in sympathy. Police informed anyone who entered Sproul Hall Plaza that they would be subject to arrest. We waited...; we were tense.

A few minutes before 7:00 p.m. the Pact of October Second was signed. Text of the Pact is in Appendix A. A little after 7:00, Mario, for the last time, climbed atop our podium. In the TV floodlights we could see his weariness. Absolute silence. In lock-step words which combined dead exhaustion and frantic determination to be so clear and forceful as to admit no contradiction, Mario told us of the agreement he had signed with grave reservations. Police motorcycles—it sounded like a thousand of them—thundered off down Telegraph Avenue. Slowly the plaza was vacated.

At 8:00 p.m., 10,000 students, many of whom had been at the car for two days, were jammed inside the open-air Greek Theater to hear Joan Baez sing. It was a clear night, and from the stage came a clear voice: "The students won, and I'm glad." Joan sang "Oh freedom... Oh freedom...." We sang with her—as we had never sung before.

Saturday, October 3 - Tuesday, October 13

From Saturday morning, October third, until


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Monday morning, October fifth, representatives from the student organizations met, and out of a nightmare of meetings was formed the Free Speech Movement. There were two representatives from every organization, which resulted in a thirty-six member Executive Committee. From this body was elected a smaller one, known as the Steering Committee, the function of which was to carry out the day-to-day leadership of the movement. The Executive Committee was constituted to make policy for the FSM. The following week the graduate students formed the Graduate Co-ordinating Committee (GCC) which was eventually given seven votes on the Executive Committee, because it represented hundreds of graduate students, teaching assistants, research assistants, etc. Monday night, October 5, the Independent Student Association was formed. This Association involved some 700 students who were not members of any political organization on the campus, but who were committed to the fight for free speech. The Independents were also given seven seats on the Executive Committee. The FSM continued to grow. The Hillel Foundation and other religious groups of students were given seats on the Executive Committee. A group of eighty students worked together for two weeks putting out a 100,000 word report on Repression at Berkeley: 1958-1964, which became known as the Rossman Report, named after its editor. Because its work was so integral to the FSM, the Rossman Report Committee received representation on the Executive Committee. We were soon functioning with a 56-man Executive Committee, and an 11-man Steering Committee.

For ten days we set about establishing the FSM as an organization and sought to deal with the administration to insure proper and fair implementation of the Pact of October Second. The huge task of organizing the campus began. We set up an FSM Central, which was soon operating with three phones, manned 24 hours a day. All information was sent to this office. A Press Central was established to handle press conferences and releases that were constantly needed. Students majoring in journalism, and/or working part-time for commercial papers undertook the operation of this Central. There was a Work Central where posters, leaflets, etc., were turned out. One of the organizations had an off-set press, and their headquarters became Newsletter Central. We published as often as possible an FSM news-letter


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to keep the students posted on all developments.

FSM tables were set up daily and continuously manned. We set them up on city property, so as not to conflict with University regulations during our self-declared moratorium on political activity. Rallies were held almost every day to keep the students informed of events. At the tables money was raised (in three days we took in contributions totaling well over $700), and FSM literature was available. We sold 4,500 FSM buttons, and we had to reorder more again and again.

Our dealings with the administration were not so productive. The day the Pact was signed and for days following, President Kerr red-baited us. He claimed that we were being influenced by outsiders, and stated that 49% of the demonstrators around the car were communists or communist-sympathizers and outside agitators. The attack was greeted with contempt and ridicule by the students. It served only to increase our unity. Red-baiting was not an effective weapon; it did not split the FSM. For a long period after that the administration used other methods of attack, but dropped red-baiting.

During this period, the Steering Committee made repeated attempts to see either Chancellor Strong or President Kerr to work out the interpretation of the Pact of October Second. Rather than meet with us, they sent us from one dean to another and from one vice-chancellor to another. On October sixth the Chancellor unilaterally established his study committee. He selected the four administrators, four faculty members, and two students. He then informed the FSM that if we wanted to we were welcome to send two of our representatives to the committee. On the same day we were informed that there was no such thing as a Committee on Student Conduct of the Academic Senate to adjudicate the cases of the eight suspended students (a slight error the administration overlooked when we signed the Pact). Instead, the Chancellor had submitted the cases to the Faculty Student Conduct Committee he had appointed. On both points we protested vigorously, and we were finally granted an "audience" with the Chancellor. That meeting proved to be of little value in solving the controversy over the agreement. President Kerr refused to meet with us.


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Tuesday, October 13

The Chancellor's study committee held its first public hearing. We mobilized FSMers to go to that hearing and testify. The publicity for the meeting was campus-wide, but only those students vitally interested in the free speech controversy showed up. Five hundred students attended the public hearing. Forty-five students spoke, and forty-five students stated in their own words that the committee was illegally constituted; that there were two parties to the dispute, and the committee should disband or be reconstituted with the four faculty members selected by the Academic Senate, with the four students elected by the executive committee of the FSM.

Wednesday, October 14

On this day we gave the administration 48 hours to meet with us and work out a fair and equitable implementation of the agreement. We informed the administration that massive student demonstrations would begin Friday at noon if there was no change. The campus grew tense in the days that followed.

Thursday, October 15

By 10:00 p.m. the Steering Committee had completed the plans for the demonstration the following day.

Friday, October 16

At 2:00 a.m. the administration sent a professor of industrial relations to meet with the Steering Committee and attempt to work out a solution. By 3:30 p.m. Friday afternoon the Chancellor had agreed to reconstitute the Committee on Campus Political Activity in accordance with our demands, and he agreed to submit the cases of the eight suspended students to an ad hoc committee of the Academic Senate (which became known as the Heyman Committee). By 5:00 p.m. the FSM Executive Committee had approved the implementation of the Pact.

Saturday, October 17 - Saturday, November 7

Now we faced the colosal task of keeping the movement alive, with every day bringing mid-terms closer. At the same time we sought to negotiate in the


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Committee on Campus Political Activity and secure our rights. It was during this period that the FSM suffered its first isolation from the general campus community. As the committee dragged on, we realized that it was a stalling committee and would never afford us the opportunity to secure our freedom. The faculty members of the committee insisted upon playing a mediating role in the dispute although they affirmed that, intellectually, they supported our goals, and that, constitutionally, we were right. The students on the campus were convinced that the committee would do its job and do it well. Those of us on the committee, and many of the hundreds who at one time or another attended committee meetings, gradually became convinced that we were moving away from solution and at the same time losing the interests of the vast majority of the students on the campus.

We knew that the main issue before the committee was the question of advocacy. Shortly after the committee convened we made a formal motion that the committee recommend to the Chancellor that the ban on political activity be lifted and that the students be allowed to return to the situation that existed before September 14. The election campaign was in full swing. Among other things the campaign against Proposition 14 (which sought to allow discrimination in housing) had been severely hurt by the ban. The committee refused to make such a recommendation.

Many of us understood clearly that it was no accident that the central question before the committee was advocacy. It was no accident that the ban on political activity came after months of intensive civil rights activity in the Bay Area. Advocating and initiating political action from the campus was the central issue.

The FSM position was that students had the right to advocate freely on the campus without being subject to University discipline. We insisted that if we abused our First Amendment's rights of speech, the courts and only the courts could provide due process and try us for violation of law. The only rationale the administrators gave for wanting the right to regulate the content of speech (and they clearly stated their reasons) was their desire to have the power to respond to outside political pressure, and to discipline a student


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or students, when their advocacy resulted in acts in the community. This was the central issue. The stakes were high, for the students and for the University. This was the issue over which we battled for four months.

The faculty members of the Committee on Campus Political Activity wrote a package deal which included our position on advocacy. They tried to get the administration to accept the whole package. The administration representatives, as we knew they would, introduced a substitute motion which insisted that only "lawful" acts could be advocated on the campus, and the University would determine what was lawful advocacy. On Saturday, November 7, the committee deadlocked.

Sunday, November 8

The first major split in the FSM developed at this point. In the weeks while the committee met the students had lost a certain amount of trust in the FSM leadership, and we had become isolated from the vast majority of the students on the campus. The reasons for this isolation were manifold, but primarily it resulted in our inability to talk to the students and logically to explain why the committee had failed. Many students felt that the FSM had deliberately sabotaged the workings of the committee, and this view was upheld by the faculty members of the committee who denounced both the students and the administration after their package deal was destroyed.

The main leadership of the FSM wanted to resume demonstrations on Monday, November 9. The debate raged all day Sunday. The demonstrations were to consist of setting up tables which violated University regulations. We knew it meant that more students would be suspended or at least face some sort of disciplinary action. We also knew that much of our support had dwindled away. The central question was whether we could pull the movement together through demonstrations or watch it die in committee. We resolved that we had no choice but to risk the resumption of demonstrations, hoping that support would return and that the issues would once again become clear.


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Monday, November 9

Our tables went up. Shortly after the noon hour the Deans came out of Sproul Hall and made the rounds getting the names of students sitting at "illegal" tables. Seventy-five students were cited for sitting at such tables. Eight hundred thirty-two people then signed a "Petition of Complicity" and brought it up to the office of the Dean of Students.

Tuesday, November 10

Support was returning. Two hundred teach-assistants and graduate students manned tables beginning at noon. The Deans refused to cite the graduate students. However, the grads, determined to be cited, marched up the great marble steps of Sproul, led ceremoniously by the American flag, and delivered their names to the Deans.

Wednesday, November 11 - Thursday, November 19

The participation of the grads had a profound effect on the campus community. The students were once again behind the FSM. Tables were set up every day. We violated every regulation which violated our constitutional rights and/or was an unnecessary harrassment.

We prepared ourselves for the confrontation with the administration at the Board of Regents meeting scheduled for Friday, November 20, in Berkeley.

Friday, November 20

The FSM demonstration was carried out in the spirit and with the dignity of the March on Washington. The steps of Sproul Hall, bathed by a warm sun, served as speaker's podium. Joan Baez sang—students coming out of classes heard her voice and couldn't believe that it was Joan actually at our rally. Six professors from Mathematics, English, and Philosophy, spoke expressing the sentiments of well over 200 faculty members. There were telegrams from State Assemblymen, greetings from the President of the State Federation of Young Democrats, resolutions from Democratic councils. Five thousand strong we marched slowly through


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the campus. We stopped all traffic, and turned one-way streets into two-way streets, so as not to hinder our line of march. We crossed Oxford Street, passed in front of University Hall, and then sat down on a grassy knoll across the street from University Hall. We awaited the decision from those who governed.

The FSM delegation was seated in the Regents meeting, although we were not permitted to speak even for a few minutes. President Kerr addressed the Board. The resolutions to govern the University were read, seconded and voted upon without discussion. The eight suspended students were to be immediately reinstated, but two of them were to be reinstated on probation because they had led and organized the demonstrations. The other six were to be considered to have been in six weeks suspension and were to be reinstated. The Heyman Committee, on the other hand, had recommended that the two students be reinstated without probation, and that the records of the other six indicate censure, but not suspension. The Regents ruled that the campus police were to be built up to deal with student demonstrations. The Regents ruled that the administrative staff was to be expanded to deal with all the disciplinary cases then pending. The Regents ruled that two or three areas on the campus (specifically those least frequented by students) would be considered "Hyde Park" areas where tables could be set up to solicit funds, recruit members, or advocate. But the University reserved the right to determine the legality of that advocacy, and reserved the right to take action against any student or organization, at any time.

Five-thousand students sat in stunned silence as the decision of the Regents was read. And then there was indignation and anger: "We have no voices. We were not heard. We were not seen." Joan spoke to cheer us: "Your voices have never been louder. You are being heard all across the country." Quietly we rose and sang. We shall overcome... we shall overcome... some day....

Saturday, November 21 - Wednesday, November 25

The Regents' meeting left us frustrated and filled with despair. A debate raged in the FSM over the weekend about what our response should be on


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Monday. Some wanted to sit in Sproul Hall; others felt that the best course was to wait and to continue to exercise our rights, allowing the administration time to make its next move. The movement was split once again, and this time publicly. The debate continued during the noon rally on Monday. After the rally, 300 people went inside Sproul Hall. We were told that the doors would be locked at 7:00 p.m. and we sould be ordered to leave. If we did not, "appropriate action" would be taken. The leadership for the first time found itself unable to lead. We were split wide open. Some advocated that we leave by 5:00 p.m., others insisted that we stay until arrested. The decision was finally made to leave. After what seemed an endless agony, but in reality was only two hours of argument, Sproul Hall was vacated.

The conflict over tactics in the leadership seriously damaged the unity of the movement. The sit-in at that time was an act of despair, an act of frustration with no immediate goals. When it ended we went back to exercising our rights on the campus. There was widespread talk of a teaching assistant-student strike. We waited for the administration to make its move.

Thanksgiving

The administration seriously overestimated the nature of the split in the FSM, and once again did not recognize that the goals of the FSM had more support. The students sympathized with the leadership's frustration. There was widespread criticism of Monday's sit-in, but the FSM was not isolated.

Over the holiday Chancellor Strong once again sent out letters. This time to four members of the FSM. He charged them with leading, organizing, and abetting the illegal demonstrations on October 1 and 2. A number of organizations which had participated in the FSM, including the DuBois Club, were also charged with violating campus regulations.

Monday, November 30

At a noon rally we announced that the letters had been received. The campus community was


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shocked by the Chancellor's action. It had generally been assumed that those events were officially forgotten. Once again support for the FSM grew. We demanded that the charges against the four be dropped, that charges against organizations be dropped. We demanded once again, that there be a maximization of political freedom on the campus.

Tuesday, December 1

At a noon rally we made our demands an ultimatum. We told the administration that we would bring the University to a "grinding halt" at noon on Wednesday unless our demands were met. Since the previous Sunday, we had phoned the administration frequently; we continued to phone. We tried to meet with them. Everyone from President Kerr on down in the hierarchy refused to meet with us.

Wednesday, December 2

"There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you cannot take part; you cannot even tacitly take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the wheels, and the gears and all the apparatus, and you have to make it stop. And you have to make it clear to the people who own it, and to the people who run it, that until you are free their machine will be prevented from running at all."

So spoke Mario at noon. There was little else to be said. We had waxed eloquent for three months. Our position was clear. Joan was back, and as she sang 1000 people, some laughing, some talking, but most quiet and serious entered Sproul Hall. The marathon sit-in began.

Eight hundred people prepared to spend the night inside Sproul Hall. On the fourth floor we set up a study area. On the third floor classes were held. The number of classes soon became greater than the space available on that floor, and we spread to the stair-wells and the basement. There were classes taught by TA's and others


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in Math, Anthropology, Genetics, several languages, the Civil Rights Movement in the Bay Area. A class on civil disobedience was taught in the fall-out shelter. On the second floor we watched movies—on the serious side about HUAC, on the light side, Charlie Chaplin. Joan toured the building and led folk singing. On the first floor a full-fledged Chanuka service was held, which eventually broke into dancing and other festivities.

Our strategy was to stay in Sproul, assuming we were not arrested, until Friday. The graduates were confident that a strike could effectively be called Friday after we had been sitting in for thirty-six hours.

11:00 p.m.: An emergency meeting was called at University Hall involving President Kerr, Chancellor Strong, and others from the state and local administration. Shortly thereafter, a student posing as a respectable sort phoned the Kerr residence. He spoke with Mrs. Kerr and inquired what the President was going to do about those "beatniks" and "kooks." Mrs. Kerr indicated the President wanted to wait us out. We got similar reports from the emergency meeting in University Hall.

Midnight: Sproul Hall was relatively quiet. A few studied. Most people settled down to get some sleep.

Thursday, December 2

By 1:00 a.m. it was clear that police would be brought to the campus and we would be arrested or at least forced to leave Sproul Hall. We had walkie-talkies inside Sproul Hall. We were kept posted on every development around the campus. At 2:00 a.m. we got a message over the air—600 police with tear gas, clubs, helmets, and guns were massing in a parking lot across the street from the campus. Governor Brown had overruled the University administration, and had called out the police. The FSM was going to be taught a lesson: You don't question authority, you conform to the regulations of the Board of Regents. But the police were very poor teachers of that lesson.

2:10 a.m.: The Steering Committee held an emergency meeting. We decided that people who desired should


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go limp, but there was to be no linking of arms and no resistance to the police. We split up the floors among ourselves and scattered through the building. We announced that the police were coming, and informed people of our suggested tactics during the arrests. We told people of their constitutional rights when arrested, and urged everyone, once arrested, immediately and repeatedly to request to see his attorney.

3:00 a.m.: Chancellor Strong went to each floor of Sproul Hall. Obviously shaken, barely capable of any semblance of composure, he urged us to disband out "illegal assembly" or face arrest. He said nothing about our demands.

4:00 a.m.: Fourth floor of Sproul Hall. Arrests began. Faculty members and thousands of students began to gather outside Sproul Hall. Through the wee hours of the morning, and on into Thursday afternoon the arrests continued. It was the largest peace-time arrest in the history of the United States.

5:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: A club smashed the window on the second floor. The glass shattered. Students screamed. The police seized the microphone as Jack Weinberg tried to speak to the thousands outside, over our PA system, to tell them what was going on inside. The police left that area of the building and we reassembled the PA system. We had another mike. They came again, and this time were forced to retreat, unable to break through the seated students. Our loudspeaker continued to operate.

Members of the Faculty Student Conduct Committee tried to get into Sproul Hall to witness the arrests. They were denied admittance by the police. Campus police then blocked the windows of the building with newspaper so that reporters and faculty outside could not see in. Some members of the faculty tried to see President Kerr and other administrators. They could not meet with them.

The police hurled epithets, dug their nails into the bare skin of girls' stomachs. The guys were struck with clubs and kicked in the groin. Our arms were twisted. We were dragged up and down stairs. Limp bodies hurled through the air. A student in the Oakland jail said, "I'm a human being," protesting police action. He was grabbed by


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four police who knee-dropped him across the chest, twisted his arms behind his back and punched him. He was thrown into solitary confinement for two hours.

Most of us were taken to Santa Rita Prison Farm, which was used during World War II as a concentration camp for Japanese-Americans. Santa Rita is 35 miles south of Berkeley. We were not permitted to make phone calls for 15 and 16 hours. Many never made a call. During this time those of us in Santa Rita had no idea what was happening on the campus. We assumed that the TA's would call a strike. What was the response of the student body? What was the response of the faculty? Would we turn the tables? Or were our arrests in vain?

We were finally permitted to listen to one radio broadcast in prison—15 hours after our arrest. The announcer said that outside the gates of Santa Rita there was a line of cars two miles long. The cars belonged to members of the faculty. They had come to the jail to bring their students home—to take their students back to their University. The ecstacy and joy we felt defies expression.

By noon on Thursday, the faculty called an emergency meeting and voted to raise bail for the students, condemned the action of the Governor, supported the FSM.... Yes..., the tables had turned. The campus was in complete chaos on Thursday. No classes were held. Members of the faculty posted signs on their black-boards, on the doors of their offices: "I will not teach while 600 police are on my campus." The faculty raised $8500 for bail.

All day Thursday support for the FSM poured into Central. At noon a giant rally was held on the campus. 15,000 people..., Joan sang.... Mario exhausted but jubilant at our growing strength spoke.... John Burton, Willie Brown, Bill Stanton (Democratic Assemblymen) appeared at the FSM rally. Every academic building and administration building was covered by pickets. The University had come to a "grinding halt." And the cry for FREEDOM resounded through the groves of academe.


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Friday, December 3 - Tuesday, December 8

By Friday the organization of the strike began to have its effect. The Public Information Service of the University stated that the strike was 85% effective. Yet the newspapers in the Bay Area printed front-page headlines that the strike was a flop. By Monday even the Hearst Press had to admit that to some extent, at least, the strike was effective.

Over the weekend support for the FSM poured in from every conceivable source. Seventy-five attorneys came to the defense of the 800. From labor there was support The UAW in Los Angeles, the Central Labor Councils of Alameda, San Francisco, and Contra Costa Counties, and the Longshoremen condemned the use of police on the campus and called upon the Regents and the administration to grant full political freedom to the students. From sections of the Democratic Party support came, repudiating the action taken by the Governor. Letters and telegrams were sent to the Governor from numerous Young Democratic Clubs across the state, the California Democratic Council in the 7th Congressional District, the State Board of the CDC's, assemblymen besides those who spoke at our rally and congressmen like Nick Petras, Phil Burton, Don Edwards, Jimmy Roosevelt sent protests. Ministers from across the state declared public support, particularly from the Negro community. Prominent physicians and psychiatrists mobilized to print ads in the local papers in support of the FSM. Most important, the faculty rallied behind the FSM.

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The FSM made plans to continue the strike on Monday and to end it at Monday midnight. The Academic Senate was scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon and we decided to call everything off in expectation of the results of the Senate meeting. We contacted some of the unions directly connected with the University, in particular, construction men and teamsters. We asked them to honor our strike. The reactions to this request were mixed. Our strike was not "legitimate." Most unions left it up to their own men. There is written into the Teamster contract the stipulation that if a driver feels that he or his truck are endangered by crossing a picket line he does not have to go through. We joked with truck drivers on Monday morning when we didn't look "tough" enough. A driver stuck his head out of the
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window yelling, "Look tough!" We did the best we could to look positively ferocious, and some drivers turned back.
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The administration and President Kerr, in an attempt to undercut both the strike and the Academic Senate meeting scheduled for Tuesday called off classes on Monday between 9:00 a.m. and noon, and called an "Extraordinary Convocation" at the Greek Theater for 11:00 a.m.. The ad hoc Council of Department Chairmen and the President had reached agreement over the weekend for a "Peace Plan" and were to present it to the University community. Fifteen thousand people packed the Greek Theater. The convocation was to be addressed by Robert Scalapino, Chairman of the Political Science Department, and President Kerr. What ensued was aptly described by one columnist as the "Tragedy in the Greek Theater."

Prior to the meeting Mario and other members of the FSM Steering Committee went backstage to talk, first to Kerr, then to Scalapino. We requested that Mario be given time to speak at the meeting since any peace plan had to be acceptable not only to the administration, but to the FSM. This request was denied. We then asked if Mario could simply announce that following the convocation there would be a rally of the FSM at Sproul Hall where we would give our response to the proposals. Scalapino declared that this was to be a "structured meeting, not an open forum," and he did not think it would be appropriate for Mario to speak. Standing to our left was John C. Leggett of the Sociology Department—a professor who had long supported the FSM. He asked to speak. Scalapino repeated, "This is to be a structured meeting, not an open forum...."

As Mario walked out upon the stage of the Greek Theater to reach a seat he was greeted with an ovation from the students. It was at this time that we decided that it was entirely appropriate for him to speak at the conclusion of the meeting, and simply announce that the FSM rally would be held.

The "Peace Plan" offered by the Kerr-Scalapino axis was no peace plan at all. Its only concession was that no disciplinary action would be taken against


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students for participation in demonstrations. There was nothing said concerning the substantive issues for which 800 people had gone to jail.

As President Kerr finished his remarks Mario rose and walked quietly to the far end of the stage. Scalapino then adjourned the meeting. As he did so, Mario walked calmly but swiftly to the microphone. Silence. Mario opened his mouth to speak. At that moment three police emerged from backstage and seized Mario by the throat. He went limp and was dragged from the platform before 15,000 stunned students and faculty. Immediately the cry went up: Let him speak! Let him speak! Our attorney appeared and demanded that he be released or placed under arrest. We pounded on the door behind which Mario was locked demanding his release. As the theater threatened to turn into complete chaos, Mario was led by Scalapino to the microphone and quietly made his announcement. But the damage to the University, to the President was irreparable. The President spoke magnificently of freedom, and stood passively by as the leader of the Free Speech Movement was dragged by the throat from the stage!

We left the Greek Theater and went to the FSM rally. One department chairman spoke: "... the power of the University is now with you, the students... and I have full confidence that you will conduct yourselves with responsibility...." All the chairmen who spoke indicated that, had they known that Mario wanted to speak, they would have consented. But they were not consulted....

The following day 6000 students waited outside while the unprecedented session of the Academic Senate convened. Over 900 faculty members were present, the largest turnout for a Senate meeting that anyone remembered. They voted on three principles: (1) there was to be no regulation of the content of speech; (2) regulations about time, place, and manner of political activity were to be only such as are necessary for the normal functioning of the University; and (3) in the area of political activity, student discipline was to be in the hands of the faculty who were to have final authority. All attempts to amend the resolutions or to weaken them were defeated. The vote was taken: 824 ayes, 115 nayes. The Senate then voted to elect an Executive Committee to bring the Senate principles to the Board of Regents'


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meeting and fight for their acceptance.

That same day (December 8) the results of the student election were announced. Seven out of seven candidates running on a SLATE-FSM platform were elected to the student senate with overwhelming majorites. It was the largest turnout of student voters since World War II.

Wednesday, December 9 - Thursday, December 10

The joy, the elation, that swept the campus for days was indescribable. Tables were up everywhere. There was a holiday atmosphere, and it was more than the holiday season. In two days the FSM sold 4500 copies of its 45 rpm record: "Joy to UC: Free Speech Christmas Carols." A graduate study of the Free Speech Movement sold out 4000 copies in a day. Students made arrangements to speak in their home towns over the vacation to tell the story of the FSM.

Friday, December 11

The Board of Regents met in Los Angeles. Badly split as to a proper response to the FSM and the faculty, they flatly rejected the faculty proposal for final authority over student discipline and said that the matter was "non-negotiable." The moderate wing of the Regents set up a committee to study regulations to govern political activity. The right wing of the Regents established a secret investigating committee to investigate communist influence in the FSM, etc., etc., etc.

Christmas Vacation - Present

In many ways the vacation was more hectic than the time when classes were in session. The Emergency Executive Committee of the Academic Senate, the Academic Freedom Committee of the Academic Senate, the Chancellor-appointed Student Affairs Committee and the Regents' committees were meeting. While these meetings were in progress the FSM mobilized a national defense campaign for the 800.

By the second week of vacation the Executive Committee


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and the Academic Freedom Committee of the Academic Senate came out with interim reports. The FSM met with both groups. We were successful in getting certain clarifications on the question of advocacy in the Executive Committee report. This report also called for the establishment of a Faculty Student Conduct Committee whose members were to be selected by the Academic Senate to adjudicate disciplinary cases in the area of political activity.

The Academic Freedom Committee report was discouraging. Rather than standing on the principle that regulations should consist only of those necessary for the normal functioning of the University (the principle accepted by the Senate on December 8) it suggested many unnecessary regulations, including, for example, resolutions about what literature could be sold at an organization's table.

Tension mounted as January 4, the first day of classes, approached. We were not sure what regulations were to be in effect or what Chancellor Strong would do if we held a rally on Sproul Hall steps which he deemed to be "illegal." This anxiety reached its climax, when on Saturday, January 2, the Regents and President Kerr announced the resignation of Strong, and the appointment to the Chancellorship of Martin Myerson, formally Chairman of the Department of Environmental Design.

Myerson held a press conference on Sunday night, January 3. The immediate problems for Monday were solved when he stated that we could hold our rally on the Sproul Hall steps, and we could set up our tables unrestricted. His position on advocacy was quite good indicating that he thought the courts should handle abuses of First Amendment rights. Most significantly, he indicated that civil disobedience in his view could be warranted, under certain circumstances, and implied that the sit-in of December 2-3 might well have been justified.

On Thursday, January 7, the FSM Steering Committee met with the new Chancellor. It was an amiable discussion, and the Chancellor assured us that before any regulations were finally issued we would have a chance to meet with him and discuss them.


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Some members of the faculty, fully in agreement with the FSM, are drawing up regulations for the campus. As of this writing there are no regulations on the Berkeley campus. It is hoped that by the start of the Spring Semester new regulations will be instituted which will stand by the principles of the FSM and the Academic Senate.

With the campus dispute apparently moving toward solution, the FSM is confronted by the threat of counterattack. Many investigators from the FBI and from various investigating committees are combing Berkeley, questioning students about the FSM. Rumors are varied, but there are indications that HUAC and/or the Burns Committee (the California version of HUAC), will hold hearings on the FSM.

The main weapon being used against the FSM now is the courts. Our demand that University administration that University administration leave the legal questions about our political activity up to the courts was based on our conviction that the University has no business settling matters of law, not on any illusion that the civil courts are wholly impartial and necessarily fair. We have almost 800 persons to defend. We have defied the spirit of no law and no concept of democratic justice.

We are calling for a mass trial where the legal issues can be fought out. We do not want to clog the courts; we do not want eighty separate trials. We recognize that ours is a political case, and we are conducting, not only a legal fight to free the 800, but also a political campaign to mobilize support for the defendants.

Probably trials will begin by the middle of February. How long litigation will drag on, we do not know. But as long as there are defendants, as long as the 800 remain in jeopardy, as long as Freedom languishes at Berkeley, so long we shall remain a cohesive and fighting Free Speech Movement.

(February 1, 1965)


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Higher Education at Berkeley, 4:00 a.m., 3 December 1964.

FSM: An Interpretive Essay

Robert Kaufman

Michael Folsom

A narrative of the events on the Berkeley campus during the autumn of 1964 can capture some of the drama and excitement of the FSM. It can explain some of the internal logic and rhythm of the FSM in action, as it grew from the spontaneous anger of small student political groups, from crisis to crisis, until it became for a few days the voice and heart and head of the whole Berkeley campus. But the narrative itself cannot explain the incredible scope of the Movement, the reasons for its development, the nature of its successes.

How could it be that 800 students were roused to the point where they would go to jail rather than submit to a university's regulations, that a student organization (FSM) which advocated and precipitated mass, non-violent, direct action against University Authority could gain and keep the confidence of overwhelming student sentiment and then find the faculty come around to support it too? What happened to make every denunciation, every hostile editorial, and even the armed force of the State just goads to firmer resolve and more certain defiance?

The University Administration was bewildered; it had been used to herding sheep, and its blunders were always on the side of underestimating the force of student conviction. President Kerr had admitted the bankruptcy of his own administration—though he didn't use


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the word. An undemocratic political structure may be said to reach the point of bankruptcy when the men in authority become so out of touch with reality, with the needs and potential of their subjects, as to be unable to rule effectively in their own interests, and that's just what happened at Berkeley.

But radicals also were surprised by the development of the FSM. They had been used to a decade and more of political action by small groups of dedicated individuals. The FSM in full bloom was, for most young radicals at Berkeley, the first real mass movement they had ever participated in. And some never did learn what it all meant in terms of the possibilities of winning.

What makes a mass movement? What moves people? None of the proliferating analyses of the FSM—every journal, large and small, has its own "expert" analyst—seems to us to have gotten to the roots of the matter or to have explored the branches to their ends. Most are downright hogwash. Even among the students who openly identify themselves with the FSM there remains uncertainty about the nature, causes, and meaning of the Movement. We don't presume to have all the answers. What follows is merely an attempt to enter into the discussion and, perhaps, shed some light on the events of the Fall Semester from our own perspective.

The burden of the ensuing argument will be that the University of California is dominated by the men and the interests, the procedures and purposes, of American Monopoly Capital, that the real nature and causes of the agony of American students and teachers (of which the FSM has only one manifestation) cannot be understood otherwise, and that no lasting cure for that agony can be achieved short of the complete democratization of the University and, ultimately, the destruction of that dominating power.

Mere Democracy

The most obvious issue at stake in the Battle of Berkeley has been simple democracy—the freedom of students on home territory, their campus, to exercise their rights under the Constitution to speak, organize,


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and act on political and social issues. Democratic liberties—what most people (except Negroes in the South) think they have, but don't exploit. Editorials in newspapers at other universities frequently talked like this: "Why, we have all the freedoms they're fighting for at Berkeley, and nobody uses them." Most likely they have those "freedoms" because nobody uses them. That was the problem at Berkeley—students were acting too much like citizens. A little history:

Student Politics at Berkeley

It's a fact that Berkeley has long had a certain political reputation which sustains itself by drawing activist students from all over the state and nation and by being something which must be lived up to. The Bay Area and city of Berkeley are uniquely congenial to both activist and political activity—for reasons which have more to do with a local history of militant and progressive trade-unionism and less to do with a mysterious geist than most people realize.

In 1957 SLATE was founded; it was the left-liberal student political party which articulated the first real rebellion against the dead hand of McCarthy in the American student community. In following years, Berkeley students provided the spark and much of the manpower for the local peace movement, the fight to end capital punishment, the organization of farm laborers in California and—as everyone knows—the demonstrations against HUAC in 1960. Since then students have become increasingly involved in the civil rights movement, both in support of action in the South and directly in the Bay Area. Late in 1963 the Ad Hoc Committee to End Discrimination went to work on the discriminatory hiring practices of a drive-in restaurant chain, and won. In 1964 it took on the Sheraton-Palace Hotel in San Francisco over the same issue, with fanfare, arrests, and success. At this writing the "Senator from Formosa," William Knowland's Oakland Tribune continues to be under assault—again the issue is job discrimination. In all these demonstrations Bay Area students played a leading role.

Students, Civil Liberties, and Civil Rights

But the student organizations which initiate or


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support such action have been and remain quite small (especially when you consider that UC Berkeley enrolls 27,000 students). Why in the world did thousands on thousands come out in active support of demands for liberties which were the immediate concern of only a few hundred? Because (as no one fully realized) democratic liberties and the actions of student political organizations do mean something important to a great many students who themselves neither exercise the one nor belong to the other.

First of all, it became quite clear that the influence of the civil rights movement has spread very deeply among students. Many have become active as a result of involvement in local civil rights fights or in the southern movement. (Savio was just back from Mississippi when the semester started.) But many more feel a certain, a definite identification with the freedom movement even though they are not themselves a part of it. That movement speaks for them and, when they learned to act for themselves on their campus, they acted in the terms of that movement. The tactic of mass, non-violent, direct action seemed customary and appropriate. The adapted pop tunes and spirituals of the freedom movement became the songs of the FSM—though the FSM created many of its own to boot. No one had any doubt that freedom of political action on campus was not just an abstract principle. Speech after rally speech hammered at the fact that the FSM was really fighting for the concrete freedom to keep up the civil rights struggle—locally with troops and in the South with funds and summer recruits.

But the immediate interest of students in the FSM was still wider. Less tangible though just as meaningful, was the commitment of students to political action and intellectual, ideological debate per se—to the stimulation of and pride in a community in which both are possible and alive. It is not the cold, grudging, ACLUish "I'll defend your right to speak"; it is "I want you to speak to me and fend off dead apathy and sameness." The experience of the FSM demonstrates also that it is not only the so-called "self-interest issues," like student store prices or dorm rules, that can move great numbers of students into political action. It was primarily the use of arbitrary and impersonal


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power that moved the students at UC. But it was especially the use of that power to suppress students acting on their convictions. It is in the deeply felt self interest of young intellectuals and aspiring scholars to care deeply about the free expression of ideas and the consequences of those ideas.

Plain statistics retell the story. Of those 800 arrested, 39% had been involved in demonstrations before; fully 61% never had—this was their first time out.

Alienation

There was still much else to move the 800 and the 8000 and more who supported the FSM—deep-seated needs, frustrations, desires, anxieties which drove them not so much toward the specific goals of the FSM as against the juggernaut institution which not only tried to stifle political action but also stifled each of them personally. In some ways the FSM was an excuse for many to vent their wrath and pent up hostility at a university which seems at times to be made by, for, and of electronic computers—seems, we say. The FSM was an excuse in the best sense of the word—an opportunity for creative and meaningful protest against a whole deadening style of life.

The nature of this deepest motivation is superficially summed up in the word alienation; the object of hostility and cause of alienation is summed up in the symbol of the IBM card which was prevalent on the posters, placards, and lips of the FSM. From the day the entering freshman begins standing on long lines to deal with a harassed secretary or an indifferent dean, to the day the senior is handed his pseudo-vellum passport on which is written, "Go forth and make money," much of his life is that of a cog in a senseless wheel. Daily he meshes with others—briskly in plazas, quietly in huge lecture halls, indifferently in a hurried professor's office—alone in the midst of thousands. He wonders about the superficiality and irrelevance of much of his curriculum, and he knows that there is no one to give him encouragement or credit for a bright idea or fresh initiative. The IBM machine (a wonderful invention in itself) dramatizes and comes to stand for the sense of administration and education without people, without contact, friendliness, or concern. Even the distant


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face of a lecturing professor is more human than the television box from which, more and more, the student receives "instruction."

The University Administration comes to look like an elite "power structure" which is there to serve its own interests and over which the student has no control, which he cannot even talk to. "Student government" is an obvious farce, an appendage of the Administration, which discovers the limits of its power the minute it takes a controversial stand or tries to rule against the wishes of the Administration. Students are "apathetic" about "their" "government," not because they are apathetic or irresponsible, but because it is apathetic and timid, because it has no responsibility, because it is no government at all. And as for the "students"' newspaper.... Several years ago an "irresponsible" editorial staff of the Daily Californian was relieved of its duties by administrative fiat because it supported in print a "controversial" candidate for ASUC President. The paper has been a joke ever since.

With much reason the sense and fact of alienation became a central subject for the spokesmen of the FSM. The concern for the "quality of life" at the University was the bridge which joined in one movement so many thousands of non-political students with the political activists.

Radicals

Analysts of the FSM who ignore both the real and urgent common cause of student supporters and FSM leaders and the validity of their complaints are at a loss to explain the nature and success of the movement and its leadership. We are told that the whole business was the work of a highly organized cabal of leftists. The Administration says it knows who told the students to sit down around the police car on October 1. We don't. People just sat down because it was the obvious thing to do. The issue was clear. The administration was using police force to suppress political activity. Resistance was not organized—it was imperative.

It is true that many of the leaders of the FSM are radicals—because


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the radical position was closest to the mood and experience of the students. The radical leadship maintained the confidence of the movement only because its tactics worked, and because its spokesmen articulated most clearly the feelings of students. The "moderates" (including some socialists) maintained that the Administration was made up of "reasonable men"; they spoke of behind-the-scenes deals, and predicted voluntary liberalization of regulations by the Administration at each step of the game. But each successive confrontation with the administrative power structure demonstrated that the radicals were correct.

Red-Baiters

Part and parcel of alienation and radical rebellion at Berkeley is the question of McCarthy and the Cold War. Students at Berkeley, like all American students, like all Americans, have been intimidated and lied to for fifteen years. In the holy name of anti-communism they have seen some of their best teachers fired and the rest cowed, made to eat humble loyalty-oath pie. Students have had the editors of their newspapers fired for being "too controversial." They have been spoon-fed pablum in place of ideas. They have been dragged along in the rear of a nationwide retreat from relevance. They have been frightened into abandoning or crippling their own attempts at political and social organization when someone cried Red. They have seen departments of physical science and social science turned into adjuncts of the Departments of State and Defense. They know the CIA finances centers of Russian studies. In literature they have discussed imagery, aesthetic unity, and metaphysical archetypes, instead of humanity, until they are blue in the face. And they have had all they will stand for.

We hear FSM students say that they do not trust "anyone over thirty," and we have heard Mr. Louis Feuer (Professor of Sociology) in a vituperative article in that old Cold War follower, The New Leader (Dec. 21, 1964) abolish political meaning from the FSM by explaining its motivations as mere "generational conflict." (Mr. Clark Kerr has sought to correct some of Mr. Feuer's facts—New Leader [Jan. 18, 1965]—but he loved Mr. Feuer's insight: "I congratulate Professor Feuer for his perceptive analysis of the psychodynamics [of the FSM].")


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But no bumptious "adolescents" would waste so much energy, sacrifice, and dedication simply to exercise hostility towards another generation. The FSM's conflict has been with a particular generation of Establishment intellectuals and ex-radicals, the tools and fools of McCarthy and Dulles, who capitulated to the Cold War and sold their university and their nation down the river.

So much of the alienation which informed the FSM was a reaction against the moral blindness and intellectual bankruptcy of those elders, the administrators and their faculty allies. And when those teachers and bureaucrats called the students dupes of a left-wing cabal and said that 49% of FSM supporters were Maoists and Castroites, thousands of throats spoke contemptuous, pitying laughter. Students do not trust liars to tell the truth.

The Faculty

And what about the faculty, those over thirty? For a while they held their peace, and were seen by the students only in the role of gutless, obstructive "mediators" between the FSM and the Administration. Their "advice" that the FSM give in was ignored, and faculty-baiting joined Regent-baiting and administrator-baiting in the repertory of the rally speaker. As one zoology student put it (in his professional capacity): "Rabbits are rabbits and men are men and you can't turn one into the other." But much to the surprise and delight of the FSM, and to the chagrin of the Administration and its allies (and presumably of the zoologists), the faculty swung around. Rather, the faculty found itself forced to make its real but latent sentiments known—strongly—and, thus, it helped make swift and sweet a qualified victory which otherwise might have been much more bitterly won by the students alone, with much more personal sacrifice.

Again, it was unrealized resources of alienation and personal interest which provided motive, and which drove the faculty into action. A pall has hung over the University ever since the loyalty-oath fight of 1949-1950 which resulted in some firings, resignations, and a humiliating compromise on principle. A fresh crop of students were not aware of the faculty's lingering


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resentments, nor did the students fully know the faculty's more recent causes for anger at the Administration.

Just previous to and during the rise of the FSM, a direct confrontation occurred when the Berkeley Campus' Chancellor, Edward Strong, gave the Academic Senate the royal run-around in the case of Eli Katz. Katz was an acting Assistant Professor of German who was recommended for a permanent position by his department. The Chancellor rejected the recommendation on the grounds that Katz refused to answer to him questions he had refused to answer before HUAC in 1958. Two committees of the Academic Senate then requested that the Chancellor reverse his decision; the Chancellor stalled, maneuvered, passed the buck. The full Senate then adopted a motion holding the Administration in contempt and demanding Katz's reinstatement. At this writing the issue is still unresolved. What moved the faculty was not so much the principle of academic freedom as the Chancellor's affront to its traditional and usually respected prerogative to determine its own composition. This affront, in the midst of the chronic bumbling of the Administration's handling of the FSM, served to widen the breach, and the patent bankruptcy and abdication of the Administration when police arrived on December 3 broke all bridges across that gulf.

Far from obstructing a "rational" and just solution to the problem of political freedom on campus, the militancy of the FSM was the catalyst which allowed, which forced the faculty commitment to civil liberties to be mobilized for the first time in over a decade. Certainly some members of the Academic Senate voted against administration control of student politics out of fear of the FSM or a desire for peace at any price. There was some hanging back, and the Emergency Academic Executive Committee which the Senate elected to carry out its resolutions is generously labeled "moderate." But the fact is that the faculty did come out fully for the FSM demands, instead of closing ranks behind the inadequate position of the President and his department chairmen. And the faculty does now have a permanent executive, is permanently organized, and thus has the practical political basis to fight for a greater role in University affairs.

Whatever the qualifications to our enthusiasm for the Berkeley faculty, nothing can erase our pleasure at what


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that faculty did on December 8, 1964. They voted to support full civil liberties on the campus and, in effect, they acknowledged that the civil liberties of students engaged in questioning and fighting the American status-quo are not safe in the hands of the Administration. And they did this at the height of the controversy, in the full heat of the anger of the press, the Legislature, and the certain opposition of the powerful reactionaries in the Board of Regents. This one American university faculty has begun to recover from McCarthyism.

It should be noted also that the faculty members who were most active in organizing support for the FSM demands are the same men who have long been most respected by their students for their genuine interest both in the problems of students and in teaching. Between faculty who do like to teach and students in the FSM there is a bond of common interest in the matters of contact and communication, alienation and dehumanization in the University—as well as in the principled matter of political freedom.

The Administration

Students and faculty were, however and obviously, not the only actors in this drama. Without extreme and seemingly bizarre provocation from the Administration, their complaints, uneasiness, and dissatisfaction would have simmered for a long time; they would not have been welded into a coherent and massive force of bodies and sentiment. That students and faculty should organize and fight in their own interests seems much less incredible than that the University Administration should bury itself under such a mass of consecutive blunders which were so obviously not in its own interest. But there is inexorable logic here too.

Bureaucracy

The first thing to understand is that the Administration of the University of California (as elsewhere) is a top-heavy, undemocratic bureaucracy. Everyone knows that. Clark Kerr boasts about it. Professor Nathan Glazer (no friend of the FSM) said in a recent article (Commentary, Jan. 1965) that in


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size and atmosphere the UC Administration is comparable only to the federal bureaucracy in Washington. Faculty and Senators, students and Congressmen come and go; the bureaucracies keep the machines running—and in many ways the two machines are one.

It is in the nature of a bureaucrat (as opposed to a democratically appointed or elected administrator) to be a master, not a servant, to have a vested interest in his own authority and status. A bureaucrat is the man or woman who seeks an increment in appropriations for his department, not because more secretaries will do more good work, but because more money and a bigger staff means more personal power and prestige. An elected public official at least maintains the semblance of humility; when the people speak loud enough, he listens, for he wishes to be re-elected. The same kind of public criticism is to the bureaucrat, at first, mere nuisance to be brushed off callously. It then becomes a terrifying threat to one who has not underpinned his sense of his own position in the world with the understanding that he might easily lose his job. He is used to toadying to superiors, but not to respecting the will of the persons he administrates. The deaf ear and the hard hand, which became so familiar to the FSM and which seemed so incredibly stupid, are but the two sides of the bureaucrat's coin when he's betting a pair of jacks against a full house.

But the abstract psycho-sociology of bureaucracy explains very little. It says something about the Administration's tactics, about why no "channels of communication" from "below" were open, about why the mere ordered arguments of "rational men" could get the FSM nowhere. But it doesn't explain why the UC Administration initiated repressive action, or why it couldn't meet the FSM demands without tremendous and brutal reluctance.

The Corporation

It is the solemn responsibility and pleasure of the UC bureaucracy to get and distribute over $400 million per year from various state, federal, and private agencies. It must be quite satisfying (in times of peace) to sit atop that pile and watch it spread through the great ganglion University, to snatch a new foundation


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grant and plant it here or there, to buy a school of scholars (preferably from back East) and make a new campus look like old Ivy. It's a manipulator's game, a bureaucrat's game, a corporation president's game. A corporation—that's the nature of California's institution of highest learning. The $400 million-plus is an investment; its administrators must turn out a Product and return Interest. They advance themselves only by advancing the interests of those who give them the money. And they advance those interests most efficiently by running their University just like a corporate enterprise.

It is hard to grasp articulately the sense of living and working in a corporate university. Easily one can charge that students are taught best how to make money, how to be organization men and serve the status quo. But it is difficult to pin point exactly where the pressures come from, how the mind is molded, how scholarship is twisted—when it all seems so often voluntary, natural, inevitable.

Clark Kerr helped to explain the way of thought and the economics which create and are created by a corporate university when he boasted in his marvelously ingenuous Uses of the University that the production, distribution, and consumption of "knowledge" in all its forms accounts for some 29% of America's Gross National Product. Bitterly the FSM stuck a verse into its version of the carol, "Joy to the World":


The Knowledge Factory
Turns out more GNP,
Without your subversion
On its property.

In his class analysis of his corporation, Kerr preferred to describe undergraduates as "lumpen proletarians" rather than just "raw material"—that is to say, threatening outcasts rather than passive clay. And, from the Presidential point of view, he was right.

From his own point of view, the undergraduate may tend to think that a university should exist to satisfy his own needs and aspirations; he may resent the discovery that the corporate University does not. A few statistics show how very little mere education matters at the


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University of California. During academic year 1962-1963, of those $400 millions, 62% went for research, 26% for education, 12% for public services (including both adult education and agricultural extension services). The faculty-student ratio at Berkeley seems low, something like 27,000 to 2000, or roughly 13 to 1. But the demands and attractions of research draw most faculty members away from full-time teaching. Some don't teach at all.

The Brain Pool

One of the justifications for all the expense of maintaining the University is that it serves as a brainpower pool. The Institution keeps on its payroll a bevy of academic "white glove girls" who are at the beck and call of industry and government. For $100 a day Lockheed can hire a temporary problem-solver from the Engineering Department. A number of faculty and administrators spend much time in Washington, "consulting" on foreign policy, military policy, economic and scientific policy. Edward Teller, H-bomb father and Barry-booster, sits on the faculty at Berkeley; for him it's a convenient spot to work for the Atomic Energy Commission, to do odd jobs for General Dynamics, and from which to lobby for war. The system is built for men like him; Teller is one among many.

Corporate Scholarship

Scholarly endeavor has truly been incorporated at Berkeley—as at every major university. Large federal and private grants make the research team, rather than the individual scholar, the important unity of inquiry. A "name scholar"—a safe man, whose objectivity is proven by the fact that he comes to no disagreeable conclusions—gathers unto himself lesser faculty and graduate students, each of whom gets a bit of the pie and does a bit of the work. The project head puts the bits together, and shapes the style and views of the result—the Product. For the "lesser" members of the "team" such research is not cooperative labor—it is wage labor.

This mode of production has been institutionalized. Institutes, whose directors hustle for grants, have sprung up around the University like suburban towns. The faculty in these institutes "commute" less and less into


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the "city" to teach undergraduates.

Corporate Form and Corporate Content

Still, we are dealing pretty much with the form of the coporate university; what about the content? They are integrally related. A bureaucracy is not just undemocratic by nature; it exists because its ends are undemocratic. The vast university bureaucracy has mushroomed because vast funds are poured into the University for purposes extrinsic to the real interests of students and faculty—in fact, contradictory to those interests—though often the pressure of funds does mold interests and create technicians and researchers who fit nicely into the coporate system. One does not have to do disagreeable, perfunctory, bought-and-paid-for research—but then one does not have to do research at all, or eat.

The Federal Government

The source of investment is a good indication of the purposes to which money is to be put. Of the $403 million-odd University income in 1962-1963, 56% was federal money, and the largest chunk of that came from the Atomic Energy Commission. Surely some useful contributions to scientific understanding are generated by that money. But Cold-War problem-solving is inextricable from the purposes of those funds.

Take Mr. Seymour Martin Lipset (Professor of Sociology and Director of the Institute of International Studies). He is a "name scholar" who has proved his reliability by attacking the FSM as extremist and antidemocratic (see his article in The Reporter, Jan. 28, 1965). He knows all about matters like FSM because he also directs a Study of Student Movements. That's a special research project financed by an interested party—the United States Air Force. It's all very logical.

The only department at Berkeley which is bigger than Education or English is Business Administration. One young radical we know is taking a Masters in BizAd because he is interested in the labor movement, and there is no other department in which he can study it.


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Agri-Business

Then there is the Department of Agricultural Economics. It is funded by both the state government and the Giannini Foundation, which was magnanimously endowed by the founder of the Bank of America. The express purposes of that foundation describe also the purposes of state money:

to study and make better known the economic facts and conditions upon which the continued solvency and prosperity of California's agricultural industry must necessarily rest. (UC General Bulletin, 1964-1965, p. 171.)

Indeed, California's unique system of tremendous corporate farms has been well served by its University. UC scientists have helped to make California agribusiness the richest, most productive, and most profitable in the country; UC economists have "proved" time and again before legislative hearings that unemployment insurance, minimum wage laws, and unionization for farm workers are not economically possible. In two reported instances the UC authorities have destroyed or suppressed reports of research which condemned farm labor practices in the state.

When the Department of Biology in the spring of 1962 protested the Administration's willingness to let Pacific Gas and Electric build a nuclear reactor on the site of a marine biological laboratory at Bodega Bay, the Administration struck a blow for academic freedom by suppressing the faculty report on the matter. That report still sits in the Chancellor's office.

Monopoly Capital

Such administrators are not bureaucrats, pure and simple; nor are they merely bureaucrats who don't choose to serve the wishes of students and faculty. They are bureaucrats bought and paid for by, and in the service of, the interests of State Monopoly Capital—or, to put it in terms more familiar, the Military-Industrial Complex. They are Establishment Men—some of them, like ex-Chancellor Edward Strong and President Kerr, are


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leading "Establishment Liberals," and at times in the past they have even seemed "liberal." In 1964 the American Association of University Professors thought Kerr looked liberal enough to receive the Alexander Meikeljohn Academic Freedom Award. But, as these men so conveniently demonstrated during the FSM crises, there is no such thing as an "Establishment Liberal." The University's liberals were the small core of faculty who led the fight to win the FSM's demands; the Establishment Men yelled for the cops.

The reactionaries called the FSM a "commie plot"; the Establishment denounced the FSM for being antidemocratic because it used direct action to change the rules of an Agency of the People of California. The "people," indeed! "Moderates" told the FSM that for the University to accept its demands for freedom of political action would be to threaten the statutory requirement that the University remain "politically independent." Indeed!

It is quite unnecessary here to go into the nature of the State in capitalist society, into the fiction of popular representation, and the reality of monopoly control. We might note only what everyone has learned, that when the "proper" administration of its funds and its institutions is threatened, the State will appear from behind the facade of "impartiality" and enforce its rule with para-military action.

The Regents

All we have to look at here is the "Agency of the People" itself—the Board of Regents. To be a member of that Board is not just an honor; it is a grave and solemn responsibility. Those twenty-four men and women own the University of California. The California Constitution states that they "hold in trust" the property of the "people," but the University is an independent, legally constituted corporation, theirs to dispose of and manage. The strip of sidewalk where students traditionally set up their tables was the Regents' to take away; it belongs to them. Little brass plaques are set in the sidewalk announcing the boundaries of the "property of the Regents of the University of California."


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In order to protect the University from political pressures, so the argument goes, most of the Regents are appointed by the Governor for terms of—sixteen years, and many times they are reappointed when their terms expire. But even that solid tenure is not enough. The Regents specialize in family cynosures and corporate fiefdoms. Old A. P. Giannini, benefactor of agri-business and President of the Bank of America, sat on the Board. When he went to glory, his son assumed his seat. Now the moguls of agriculture and the Bank of America are jointly represented by Jesse W. Tapp, current President of the Bank and Chairman of the State Agricultural Board. The family of William Randolph Hearst also has its own seat on the Board.

There are eight ex-officio seats on the Board, filled by State officials—like the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the Assembly (not-quite-so-Big-any-more Daddy, Jessie Unruh, at the moment), and the redoubtable Max Rafferty, Superintendent of Public Instruction. (Rafferty is a gruesome story in himself. He's an old-time believer in the three R's: Reaction, Repression, and Red-baiting.)

Of the sixteen Regents appointed to represent the "people," at present only one, Cornelius J. Haggerty, is not a big-business executive or corporation attorney. He is the national head of the Building Trades Council (AFL-CIO)—one of the most conservative sections of the trade union movement in the country. Among the other appointed we find the following business interests sitting on the University's Board of Absolute Control:

  • Pacific Telephone and Telegraph
  • Northrop Aircraft
  • Lockheed Aircraft
  • Western Airlines
  • Pauley Oil
  • Homestake Mining
  • Cerro de Passo Mining (Peru)
  • Signal Oil Company
  • Bank of America
  • First Western Bank
  • Wells Fargo Bank
  • Security National Bank
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  • Chandler Interests ( L. A. Times)[*]
  • Hearst Newspaper Syndicate ( S. F. Examiner and News Call Bulletin, among others)[*]
  • Matson Shipping
  • Pacific Intermountain Express
  • Blue Goose Growers
  • Hunt Foods
  • Deep Canyon Properties
  • Kern County Land Company
  • Hollister Land Company
  • Broadway Hale Retail Stores
  • McCalls Magazine

This partial list would grow indefinitely if all the inter-locking interests of these corporations were explored.

Negroes and Mexican-Americans are roughly one quarter of the people of California, but not one of them sits on the Board of Regents. No trade unionist from an industrial union sits on the Board. Not even a small businessman, much less a leader of one of the state's liberal organizations. And, weird as it is, there is not one professional educator among the sixteen appointed Regents. Rafferty (ex-officio) may be professional, but he is not an educator. Actually, an educator might not have much to contribute to Board meetings, which largely concern themselves with the distribution and success of the Board's financial investments.

Monopoly Does as Monopoly Is

The Marxist utters no cant when he speaks of the domination of the University by monopoly capital. It's just plain fact. Read that list again. In a court of law, similar evidence would put the burden on the defendant to prove that his coporate financial self-interest did not sway him from "impartial" administration of his "public" trust.

The posture of the UC Administration leading up to and during the FSM demonstrations was perfectly congruent with the right wing pressure of California's great corporations.


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Those administrators are not so much stupid men (though that, too) as they are bought men. Kerr kept saying that he's a "mediator"; the FSM kept telling him that the only thing between jailer and jailed is bars.

Outside Agitators

A little more history: In the spring of 1964 after the demonstrations at the Sheraton-Palace Hotel in San Francisco, with mass arrests and capitulation by the city's power-structure, certain notables (pre-eminently, Don Mulford, Goldwater Republican Assemblyman from Berkeley) put public pressure on the UC Administration to expel or discipline students who were arrested. Kerr and his Administration, consistent with their policy of not allowing political activity on campus, issued a statement to the effect that what students did off campus was their own business. The local CBS radio station (doubtless with some urging) editorialized in favor of Kerr's stand and urged public support for that policy. But since the spring, things got worse. CORE organized state-wide pickets of the holy Bank of America, charging job discrimination. Berkeley students (again, under CORE auspices) went to work on Lucky Super Markets, clogging up business with "shop-ins" (leaving at the counter huge tabulated piles of goods unpaid-for). This, right in Berkeley. During the GOP convention, students for Scranton had the temerity to advocate his nomination from tables set up on the Regents' sidewalk. Through the summer and into the fall, Students for Fair Housing worked feverishly to defeat Proposition 14 (the prosegregation amendment to the state Constitution), again using tables on campus to recruit workers to canvass local neighborhoods. (Though Proposition 14 won across the state, it was defeated in Berkeley, 2-1—the highest margin in the state.)

Finally, the Ad Hoc Committee began picketing William Knowland's discriminatory Oakland Tribune. He had objected to those radicals using the campus to plump for Scranton; now he yelled again. And this time the Berkeley Administration heard him. Every action on the part of the Administration which followed flowed directly from a desire to exorcise political activity from the campus, and thus squelch political action in the Bay Area, in the interests of the corporate victims of democracy.


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In spite of his "liberal" broad-mindedness in the spring, Kerr had previously published a clear statement of his own Establishment in his guidebook for the think-factory bureaucrat:

A few of the "nonconformists"...seek...to turn the university, on the Latin American or Japanese models, into a fortress from which they can sally forth with impunity to make their attacks on society.

The Berkeley Administration could no longer "mediate" between student activists and the businessmen they were attacking by claiming that their fortress took no responsibility for the troops it garrisoned. The Administration had to decide whether its responsibility was to "society" or to the US Constitution. What delightful paradoxes the Establishment mind can twist itself with: society is made up of people; fighting for the rights of Negroes is attacking society; therefore Negroes aren't people. No, that doesn't work. Big-business is society; big-business is not people; therefore society is not made up of people. Oh, well....

Some Lessons Learned

What is so very gratifying about the FSM is the fact that the non-people who manage the knowledge factory at Berkeley didn't get away with it; and, in the process of not getting away with it, they have weakened the grasp of California's large corporations on the University. What started out to be a fight for political privileges granted from on high, turned into a serious challenge and threat to the business-like powers that be. The threat was not so much in the physical and administrative challenge of sit-in and strike, as in the knowledge gained through struggle and in the permanent organization achieved.

The price was high, but the FSM won significant liberalizations in the campus regulations governing political activity. The FSM did not win the power to safeguard those gains, to have the People of the University determine their own regulations, or to free their University of the rule of the Establishment entirely. But the


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seeds have been sown, and are sprouted.

The students of Berkeley have found out who rules their University and how they rule. They have begun to question that rule and place blame for their angst. The fault no longer seems in themselves, that they are men and women, nor in their stars, but in the autocrats who hand them automated, bargain-basement degrees, and who turn out thinkless technicians to keep a profit-making economy making profit. And the students have gained not knowledge only, but means and allies.

Organizing the Shop

The election of seven SLATE members to the ASUC threatens to make that kept body dangerously relevant to student needs and demands. Just in case SLATE cannot shovel enough sand out of that box, the undergraduates have been organizing an Undergraduate Association, a student government of their own. The graduate students already have a militant Coordinating Committee in operation. The Teaching Assistants have organized a local of the American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO). And not only are the workers organizing their plant, but also they are demanding recognition, a voice in running their own lives, collective bargaining, if not workers' control—yet. They know both the incompetence of the Regents and their administrators, and the heady sense of responsible and satisfying purpose which obtains from managing their own affairs collectively. In their state, they want power—and they are closer now at Berkeley to a beginning of the struggle for that power than any student body has ever been in American history. That is what is so terrifying to monopoly capital in California.

When the Berkeley faculty went to the December Regents' meeting it was reviled in the press (Chandler and Hearst are both represented on the Board) not for its substantive demands for student political freedom, but over its insolent, up-start request to take upon itself, away from the Administration, the safeguarding of that freedom and the execution of regulations pertaining to the exercise of that freedom. The faculty received a firm and "unnegotiable" NO!


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Labor Support

The demand to democratize the Regents—that is, to make the Board representative of, and responsive to, the People of California, and the People of the University—that demand has support outside also. Organized labor has seen the UC Administration buy non-union products whenever it can and jimmy its curricula to ignore the working man. It is encouraging and meaningful that one of the moments of emotional high pitch after the arrests came when a statement from a major California labor leader was read at an FSM rally. George Hardy, Secretary of the State Council of Building Service Employees, wrote, in part:

An institution claiming to be one of the great universities of the world has committed a shameful act. Supposedly dedicated to the search for truth and the development of ideas, it has blundered along a path which has now lead to a brutal stifling of free speech.

The California State Council of Building Service Employees, representing 57,000 trade unionists in this state, expresses its deep shock and resentment over this latest episode [the arrest of the 800]. We express our full support for the courageous young people who are standing up and fighting for the cause in which they believe.

... They are not "kooks" or "beats," as they have been labeled by some so-called respectable elements of the community who are frightened when anyone does not conform to their own upper-class notions of proper dress and behavior. These are our brightest kids....

And what about the University of California? We in the labor movement know something about its policies. The


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University was just recently picketed by the Carpenters Union for buying non-union products. For years it has acted like the worst employers of the nation in defeating legitimate efforts of its own employees to form unions and bargain collectively.

The Board of Regents is completely out of touch with reality.... When they speak, they speak with the voice of big business. President Clark Kerr, who should know better, has acted like any corporation executive determined to stifle the aspirations of his personnel.

Hardy concluded with demands that the arrested students be exonerated, that their goals be supported, that the Board of Regents be shaken up and liberals appointed, that there be "a thorough housecleaning" at UC. The response to Hardy's statement was such that the reader could hardly get through it for all of the cheering. These were not born radicals, brought up to believe in the labor movement; these were thousands of middle-class young men and women who were mostly quite ignorant of labor history. Their cheers were the cheers which greet, not just allied sentiment, but real and welcomed allies.

The labor movement in California seems ready now to question the proprietorship of the University by big business. The San Francisco Labor Council, too, has demanded democratization of the Board. And the bond which was the sense of those cheers is an absolutely essential one to be developed, for the enemies of labor are the enemies of the students, and they cannot be defeated on one front only.

Minority Peoples

The Negro people have a stake and a voice in this fight. The relevance of the civil rights movement to the FSM has been touched upon already, but the grudges go deeper. UC is a de facto segregated school. Only 2% of the Berkeley student body is Negro—in a


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city which is 22% Negro, in a state which is roughly 10%. You can count the Negro faculty members at Berkeley on one hand. State Assemblyman William Stanton (Democrat, San Jose) has demanded that a civil rights leader be appointed to the Board of Regents. Mexican-Americans, too, need representation.

Radicals and Roots

All of this—encouraging though it may be—is just the beginning. When we deal with a $400 million-a-year institution we deal with the roots of power in the state and nation. Few yet realize (or have come to grips with) the depths to which those roots dig into dirt of monopoly capitalism, and how impossible it will be to separate roots from nourishing soil. The leadership of the FSM is radical, yes; but it is mostly non-Marxist. And if it were Marxist in its perception of the radical evil of the University, it would be foolish to urge revolution when it has no troops. Again, people will only follow where they want to go, when they can see the clear road ahead. And most students at Berkeley, for all they have learned, do not yet understand all of the resources and tenacity of their masters and "guardians." And if they did it would be small use without similar understanding in the working community at large.

The FSM has hammered rightly at the idea that the University and society are integral. The one cannot be changed meaningfully without the other. The men and women who work and struggle throughout the state and country will not come to the special aid of the students, any more than those thousands of students who struck for their own rights would go on strike in support of farm workers. Some few of each will honorably aid each other, above and beyond the expectations of all, but like the students and faculty at Berkeley, special and poignant sources of personal, class, race, or craft interest must be tapped before all of the People are moved to join in a common struggle against the masters of all. There is no sense being impatient or condescending about it; neither is there any sense in ceasing the present work to build what struggle and force does exist.


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Utopia and Reality

The problem is how to direct that struggle and force, how to judge what realistically can be done, how to exploit (in the frank and honest sense of that word) the resources of consciousness and dedication which do exist within the University (can we call it?) community. It seems to us, not just as socialists but as persons simply concerned to see our energies spent productively, that several presently considered approaches to future action are less than helpful.

One approach has been to concentrate on attacking the forms of university education: grades, credits, course requirements, and the like. The mechanical pace of the University is rightly characterized and condemned as "speed-up," aimed at turning out the greatest number of brain-workers at the lowest cost. The "quarter system" to be inaugurated at UC in 1966 is supposed to give students more time for deeper study. In fact, it will mean even greater speed-up, more exams, more students turned out faster, more administrative paperwork (as harassed teachers have already discovered).

But to concentrate solely on sweeping reforms in this area is to leave by the wayside the majority of students for whom grade-point averages, class-standing, an achieved formula of course requirements—the external trappings of education—are so much bread and butter, upon which depend employment or admission to graduate school. Reform is necessary in the whole manner in which University education is integrated into the society. The Universities themselves must be forced to fight for this reform to change the standards for employment—both formal and substantial.

Antioch College, which has a formally unorthodox program much in line with many of the demands being voiced at Berkeley, finds that it must back up its unorthodoxy with a concerted public relations program. Antioch, for instance, eschews such trappings as Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude degrees. The college has to educate employers and grad schools to know that an Antioch student who lacks a magna cum Kappa key has not necessarily failed to deserve it.

And, by itself, the crusade to change the forms of


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education is futile. The servitors of the Military-Industrial Complex will still determine the content of education. An ungraded, individual reading course in labor history, for example, might still run awry if a student can find only a business administration man to direct the course and somehow assess his work. The student who wants to take off into the study of contemporary Soviet civilization on his own initiative might still look in vain for anyone on the faculty, who is not a Cold Warrior, to "guide" his studies.

Alienation Again

The awareness of and concern for alienation opens up another approach to future activity. Because alienation is manifested as a state of mind, there is a tendency to deal with it psychologically, in terms of the individual, to retreat from politics and try to create means by which the sense and fact of loneliness, purposelessness, and stifled creativity may themselves, immediately, be conquered; rather than to concentrate on the (recognized and admitted) source of alienation in the knowledge factory and its corporate domination. It is a proposal, in effect, to opt out.

Surprised and delighted by the sense of community generated out of the FSM and by the expressed eagerness of many students to find opportunities to teach and learn what is dear and relevant to themselves, some students and Berkeley residents advocate the creation of a "Free University of California," which would hold classes and seminars apart from the regular University—a kind of education in exile—but close enough to show the University "what a real education is like."

Such a project could be a useful adjunct to the FSM, and a real service to Berkeley's intellectual and political community. It might be at once a training ground for radicals in thought and action, a needed supplement to an educational establishment which ignores radical solutions to radical problems, and a source of constant criticism of the failures of that Establishment institution.

But enthusiasm will be misspent overestimating what such a venture can accomplish. In no sense can an exile "university" supplant the University. At best it would be of tangential value to the majority of students who must account (without necessarily wishing it) for their expensive years of study by fulfilling the formal requirements of education for employment in this society. It is impossible to ask thousands to join the few who are able to live and enjoy life on the fringes of capitalist society. And it is no service to hold in contempt the majority of students who want to lead "normal" lives, or, by putting too much effort into the creation of an artificial island of intellectual community, to opt out of the larger struggle to make the "normal" life of the mind and of society normal. (Normal—that is to say, a life oriented toward the satisfaction of human needs, not toward the amassing of profits, of profitable bombs, of profitable human misery, of profitably inane and degenerate culture.)

Community in Change

The "Free University" idea does not offer a solution to the real problem of alienation; it can be a limited means of conducting struggle, political and educational. There is, or can be ensured by intelligent leadership, no inherent contradiction between the conduct of a hard-bitten and long-range battle to make the University of California free, and the satisfaction of the pressing needs of students for a sense of community and purpose in their own lives now. It was that larger, political struggle, perpetrated by the FSM in the autumn of 1964, which made so evident to us all, the power of those needs and the possibility of satisfying them creatively. It will be in the perpetuation of that struggle (against, we are arguing, in reality, the corporate domination of the University and the country) that those needs will be satisfied most fully and most fruitfully.

The events leading up to and on December 3-8, 1964, did more to end the estrangement of student from student, of student from teacher, of man from himself in Berkeley than any therapy or any optional utopia ever could. That victory of man over himself resulted neither from a reorientation of students to a fixed environment, nor from an escape to another environment, but from the students' participation in the collective process of changing the existing environment, of making a new


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world and seeing themselves, their image, recast in the objective forms of that new world.

Life and change are synonymous. The participation of students in the multi-form movement for social justice, intellectual freedom, for bread and human progress is as inevitable as springtime. Equally inevitable is the hard reaction of our masters to forced change. Twice in one autumn the price we paid for the burgeoning of our movement was the para-military occupation of the Berkeley campus. But we have only begun to pay, and our masters have only begun to sweat. For, so long as the University is the dominion of the same corporate, political, and military interests that stand in the way of progressive change in our society, just so long will not only those forces continue to stultify education, but also will clashes between those forces and our movement occur on the campus itself.

Bertolt Brecht wrote to us of our time,



The time of change
And the time of the great taking over
Of all nature to master it,
Not forgetting human nature....

Have you not heard it spread abroad
That the net is knotted
And is cast
By men?
Even now
In the cities of a hundred floors,
Over the seas on which the ships are manned,
To the furthest hamlet—
Everywhere now the report is: man's fate is man.
(February 1, 1965)

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Contributors

A Woman of Deeds: Bettina Aptheker is an undergraduate at Berkeley, majoring in History; she is a member of the FSM Steering Committee.

A Man of Ideas: Robert Kaufman is a graduate student in History at Berkeley; he is a member of the Executive Committee of the Graduate Coordinating Committee.

A Man of Words: Michael Folsom is a graduate student in English at Berkeley; he also sat, on occasion.

N. B., J. Edgar: All three are members in good standing of the Berkeley W.E.B. DuBois Club.

Photos by Howard Harawitz.

* These newspapers did not like the FSM, strange to say.

About this text
Title: Aptheker, Bettina; Folsom, Michael; Kaufman, Robert. FSM: The Free Speech Movement at Berkeley
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