Robert Reich’s lecture to become part of UC Berkeley strike

UC Berkeley public policy professor and former U. S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich will now hold his Mario Savio Memorial lecture in conjunction with Tuesday’s Open University Strike and Day of Action at 8 p.m.

Occupy Cal protesters reached out to Reich and the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture and Young Activist Award Board of Directors last week to request that the lecture — titled “Class Warfare in America” — be moved from the Pauley Ballroom in the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building out to the steps of Sproul Hall, and both parties agreed.

“Although we recognize that this change of venue may pose a physical hardship for some of the attendees, it was unanimously agreed that we would be violating our mission statement to reject the request,” said Lynne Hollander Savio, widow of Mario Savio, the renowned leader of the free speech movement at UC Berkeley, in a press release.

Reich sees the change in venue as less of a physical hardship and more of a way to open up the event to a wider audience.

“Under the circumstances, the organizers of the annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture thought it would be more appropriate for me to give the lecture outside, and on the steps of Sproul Hall, rather than inside the Pauley Ballroom, where access would be limited, and the students who are involved in the current protest invited me to do so as well,” Reich said in an email.

The Occupy Cal organizers will hold a press conference Monday at 3 p.m. to give details about tomorrow’s Open University Strike and Day of Action, which will include classes being taught outside, a march from Sproul Plaza to Berkeley High School and Berkeley City College, a general assembly and Reich’s lecture.

“We are very pleased to have his support and look forward to the lecture and discussion and encourage all members of the community to attend,” said Zachary Manfredi, an Occupy Cal representative.