Monday, November 28, 2011

OccupyCal Protest Rally at University of California Berkeley Campus, Nov. 15, 2011

General Assembly in front of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley



On Monday evening, November 15, 2011, Chuleenan and I participated in a massive rally and protest sponsored by OccupyCal at Sproul Plaza on the University of California, Berkeley campus in which over 4,000 students and community citizens and activists declared our collective intellectual, spiritual, political and ideological solidarity with the national Occupy Wall Street movement and demanded that the state of California honestly address the crucial issues of the need for real democracy in public education, the exploitive and corrupting influences of the banks and Wall Street on the U.S. economy generally, and the critical political, cultural, and economic relationships between higher education, health care reform, financial regulation, systemic structural investment, and science and technology in a global context. Former Secretary of Labor and currently Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley Robert Reich was the keynote speaker who had been chosen by student groups to give the annual Mario Savio memorial lecture in honor of the great and profound legacy left by the late UC, Berkeley philosophy school graduate and leader of the famed Free Speech Movement in 1964 Mario Savio (1942-1996). Reich gave his inspiring speech on the exact same steps on the Plaza directly in front of Sproul Hall that Savio gave his famous speech in December of 1964 at the height of the extraordinary campus wide Free Speech Movement (see Video of that incredible speech below). BTW: The rally and Reich's speech were terrific. Mario would have been very proud of us...


DECEMBER 2, 1964

"There is 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!"
--Mario Savio, University of California, Berkeley Sproul Hall--December 2, 1964

"Savio's moral clarity, his eloquence, and his democratic style of leadership inspired thousands of fellow Berkeley students to protest university regulations which severely limited political speech and activity on campus. The non-violent campaign culminated in the largest mass arrest in American history, drew widespread faculty support, and resulted in a revision of university rules to permit political speech and organising. This significant advance for student freedom rapidly spread to countless other colleges and universities across the country."

[Via stonecast, see here: