This page will aggregate commentary on the iconic leader of the Free Speech Movement, Mario Savio, in light of the 15th annual Mario Savio Memorial lecture on Nov. 15. The lecture will be delivered by public policy professor Robert Reich and will be held on the steps of Sproul Hall at 8 p.m. Readers may continue to submit their thoughts to [email protected].
What would Mario Savio say about the Occupy movement?
by Nadav Savio
“There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part, you can’t even passively take part; and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop, and you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, the people who own it, that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all.”
Those words from my father’s most famous speech ring in my ears as I watch Occupy unfold. Now is clearly such a time and there are many, many people – perhaps not 99 percent of the country, but more, to be sure, than the many thousands who are actually camping and marching – who are feeling a sense of relief and hope that someone has finally stepped forward to say, “We’ve had enough.” …
Letter to the editor: An appeal to the UC administration
We the undersigned Free Speech Movement (FSM) veterans and historians remind the UC administration that the university’s emergence as a center of free political expression on campus began in 1964 when the Free Speech Movement’s free speech principles were adopted by the UC Berkeley division of the Academic Senate in its historic Dec. 8 resolutions. Those resolutions affirmed the “content of free speech or advocacy should not be restricted by the university.” …
Lost and found: Mario Savio’s reflections
by Robert Cohen
“There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part … and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears … and make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free the machine will be prevented from working at all!” These words, from Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio’s historic speech outside Sproul Hall just before that movement’s culminating sit-in on Dec. 2, 1964, are among the most famous uttered by any campus radical in that decade of student revolt. But while this speech and the mass sit-in it helped inspire at Sproul Hall have been well remembered (and are discussed in many history books), other Savio words from this same critical point in the FSM’s history were lost for decades, and have only come to light this September with the discovery of an important Savio letter. …
Read Mario Savio’s letter from Santa Rita Jail