Mario Savio Spins in His Grave as Berkeley Cancels Ann Coulter's Speech

Though I'm no fan of her politics, I believe most Americans recognize the name of Ann Coulter:

...but I suspect that less than 10% remember Mario Savio:

From September through  December of 1964 Savio and a dozen other students at the University of California at Berkeley organized protests that became known as the Free Speech Movement, insisting that the university administration lift the ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge the students' right to free speech and academic freedom.  

On December 2, between 1,500 and 4,000 students went into Sproul Hall as a last resort in order to re-open negotiations with the administration on the subject of restrictions on political speech and action on campus.  Among other grievances was the fact that four of their leaders were being singled out for punishment. The demonstration was orderly; students studied, watched movies, and sang folk songs. Joan Baez was there to lead in the singing, as well as lend moral support. "Freedom classes" were held by teaching assistants on one floor, and a special Channukah service took place in the main lobby. On the steps of Sproul Hall, Mario Savio gave a famous speech:

... But we're a bunch of raw materials that don't mean to be — have any process upon us. Don't mean to be made into any product! Don't mean — Don't mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We're human beings! ... There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious — makes you so sick at heart — that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part. And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.

At midnight, Alameda County deputy district attorney Edwin Meese III telephoned Governor Edmund Brown, Sr, asking for authority to proceed with a mass arrest. Shortly after 2 a.m. on December 4, 1964, police cordoned off the building, and at 3:30 a.m. began the arrest. Close to 800 students were arrested, most of which were transported by bus to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, about 25 miles away. They were released on their own recognizance after a few hours behind bars. About a month later, the university brought charges against the students who organized the sit-in, resulting in an even larger student protest that all but shut down the university.

After much disturbance, the University officials slowly backed down. By January 3, 1965, the new acting chancellor, Martin Meyerson (who had replaced the resigned Edward Strong), established provisional rules for political activity on the Berkeley campus. He designated the Sproul Hall steps an open discussion area during certain hours of the day and permitting tables. This applied to the entire student political spectrum, not just the liberal elements that drove the Free Speech Movement.

Most outsiders, however, identified the Free Speech Movement as a movement of the Left. Students and others opposed to U.S. foreign policy did indeed increase their visibility on campus following the FSM's initial victory. In the spring of 1965, the FSM was followed by the Vietnam Day Committee, a major starting point for the anti-Vietnam war movement.

In 1966 there was a substantial voter backlash against the individuals involved in the Free Speech Movement. Ronald Reagan won an unexpected victory in the fall of 1966 and was elected Governor of California.  He then directed the UC Board of Regents to dismiss UC President Clark Kerr because of the perception that he had been too soft on the protesters. The FBI had kept a secret file on Kerr. Reagan had gained political traction by campaigning on a platform to "clean up the mess in Berkeley".  The rest has pretty much run through the fabric of protest in contemporary American History.

Now in an ironic twist, UC Berkley officials sent the Berkeley College Republicans a letter Tuesday, canceling an appearance by Anne Coulter because campus police had determined they could not ensure the safety of Coulter, audience members or protesters expected at the event: "We have been unable to find a safe and suitable venue," said the letter from Vice Chancellor Scott Biddy and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Stephen Sutton. "Given current active security threats, it is not possible to assure that the event could be held successfully." - Ann Coulter vows to speak at Berkeley despite cancellation

It's an ironic hundred and eighty degree spin on the Free Speech Movement that must have poor old Mario spinning in his grave.

Views: 314

Comment by Foolish Monkey on April 20, 2017 at 10:16am

The university should hire extra security.  This is absurd. 

Comment by JMac1949 Today on April 20, 2017 at 10:18am

Ben and Claudia, Thanks for reading and commenting.  I believe that the Administration at UC Berkeley is reacting to the Trump riots in the City last Saturday and the BS with Milo Yiannopoulos that went down in February. Still the irony is as thick as the tear gas at People's Park in 1969:

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on April 20, 2017 at 10:26am

If I were going to put limits on free speech, it would be on people advocating violence or people singling out a group to be targeted in a bigoted fashion. 

Huh.  Funny how I've never seen you condemn or advocate putting limits on "free speech" like this that advocates violence and singles people out to be targeted in a bigoted fashion...

"This is a war. It is not a war against terror, and not a war against extremists, and not even a war against the Palestinian Authority. These too are forms of avoiding reality. This is a war between two people. Who is the enemy? The Palestinian people. Why? Ask them, they started...

Behind every terrorist stand dozens of men and women, without whom he could not engage in terrorism. Actors in the war are those who incite in mosques, who write the murderous curricula for schools, who give shelter, who provide vehicles, and all those who honor and give them their moral support. They are all enemy combatants, and their blood shall be on all their heads. Now this also includes the mothers of the martyrs, who send them to hell with flowers and kisses. They should follow their sons, nothing would be more just. They should go, as should the physical homes in which they raised the snakes. Otherwise, more little snakes will be raised there."

Ayelet Shaked, Israeli Minister of Justice

A voluntary reconciliation with the Arabs is out of the question either now or in the future. If you wish to colonize a land in which people are already living, you must provide a garrison for the land, or find some rich man or benefactor who will provide a garrison on your behalf. Or else-or else, give up your colonization, for without an armed force which will render physically impossible any attempt to destroy or prevent this colonization, colonization is impossible, not difficult, not dangerous, but IMPOSSIBLE!… Zionism is a colonization adventure and therefore it stands or falls by the question of armed force. It is important… to speak Hebrew, but, unfortunately, it is even more important to be able to shoot – or else I am through with playing at colonizing.”

~ Vladimir Jabotinsky, founder of Revisionist Zionism (precursor of Likud)

"The removal of Arabs bodily from Palestine is part of the Zionist plan to “spirit the penniless population across the frontier by denying it employment…Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried away discreetly and circumspectly.”

~ Theodore Herzl, founder of the World Zionist Organization

” The present map of Palestine was drawn by the British mandate. The Jewish people have another map which our youth and adults should strive to fulfill — From the Nile to the Euphrates.”

~ Ben Gurion, First Prime minister of Israel

"When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle."

~ Raphael Eitan, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces

" ... we should prepare to go over to the offensive with the aim of smashing Lebanon, Trans-jordan and Syria... The weak point in the Arab coalition is Lebanon [for] the Moslem regime is artificial and easy to undermine. A Christian state should be established... When we smash the [Arab] Legions strength and bomb Amman, we will eliminate Transjordan, too, and then Syria will fall. If Egypt still dares to fight on, we shall bomb Port Said, Alexandria, and Cairo." 

~ Ben Gurion, First Prime minister of Israel

"One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail."

~ Rabbi Yaacov Perrin

I can post a LOT more just as violent and by people "singling out a group to be targeted in a bigoted fashion", but seeing as how I have never seen you say a single word about ANY of the people, I won't bother because I think my point has been made...  "words are cheap", at least until you have to account for them.

(...and please don't tell me that this "isn't on topic" about free speech and who SAYS the are for it if it is the "right people" or that you have written "more about this then just about any other subject" which is total and utter bullshit.)

Comment by JMac1949 Today on April 20, 2017 at 10:31am

FM, I also suspect that the cost of security as well as the bad press associated with enforcing security are the considerations that led to the UC Administration to rescinding the invitation.

Amy, what can I say?

Comment by marilyn sands on April 20, 2017 at 10:46am

I'm with Foolish Monkey.  R&L

Comment by JMac1949 Today on April 20, 2017 at 10:55am

Thanks Marilyn.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 20, 2017 at 10:55am

Hiring add'l security is reasonable; censorship is not. And needless to say, Ms Coulter gets her fee and uses the cancellation to score points w those too ready to abandon the Constitution (as she is). 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 20, 2017 at 11:11am

And when in hell will self-righteous prigs learn, and what further horrors will have to ensue before some on the Left grasp, that freedom, liberty, and Democracy can never be protected by censorship in the flimsy guise of 'safety'? Or perhaps that's not what the censorious of the Left want, or have ever wanted.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 20, 2017 at 11:17am

...and while I'm at it  (perhaps it's the Illy)  to hell with universities giving quarter to trigger-warnings and opt-out readings in Humanities syllabi.

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on April 20, 2017 at 11:21am
We must be altogether done with academia undermining its own the Liberal Arts Core Project.
(Yes; it's the Illy.)


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