BERKELEY — The Free Speech Movement of 1964 joined the free speech movement of 2014 Wednesday on the UC Berkeley Campus celebrating their history and mutual aspirations.
Lynne Hollander Savio, spouse of the late FSM leader Mario Savio, kicked off a noontime event on the Mario Savio steps, billed as the “50th Anniversary Rally, Carry it On!”
She recounted the events of Oct. 2, 1964 when Congress of Racial Equality activist Jack Weinberg, passing out leaflets at the CORE table on Sproul Plaza, was arrested and placed in a patrol car after refusing to identify himself to the representative of a university dean.
“They brought a police car to the middle of Sproul Plaza and put him in it, but somebody yelled, ‘sit down,’” Hollander Savio said. “More and more people began to sit down and they stayed there for 32 hours.”
As Hollander Savio got to the end of her story, hundreds of students, members of the Cal Progressive Coalition, marched through the crowd of more than 500 chanting “No cuts, no fees, education must be free.”
Hollander Savio welcomed them and introduced ASUC Vice President of External Affairs Caitlin Quinn, who said the movement shouldn’t be seen as “ancient history.”
“Fifty years may have gone by, but our administration continues to dismiss many of our concerns,” she said, pointing to the opposition of university officials to the student occupy movement on campus. She said now is the time for students to fight for their free speech rights.
Farmworker organizer Delores Huerta, 84, took up the question of high university tuition in her remarks, pointing out that university education in Cuba is free. “If Cuba can do it, why can’t we have the same thing,” she asked, going on to call for representation of the community and labor on the UC Board of Regents.
An addition to the speakers list drew cheers from the crowd — a message from federal whistle-blower Edward Snowden, read by FSM activist Jack Radey
“Berkeley’s unparalleled tradition of student activism and community engagement have been both a challenge and an inspiration to the human rights movements worldwide,” the message read. “The extraordinary mass surveillance capabilities and unprecedented government secrecy require us once again to take urgent action to preserve our free society.”
Read more from the original source:
Activists at UC Berkeley Free Speech Movement rally call for effort to continue today