Editorial note: This is the conclusion of Mario Savio's memorable speech, before Free Speech Movement demonstrators entered Sproul Hall to begin their sit-in on December 3, 1964. The faculty vote drove UC's governing Board of Regents to declare on Dec. 18 that university rules should follow the U.S. Supreme Court orders on free speech, conceding the FSM's key point. ", Negotiations with the administration failed. "He was an early example of people who put their lives on the line and who were inspired and transformed by the discipline of the civil rights movement," said Taylor Branch, author of "Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63," the Pulitzer Prize-winning study of the civil rights movement. J. Edgar Hoover strode into a closed congressional chamber and delivered a blunt warning to the House Appropriations subcommittee about a threat to national security in the Bay Area. Photo by UPI ALSO RAN: 12/4/97 - 3 CAT, Police arrest protester at UC Berkeley, December 1964. Mario Savio and Suzanne Goldberg were excused from their Alameda County trial for the Sproul Hall sit-in for one day, to be married. Growing up in the '50s, Savio was part of the first generation raised under the threat of nuclear war. But we're a bunch of raw materials that don't mean to be — have any process upon us. Savio was suffering from depression and was politically inactive. What was it. Quoted extensively in the press, including these excerpts from LIFE magazine: On modern education: "The university is a vast public utility which turns out future workers in today's vineyard, the military-industrial complex. The Man Who Stopped the Machine — By Robert Scheer Published November 12, 1996 in the Los Angeles Times. She had been attracted by his brilliance, eloquence and principled stands. The same day, San Francisco agents reported there was still no evidence Savio was connected with or influenced by any subversive group. He had frequently -- and publicly -- associated with Bettina Aptheker during the FSM. That led police to arrest Weinberg. San Francisco agents reported Feb. 15, 1968, that he might not qualify as a Key Activist. In recent interviews, Suzanne Goldberg, now a psychotherapist in Washington, D.C., called the FBI's investigation of her and Savio a waste of money and an invasion of privacy. "We find Mr. Hoover's statements ... patently absurd," they said in a joint statement. Chronicle Staff Photo by John McBride, Jack Kurzweil, Mario Savio, Suzanne Savio, Bettina Apheker Chronicle staff photo by Peter Breinig, Mario Savio tearful during 20th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. When graduate student Jack Weinberg was arrested on December 2, 1964 for distributing political literature on campus, Savio’s speech from Sproul Hall steps (now officially renamed Mario Savio steps) launched the Free Speech Movement (FSM). He points out that. A few weeks after he quit, FBI agents summoned Savio to their Berkeley office. That's what marks us off from the stones and the stars. He graduated from Taxco, Mexico helping to improve the sanitary problems by building facilities in the slums. His words electrified people, who occupied Sproul Hall overnight. Still, the agents promised to remain alert for opportunities to disrupt them. "I've thought a long time about it," he said on the steps where he'd delivered speeches that brought the university to a halt. Savio's 1964 speech represents a sort of turning point for what used to be called the counterculture. he asked himself. He was in a very bad emotional state.". Mario Savio (December 8, 1942 – November 6 1996) was a political activist. Mario Savio's FBI Odyssey / How the man who challenged 'the machine' got caught in the gears and wheels of J. Edgar Hoover's bureau Seth Rosenfeld … Fear Factory "...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. When he arrived at Berkeley he found student life dominated by sororities and fraternities. She was one of 800 arrested on December 2, 1964 at a sit-in at Sproul Hall, Berkeley, following the "Machine Speech" by Mario Savio. When that failed they violated the ban, setting up folding tables and leaflets in front of Sproul Hall. This event is often cited as the sparking … Savio, meanwhile, was having trouble concentrating on his studies at Oxford. For two weeks, the students tried to negotiate with the administration. Here's why. But after four months of investigation, Curtis O. Lynum, the special agent in charge of the San Francisco FBI office, reported, "It is the opinion of this office that subversive participation in the demonstrations did not have any bearing on the measure of success achieved." "I would do it again," he told reporters. After his involvement in the FSM and the dispersal of its members, Savio led a mostly quiet, private life. Both his parents were devout Catholics and, as an altar boy, Savio planned to become a priest. Reconsidering Mario Savio And His Rage Against The Machine. Besides, he recalled, the civil rights protests were starting to become hip and "there was this girl I wanted to impress ...". They planned to stay abroad as long as a year. The university is a vast public utility which turns out future workers in today's vineyard, the military-industrial complex. Hoover implied that the Communist Party USA was manipulating Mario Savio, the Berkeley student who'd become famous for leading the FSM. Mario Savio, a young man the newspapers describe as “slender, 6-foot-1, sloping at the shoulders, clad usually in baggy slacks and a heavy jacket,” stands in front of a throng of UC Berkeley students, delivering what would become one of the most famous speeches of the sixties. The Man Who Stopped the Machine — By Robert Scheer Published November 12, 1996 in the Los Angeles Times. I mean, that's what marks us off. "Mario was very evasive to all questions. https://en.wikiquote.org/w/index.php?title=Mario_Savio&oldid=2600934, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, We have an autocracy which — which runs this university. In September, they boarded a ship, bound for Italy and England. "Communist Party leaders feel that based on what happened on the campus at the University of California at Berkeley, they can exploit similar student demonstrations to their own benefit in the future," Hoover testified on March 4, 1965. His climactic words about "the operation of the machine" have been quoted widely ever since, out of context, as the existential emblem of the FSM. This chrome-plated consumers' paradise would have us grow up to be well-behaved children. It is the thing that marks us as just below the angels. I had to go to Mississippi.". He also checked local phone and utilities companies for new service records. We're human beings! 3) Activities: Leader of Free Speech Movement. They were radicalized in the South and began… MORE "They meant to me that everything needed to be questioned. Chronicle File Photo, 1964, Pickets support FSM at Sather Gate, UC Berkeley. Hoover died in May 1972. Mario Savio's 1964 UC Berkeley Speech on Civil Disobedience In 1964, Mario Savio's passionate speech rang out at UC Berkely, then throughout the air waves of tv and radio. The report suggested Savio was more involved with Communists than previously known. The Church Committee found, however, that Key Activists were chosen not because they were involved in crime but because of their First Amendment activities. As he pondered how to respond, he recalled how he'd urged blacks to risk their lives by registering to vote. The report also said Savio had trouble finding work after his campaign, and was hired only recently as a ship's clerk through the International Longshore & Warehouse Union at San Francisco's Pier 9. In San Francisco, at least four FBI agents investigated Savio. Who was Mario Savio?" Rage Against the Machine. Hoover turned his surveillance machine on Savio: the indexes, dossiers, watch lists and informers; the liaisons with local police and the CIA; the discreet contacts with neighbors, school officials and employers; and, finally, covert action to "disrupt" and "neutralize" him. In a letter to the Daily Californian student newspaper soon after, Savio implied students were becoming too dependent on him. Despite its efforts, the FBI found no sign Savio was involved with any violent or subversive group. She said in a recent interview that any implication that they were lovers was false. The university is well structured, well tooled, to turn out people with all the sharp edges worn off, the well-rounded person. But after students captured a police car on the Berkeley campus a few months later, Hoover ordered his agents to give Savio special attention. Mario Savio's speech at The Sproul Hall Steps on 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. "Good luck and goodbye.". "We looked at him more or less as fomenting various activities which could promote anarchy," he said in an interview. They both needed hair cuts and they were both a mess.". But an important minority of men and women coming to the front today have shown they will die rather than be standardized, replaceable, and irrelevant. Yes, and it's OK to not recognize the name; that was Savio's intention. I only know I had to. https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mariosaviosproulhallsitin.htm But now he charged the university with denying them "even rudimentary demands of due process." "The spirit of 'do good' and 'resist evil' was an important part of my religious upbringing," said Savio. (November 8, 1996) Mario Savio, an incendiary student leader of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley in the 1960s, a movement credited with giving birth to the campus "sit-in" and with being a model for the protests against the Vietnam War, died on Wednesday in Palm Drive Hospital in Sebastopol, Calif. It was called the Reserve Index, and the FBI never told the Department of Justice about it. Chronickle Staff Photo by Joe Rosenthal, Mario Savio and other student protestors march through Sather Gate on the UC Berkeley campus, heading for a meeting of the UC Regents. ", The manager claimed that Savio had confided that he had "personal emotional problems" that stemmed from his childhood. Savio and other students were following the civil rights movement in the South. Many students, including Savio, spent the summer on 1964 down in Mississippi registering black sharecroppers to vote during Freedom Summer. However, the case stalled until President Lyndon Johnson, who had recently signed the The Essential Mario Savio is the perfect introduction to an American icon and to one of the most important social movements of the post-war period in the United States. "I saw [that] present in the civil rights movement, and I wanted to ally myself with that." On March 12, 1965, the San Francisco FBI sent bureau headquarters a secret 33-page report on nearly every aspect of Savio's life: 1) Physical Description: White, Male, age 22, 6'1", 195 pounds, medium build, blue eyes, brown hair, no scars. "There's one thing we'd really like to have as a wedding present," he said. The memo defined them as members of the "New Left" who were "extremely active and most vocal in their statements denouncing the United States and calling for civil disobedience and other forms of unlawful and disruptive acts. " "Things were too difficult here," Suzanne Savio told the Berkeley Barb underground newspaper as they left in early May 1967. The sit-in followed a protest rally during which Mr. Savio told baby boomers they had to change the world. Savio, the altar boy who created the '60s Memorial: After years of quiet brilliance, leader of 1964 Free Speech Movement fought the machine in his final days. FBI headquarters alerted bureau offices in London, Paris and Rome that the Savios were afoot. Martin Luther King Jr. led 250,000 people in a march on Washington and declared, "I Have a Dream." He was particularly concerned because one of the FSM's leaders was Bettina Aptheker, publicly known to be in a Marxist youth group called the W.E.B. ". "Not that things couldn't have happened that way," he said, "but there seemed to be lots of reasons to think maybe they hadn't. He declared at the March 10, 1968, meeting that he was running for state senator from Alameda County on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket, a third- party forerunner of Barry Commoner's Citizens Party and the Green Party. In January 1966, the FBI's London office reported the CIA had found no evidence the couple was involved in "security" matters. By 1974, Savio was living in Venice and teaching at the Mar Vista Alternative School. 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