New York University historian Robert Cohen, author of the newly released biography of the late Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio, Freedoms Orator (Oxford), will be among the panelists for a discussion on the movement on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 5-7 p.m. at the Free Speech Movement Café, located in the University of California, Berkeleys Moffitt Library.
The event, which will also include Savios widow, Lynne Hollander Savio, and Pulitzer-Prize-winning UC Berkeley professor emeritus of history Leon Litwack, is bookended by the 45th anniversaries of two events that launched the Free Speech Movement, making UC Berkeley a cornerstone of 1960s activism.
On Oct. 1, 1964, on UC Berkeleys Sproul Plaza, Savio climbed on top of a police car-in socks in order to prevent marring the vehicle-to protest the arrest of a demonstrator on the Berkeley campus. Students had been resisting the universitys attempts to ban political advocacy on campus.
On Dec. 2, 1964, Savio and others organized a Sproul Plaza demonstration against university administration policies on speech. The event drew 6,000 students, resulted in mass arrests, and was highlighted by Savios iconic seven-minute address against the university machine that had become so odious. It may be viewed on YouTube.
With these efforts, Savio did more than anyone to ma
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