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HUAC: MAY 1960

The events; the aftermath

The Events of May 1960
The Immediate Aftermath
Later Action and Reaction
The Daily Californian Staff Resigns
SLATE Loses Its "On-Campus" Status


       The college administrator should be a man who defends the absolute right of his students to freely discuss and criticize any idea or issue. Instead, many presidents have become glorified press agents whose sole concern is selling their college and influencing a favorable public reaction to it . . .

       If Cal succeeds in muzzling the students' governing body, next will come the newspaper and then the students . . .

                     San Francisco Progress, May 16, 1960

       This report discusses the consequences for student political activity at the University of California, Berkeley, of the hearings conducted by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in San Francisco May 12-14, 1960.

       We are particularly concerned with the response of the University Administration to the pressures by the so-called riot of May, 1960. Despite the large body of literature available on HUAC, the film Operation Abolition, and the demonstrations themselves, it will be necessary to sketch the events briefly. It is our contention that the public attitude of neutrality displayed by the University Administration was fraudulent. The Administration's public statements, in which they claim respect for students' rights while avoiding criticism of any government agency, were combined with covert attacks upon basic students' rights. Many of these attacks will be covered in other reports, but this report will try to show how they relate to the San Francisco HUAC hearings of 1960.

       It must be kept in mind that HUAC has always faced significant opposition in California. Congressman James Roosevelt, in a speech on the House Floor less than one month before the San Francisco hearings, described HUAC's previous activities in California and the opposition which these activities engendered:

       We let the Committee do even worse things in California last year; it was one of the most shameful episodes in the history of this House. The Committee had subpoened 110 public school teachers in early June 1959. Most of the subpoenas were served on the teachers at school at 9 o'clock in the morning of June 5 . . . .On August 21 the Committee announced that the hearings resulted in the unprecedented public censure of the Committee . . . .

       Whereupon the committee proceeded once again to defy both due process and common decency. It had its investigator Wheeler send copies of the files directly to officials of the counties in which the subpoened teachers were employed . . .

       As a result of the Committee's action 4 public school teachers, out of a total of 111,500 have ceased teaching in the State . . .

       But while the Committee's California operations produced so few actual casualties in the schools,more than 100 teachers have been in emotional turmoil for 10 months . . . The cost to the school system is incalculable . . . .the overwhelming majority of the teachers subpoened are on probationary status with their contracts up for renewal in May. Despite the Committee's retreat some of these may be quietly eased out of the teaching profession by the simple expedient of not renewing their contracts . . . .

       It may surprise you to know that in the entire annual report for the year 1959 there is nary a word mentioned about the postponed hearings on the State of California teaching profession. Nothing is said about the fact that the Communist operation among teachers in California is so extensive and malignant that additional investigative work must be done. No; nothing at all . . .

       We have quoted this speech to indicate the legitimate depth of feeling shared by students, teachers, professors, community and church leaders in the Bay Area, towards this House Investigating Committee. This opposition to the Committee's tactics and goals was described by the California State Senate Un-American Activities Committee as "an unreasoning hatred toward the House Committee (brought about by) a steady barrage of insidious and extremely clever propaganda." It is also quoted to suggest that any view which calls the issue of the House Committee "off-campus" may be myopic, since one of the Committee's major targets has been California's educational institutions.

HUAC: The Events of May 1960

       When the Committee announced that it was going to hold hearings in 1960, numerous groups joined the San Francisco Chronicle in condemning the Committee's reappearance, including 165 professors at San Francisco State College, faculty members from Stanford University and San Jose State College, the San Francisco Labor Council, the American Civil Liberties Union, the State Federation of Teachers, Local 6 ILWU, the First Unitarian Church of San Jose, the Berkeley YWCA, the East Bay Jewish Community Center, the Associated Students of Social Welfare at UC, the National Lawyers Guild, and 300 UC professors.

       Naturally enough, since the issue involved them directly (over 25% of the subpoened witnesses were teachers, and a UC student had also been subpoened), students were in the forefront of the protest movement. According to Carl Werthman, in an article for New University Thought, the leadership for the UC student protest emerged from the following four groups of individuals:

(1). Former leaders of the inactive Student Civil Liberties Union (SCLU), an affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union.

(2). SLATE, an on-campus political party at that time.

(3). The Young Peoples Socialist League.

(4). Unorganized graduate students, who had been politically inactive during the McCarthy era.

All of these groups had a profound commitment to civil liberties before the Committee came to San Francisco.

       About two weeks before the hearings began, Aryay Lenske, chairman of SLATE, and Gene Savin, former chairman of the then-inactive SCLU, called a meeting for those interested in protesting against HUAC. Approximately fifty people turned out at this first meeting, and they decided to form an ad hoc committee called Students for Civil Liberties (SCL) and to begin circulating a petition calling for the abolition of HUAC. This petition received 2,000 student signatures within four days. At the next meeting, the Students for Civil Liberties decided to hold a rally in San Francisco's Union Square and organize a picket line, both to coincide with the opening of the Committee's hearings.

       After the rally some people went to City Hall and waited to get into the hearings (which were being held in the Board of Supervisors' room), while others joined the picket line of about 700 persons in front of the City Hall. It must be emphasized that the picket line outside, and not the demonstrators inside the City Hall, was the organized and intended vehicle for student protest. It was organized by the Students for Civil Liberties, planned well in advance, and was well monitored, orderly, and peaceful from beginning to end.

       Those students who did attempt to get into the hearings Thursday afternoon were ignored in favor of people carrying white passes issued by HUAC. The Committee investigator Wheller (the man who gave HUAC's files to the California school boards) said, "there were about 150 passes. I issued them to individuals--to keep the Commies from stacking the meeting. We wanted some decent people in there." It should be noted that the number of passes is misleading; each pass admitted up to five people. (The hearing room held around 200 persons.) On Thursday afternoon, there was disorder inside the hearing room, and witness Archie Brown was ejected. This got the big headlines for the day, and the rally and demonstration outside was pushed off the front pages.

       Originally, the students had not planned any protests for Friday. Midterms were coming up, Thursday had been a tiring day, and HUAC was planning hearings on Saturday, and leaders hoped for a big turnout then. The disorder inside the hearing room on Thursday, however, made it necessary for leaders to call another orderly demonstration, because 1) they were denied the publicity they had been seeking and 2) they had to be present to make sure that students who were there could be controlled. Leaflets again asserting the passive, non-violent approach were handed out to the participants.

       Once again the white card system of admissions to the hearings was a sore point, and the situation became explosive on Friday morning when white card holders were admitted before students who had been in line for hours. Student leaders, anxious to preserve order, met with Sheriff Carberry, who said that he would ask the Committee to reconsider its white card policy and admit everyone on a first-come, first-served basis in the afternoon. The sheriff also promised to be on the scene all day. However, the actual events of Friday afternoon turned out quite differently;

       Radio reporter Fred Haines describes those events below:

       The "Friends of the Committee" gathered just to the right of this line (the line of students who had been waiting for several hours) . . . As I watched, (Police Inspector Michael) McGuire opened a way through the center barricade and began to admit the white card holders one at a time; for a moment the waiting crowd paused, and then an angry roar went up. Those in the rear, who were halfway down the stairs and couldn't see what was going on began to edge forward and in the resulting crush began to press the flimsy saw-horse barricade toward me and the police officers who leaped forward to hold it. Angry cries of "Hold it! Stop pushing!" came from those in front; the barricade held and the police pushed it back to its original position . . .

       The Barricade back and the crowd quiet, McGuire suddenly noticed that the white card holders, who were still filing through, included in their number some students--he lunged forward and grabbed one of them roughly. The student wrenched himself free, shouting angrily, "I've got a white card!" McGuire taken aback, let go and seized another by the lapels of his jacket--the young man thrust a 35mm camera in McGuire's face and tripped the shutter. Again McGuire let go, and several students managed to slip into the Chambers.

        . . . Already the singing was beginning again . . . There was only one last move; the picket monitors and others began passing the word to sit down on the floor . . .

       Four or five minutes had passed since the doors were closed on the expectant crowd, and the crisis was safely over. I supposed that the police might begin wholesale arrests shortly, but the possible eruption of violence had been neatly averted, with the vast majority of the crowd safely self-immobilized on the floor . . .

       Moments later, an attorney who was representing two of the witnesses made his way across the rotunda and arrived behind the barricades just in time to see McGuire opening one of the hydrants. He ran over to the officer shouting, "You can't do this to these kids." McGuire shrugged him off. An officer behind the center barricade picked up the nozzle of one of the fire hoses which had been unrolled from the floor and pointed it at several students sitting just beyond the barricade. "You want some of this?" he shouted. "Well you're going to get it." One of the young men waved at him and kept on singing. A trickle dripped from the nozzle, a spurt, bubbly with air--and then the hose stiffened with the full pressure of the water, which blasted into the group of seated demonstrators.

       The rotunda seemed to erupt. The singing broke up into one gigantic horrified scream. People fled past me as I ran forward, trying to see what was going on; a huge sheet of spray, glancing off one granite pillar, flashed through the air in front of me, and I retreated . . . .

       For the first time I had a moment to think, to take stock of the situation . . . .during the past few minutes they'd dumped thousands of gallons of water inside a public building, causing several thousand dollars worth of damage (not counting whatever human injury there had been). And they had accomplished nothing. Perhaps 50 people of the 200 had fled . . . now they had 150 people wet, angry, and injured, most of whom were rooted to the spot and determined to make as much noise as ever before. (quoted in Student, see ref.)

       Police violence during the "riot", which resulted in the arrest of 68 persons, has been well documented in many articles, (See for example: the May 14, 1960 article in the San Francisco Chronicle.)

       The next day, partly as a response to the brutality demonstrated by the police on the previous day, and partly as a continued expression of opposition to the Committee itself, between 1500 and 2000 persons picketed the last session of the Committee's hearings. Besides the picket line, about 3500 predominantly anti-Committee spectators massed outside the building.

       Community response to the demonstrations--that is, to the events of Friday afternoon--were, of course, negative and indignant, as reflected in the editorials of the San Francisco papers. However, as evidence of police brutality mounted, the charges against all but one of the demonstrators were soon dropped. That one demonstrator, Robert Meisenbach, who was charged with beating a police officer (and was alleged by the Committee to have started the "riot" by jumping over the police barricade), was tried almost a year later; he was acquitted of the charges against him. The decision by the jury and the testimony of witnesses in the trial itself, substantially disproved the Committee's charges of student violence and other inaccuracies reported by the Committee and the Press following the May 14 "riot". As the San Jose Mercury editorialized a few days after the trial:

Unless the House Committee wishes to attack the integrity of the court or the jury that heard the Meisenbach case, it stands convicted of a grievous misstatement of fact regarding the manner in which the riot got under way. Such lack of regard for accuracy can only result in a further diminution of public confidence in the Committee.

       The response of the House Committee on Un-American Activities to the events of the demonstration was quite in line with the tactics and beliefs of its members: it labelled the demonstrations "Communist inspired", the students as Communist dupes, and proceeded to produce the now famed film, Operation Abolition, which proported to give the facts about the events in San Francisco. This film, shown throughout the country, was filled with inaccuracies and distortion of facts, as eye-witnesses have testified; it was a piece of propaganda used by the Committee to justify its own existence. The Hoover Report titled Communist Target--Youth, which appeared on July 18, 1960 about a month before Operation Abolition was released, contained the same inaccuracies as appear in the film and seemed also to be a propaganda production of the Committee, since it was not an official FBI report and since it also bears the name of HUAC. According to David Horowitz, in Student, the information in the Hoover Report "was drawn entirely from police reports . . . which were totally discredited at the Meisenbach trial in the spring. Moreover, as William Sullivan, an investigator for the FBI, admitted on campus on November 28, 1960, not a single student was interviewed in the preparation of this report."

       We are, of course, most interested in the response of the University community to the 1960 HUAC demonstrations. The student, faculty, and administration action and reaction stemming from these events extends over a long period of time and involves a large number of people. Therefore, a rather lengthy discussion of these repercussions follow.

HUAC: The Aftermath

       The repercussions of the demonstration for the University community were many and diverse. For organizational purposes, we will divide these repercussions into the following categories: 1) Immediate action and reaction--administration, faculty, students; 2) Specific action and reaction--the cases of individual students; 3) Later action and reaction--students, faculty, and administration.

1) Immediate Action and Reaction.

       In response to the events of May 13 and the attacks upon the University and its students resulting therefrom, students quickly organized and prepared themselves to meet the HUAC controversy head on. It must be said that in general the HUAC "riots" helped generate and revive student organizations throughout the State. TASK at San Jose State and SCOPE at San Francisco State were given shots in the arm by the revival of interest generated by the police riot and the film Operation Abolition. At our campus, two groups took upon themselves the responsibility of meeting the Committee's charges against the students and disseminating the facts of the HUAC demonstration. The first group, formed shortly after the demonstrations, was an organization known as BASCAHUAC (Bay Area Student Committee for the Abolition of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee), formed to combat the Committee in general and the film Operation Abolition in particular. Under the leadership of Burton White, Irving Hall, and others, BASCAHUAC printed and sold numerous pamphlets concerning HUAC and the riots. The second group which became a spokesman for student protest against the Committee and its film was the already existing student organization SLATE. Besides printing leaflets and organizing meetings and rallies protesting the Committee and clarifying the events of May 13, SLATE took it upon itself to distribute a record, titled Sounds of Protest, produced by student Gerry Gray, which tried to present a factual account of the May 13 "riot" as a retort to the Committee's film, Operation Abolition. This record was advertised and sold through such national magazines as the Nation, and was one of the major factors in SLATE's change of status by the administration a year after the riots (June, 1961). This later repercussion of the HUAC demonstration (SLATE becoming off-campus) will be discussed in detail in Section (3). Immediate student sentiment was also expressed in editorials and letters in the Daily Californian, in which students showed general disgust for the police action and sympathy with the student demonstrators.

       The faculty at Cal, and professors and teachers at other Bay Area schools, also expressed concern for student demonstrators and dismay with the police involved in the May 13 incident. As reported in the Daily Californian on May 18, UC faculty members formed an advisory committee of Bay Area college faculty members to advise students involved in the protest, to ascertain the facts surrounding the "riot", and to raise funds for the defense of the arrested students. Among those faculty members involved were UC professors Phillip Selznick, Sociology, Henry Nash Smith, English, Kenneth Stampp, History, and Lewis Feuer, Philosophy. On May 19, the Daily Californian reported that the California State Federation of Teachers passed a resolution praising the demonstrators and condemning police action, and said that they would raise funds for the defense of the arrested students. 84 professors from Stanford University sent a petition to the Mayor of San Francisco, stating: "The evidence drives us to conclude that the police acted with unwarranted brutality . . . .Our understanding of the evidence also leads us to declare that, contrary to a wide misinterpretation in the press, the demonstration was for the most part a responsible protest by mature college students against what they deeply felt to be the committee's intolerable infringement on civil freedom."

       The administration's attitude immediately following the demonstrations was one of apparent neutrality. Clark Kerr and Glen Seaborg's public statement after the "riot" stated that the students went there as private individuals or as members of voluntary organizations. They were not in any way representing the University or the student association. Their actions as individuals off-campus on non-University matters are outside the sphere of the University (S.F. Examiner, May 16). While apparently neutral (i.e. this issue does not involve the University; the students acted as individuals on an off-campus issue), the University administration also conceived of itself as having the right to act in this off-campus matter, that is, to punish the students on-campus for their off-campus activities. In the same article in the Examiner on May 16, it is stated: "A UC spokesman said the Cal students among those arrested could be disciplined but that any such action would have to await the police report." What the administration is saying is really quite incredible: they have the power, if they see fit--and depending upon police reports (very reliable sources)--to punish their students on campus for legal, constitutionally protected off-campus activities. What the University would have done if the charges hadn't been dropped against all but one of the arrested students is wholly a matter of conjecture. What is clear, however, is that the Administration would not have felt that they were unable to punish students for "their actions as individuals off-campus." It must be pointed out that the administration at no time issued a statement supporting the student demonstrators or criticizing the violence of the police or the tactics and goals of the Committee.

2) Specific action and Reaction--Individual Students under Attack.

       As a result of their participation in the demonstration against HUAC in May 1960, several University students came under special attack. Three foreign students were denied extensions of their visas: Mary McIntosh, Christopher Bacon, and John Johnston. The first two had been arrested, Johnson had not, but it must be remembered that all charges against the arrested students were dropped (except in Meisenbach's case) and that no one was convicted of any crime. The administration remained neutral on all three matters. The Johnston case aroused the most furor in the University and in the larger community, because he needed only six months to complete his doctoral thesis in physics. Students organized a petition campaign to have Johnston's visa renewed. The National Students Association passed a resolution urging the Immigration and Naturalization Service to reconsider its decision. According to David Horowitz, in Student, 500 graduate and undergraduate students attended a meeting at which this resolution was read. As a result of community criticism, the immigration Service revised its decision in the Johnston case and extended his visa for six months. However, the other two foreign students were not allowed to remain in this country.

       A second case of individual harassment of a student demonstrator was that of Jane O'Grady. Miss O'Grady was a graduate student in sociology and had received a Coro Foundation internship for the year following her participation in the HUAC demonstrations, during which she was arrested. In the fall of 1960, the Coro Foundation withdrew its grant to Miss O'Grady saying that it had taken such action to maintain "a free flow of communication" within the Coro Foundation. It added that the Coro Foundation must "abstain from any political participation and to diligently keep clear of all controversial matters." Of course, the elimination of Miss O'Grady by the Coro Foundation proved to be one of the biggest controversies in the aftermath of the hearings. The San Francisco Labor Council sent a CORO public service award which it had received back to the Coro Foundation with the notation "unwanted" on it. The next year the Berkeley Chapter of the American Association of University Professors threatened to withdraw its support of the Coro Foundation unless a $2500 Coro internship was restored to Jane O'Grady. (Reported in the Chronicle, June 1, 1961). The UC students again expressed their protest through petition. Furthermore, a motion was introduced in the Executive Committee of the ASUC criticizing the Coro Foundation for its actions. It is in this incident that one again sees the administration's policy of "neutrality" in action. The administration s representative to Ex Comm advised Ex Comm that action on the O'Grady case would be illegal, since the issue was off-campus (the Coro Foundation was off-campus). However, the administration failed to notice that Miss O'Grady was indeed an on-campus issue--she was a student at the University. Be that as it may, the Ex Comm took the administration's advice and failed to pass the resolution.

3). Later Action and Reaction.

       In this section we will describe incidents in which the true character of the administration's neutrality is revealed. All three incidents reported here in some way involve repressions of civil liberties by the administration. All imply the administration's sensitivity to political pressures, a sensitivity which allows them (or forces them) to act in nonlibertarian ways. All three reflect the inconsistency of the administration's off-campus/on-campus dichotomy, for they show that while the administration may be firm in preventing students or faculty members from acting on what the administration defines as off-campus issues, the administration itself will respond to off-campus pressures in making policy for the entire University community.

       The first incident involves a U.C. professor of philosophy, John R. Searle. Late in the fall semester of 1960-61, Professor Searle was invited by the Law Students Association to speak at Boalt Hall after the showing of the Committee s film, Operation Abolition. According to Professor Searle, the film was to be shown on a Friday at around 12:30 P.M.

At about 11:30 I received a telephone call from (a Law Professor) with the following information: Professor Keeler of the Law School and Vice Chancellor Kragen had forbidden my speech in Boalt Hall. The meeting, they said, was in violation of the Kerr Directives, because seven days notice is required for such a meeting and no such notice had been given. However, the authorities were prepared to waive the requirements of the Kerr directives provided that either (a) the film be shown by itself without any speaker afterwards, or (b) another speaker be brought in to oppose my speech on the film. But under no conditions was I to be allowed to speak unchallenged about the film. The reason for this, I was told, was the speech was controversial, and a controversial speech required a speech on the opposite side.

As Professor Searle points out, the assumption by those adminstrators involved in the decision was "that the film itself was not controversial but was a neutral document over which controveray might range", hence the possibility of showing the film by itself. Given the ruling by the administration, Professor Searle and the Law Students Association could 1) show the film without a speaker, 2) show the film to a large group, and then allow Professor Searle to speak in a professor's class (a professor can invite a speaker to his class without getting anybody's approval), 3) Cancel both film and speech, 4) show the film in Boalt Hall and have Professor Searle speak somewhere off-campus afterward. The latter was the course taken; Professor Searle spoke in a fraternity house across the street from Boalt Hall.

       This incident raises the following questions and problems:

       1). Why was it not in violation of the seven day rule to hold a debate on the film, while it was in violation of that rule to have Professor Searle speak alone? It will be recalled that one of the alternatives offered by the administration was to show the film and have a debate -- without seven days notice being required in that case.

       2). Why was permission granted to show the film without any speaker? The administration's answer to this question was that the showing of the film was to be part of a law class. This was not true; although originally scheduled for a law class, interest in the film was so great that the Law Students Association instead sponsored the film and advertised as open to the public. About 150-200 persons attended the film. Professor Searle's speech was advertised, along with the film, as open to the public, since it was to be a part of the same program as the film showing.

       3). The third question was raised by Professor Searle, and we quote him:

What right do administrative officers have to forbid faculty members to address student groups, and what was the nature of this administrative act in this case? University Regulation No. 17 . . . states "Applications for permission to hold special meetings or events must be filed at least a week in advance." . . . It is not stated explicitly that the rule applies to speeches given by members of the University faculty as well as off-campus speakers, and it would be interesting to know if it has been invoked against a faculty member. There is, it seems to me, some reason for supposing that the invocation of the rule in the present case was somewhat unusual. First, because apparently an agreement was made to waive the rule provided certain conditions were met. There are no conditions or procedures for waiver stated in the rule. Second, the Law Students Association is not in the habit of complying with the rule (so I was told) and it is not usually invoked against them (I was told this, I have no way of knowing if it is true or false). Third, at least one student group, the Graduate Philosophy Club, never complies with this rule and it is never invoked against them. In fact a recent meeting of the Philosophy Club addressed by Professor Mates was a violation of Regulation 17 on no less than three counts . . . No one seemed to mind too much. Fourth, the film was shown to the radiation laboratory with a speaker who spoke in favor of the film. They obtained no administrative permission and as far as I know no action was taken against them for their failure to do so. All of these considerations raised the following question in my mind: Was the rule invoked as a technicality to facilitate the silencing of a view considered uncongenial? (Emphasis added)

       4). The last series of questions were also raised by Professor Searle, and again we wish to quote him:

What is the attitude, if any, of the University toward my making public criticism of this film? The film is implicitly at least a smear on this university and its students, and audiences I have encountered regard it as such. I construe myself in giving these talks as defending the University . . . Yet in the Law School affair the attitude of at least some officials appeared to be that the film was noncontroversial, but that to oppose it, i.e. to advance the view that our students are not Communist dupes, is highly controversial and requires rebuttal. (Emphasis added).

       The actions by the University in this case make highly questionable the earlier pose of neutrality taken by the administration on the HUAC demonstrations. In this case the University acted to repress a critic of the Committee's film (a film which does indeed attack certain University students) on technical grounds, which, as Professor Searle points out, are extremely dubious.

The Resignation of the Daily Californian Staff

       A second repercussion of the HUAC demonstrations was the resignation of the Daily Californian Staff on October 24, 1960. The link between the DC/s staff resignation and the HUAC demonstration is established in the S.F. News-Call Bulletin article on October 24, 1960.

A long standing hassle over politics--dating back to the student riots at City Hall last spring--blew up today with the mass resignation of the staffs of the University of California's Daily Californian and Four other student publications . . . .

       The mass resignation was touched off when the student executive board voted to change its bylaws to provide for appointment of a "campus at large" member to one of the top 10 positions on the daily's staff.

       Silver (the D.C. editor) and his fellows called this "ridiculous and odious" and "incompatible with the best interests of the university community." . . .

       It (the row) flared last spring when the paper urged students to demonstrate against the House Un-American Activities committee at its City Hall hearing--a demonstration which turned into a wild riot.

       Again this semester, the paper took unprecedented action and endorsed the candidacy of Mike Tigar for the post of student representative at large.

       The bylaws permit political indorsements by the paper when seven of the top ten editors agree--but the privilege had never before been exercised.

       The Ex Com members feelings were lacerated by the fact that the paper's candidate, Mike Tigar, was the candidate of SLATE . . .

       When the executive committee voted the change in the bylaws last night, the Daily Cal staff was followed out in the resignation parade by editors of the Pelican, humor magazine; Blue and Gold, the yearbook; Occident, the literary publication, and the California Engineer.

       Traditionally the Daily Cal editors have been chosen by the editors of the previous year.

       Candidates work their way up through the ranks . . . .

       Until now, however, it (the ASUC executive board) has not interfered with the staff's editorial appointment procedure granting its approval of whatever names were submitted.

       Dan Silver, the resigning editor of the Daily Cal, was the assistant editor who wrote the editorials attacking HUAC in May of 1960; he was also the assistant editor who wrote anti-Communist editorials during the spring 1960 term. However, when he was appointed Chief editor at the end of the spring 1960 semester, after the Daily Cal had been under attack by members of the Committee and others for being a leftist or "pink sheet," the Executive Committee considered a motion to review the appointments of the top four editors; after a long debate, the motion was defeated. In the fall semester, however the student government found a way to "legally" remove the editors of the Daily Cal.

       Since the subject of the Daily Cal resignations is covered extensively in another appendix. we shall not give here a detailed analysis of the events surrounding the strike, except to point out that 1) the action of the Ex Com was an attempt to silence a political viewpoint, not an attempt to enforce existing regulations, since the Daily Cal had the right to endorse candidates; 2) the political viewpoint which the Ex Com attacked definitely included anti-HUAC sentiment, and such sentiment had been heavily criticized by individuals outside the University community for being "Communist inspired" and "pinko" (see, for example, the Committee's film, Operation Abolition); and 3) there is good evidence that the administration supported the actions of Ex Com to change the Daily Cal bylaws and wanted more direct control of the political opinions expressed by the DC staff (for documentation, see the Appendix on the Daily Cal Strike.)

SLATE Loses Its "On-Campus" Status

       A third repercussion, occurring about a year after the "riot" and revealing the non-neutrality of the administration on the HUAC controversy, was the change of SLATE's status from on-campus to off-campus. Since the events leading up to Slate's change of status are complex and somewhat confusing, we shall try to outline clearly these events in order to develop the connection between the HUAC demonstration and the administration's action on SLATE, and will attempt to explain why such a connection could exist.

       1) It must be kept in mind that SLATE was the major permanent on-campus student organization which organized the HUAC demonstration; It was a major center of all political activity on campus during the year preceding and following the "riot", as the State Committee on Un-American Activities points out in their 1961 report. Furthermore, SLATE distributed the record, Sounds of Protest, produced as a rebuttal to the Committee's film Operation Abolition and advertised throughout the country. This record is indirectly involved with the events leading to SLATE's exit as an on-campus group, as will be documented later. In sum, SLATE was probably the most vocal and active on-campus critic of the Committee, and was a leader in almost all political activities on campus.

       2) As mentioned above, SLATE was the distributor of the record Sounds of Protest, with production and ownership of the business in the hands of individual students. As a matter of policy, the UC administration was notified of this arrangement and an advance copy of the record was submitted to one of the deans for auditing. The university apparently had no questions of especial substance about the record, but before Christmas vacation in 1960 a summons came requesting that one of the producers see Vice Chancellor Kragen concerning the proposed advertisement of the record. At this point no advertisements had yet appeared, but copy for them had been made and the university notified of its content. For purposes of identification, the advertisement explained that the distributor, SLATE, was an officially recognized student political party at the University of California, Berkeley. The following is an account by Gerry Gray, producer of the record, of his meeting with Vice Chancellor Kragen in December, 1960:

Though I did not see any other way of identifying SLATE (than as it is above), I had wondered about a possible legal question arising in this area. My attorney, however, advised me that in his opinion such identification was within the law. It was well that I had checked this particular point with my lawyer, for the first line of argument taken with me (by Vice Chancellor Kragen) was that the proposed mention of the University's name was in violation of the law. I replied that I had a contrary legal opinion and that I thought, therefore, that the issue had at least not been settled by law. The legal line of argument ceased there and I was next told that the administration would prefer that I not proceed with sale of the record because any further connection of the University with the demonstrations could seriously affect its possibilities for getting funds, including government money, and because such connection would also affect the University's image with prospective U.C. students in other parts of the country. The reliance on this argument, rather than the legal one, seemed to indicate, although it did not prove, that the legal question was open, or at least that the University did not wish to resolve the problem through legal means. Unless I had first sought legal advice on the legal question, this second argument used by the Vice Chancellor, which seemed to tell a great deal, might not have arisen. (Emphasis added).

       This account is important because it shows that the first complaint registered by the administration about SLATE's identification was directly related to SLATE's sponsorship of the record Sounds of Protest, a rebuttal to the Committee's film, Operation Abolition; it is even more important because it reveals the administration's motivations in wishing SLATE not to identify itself as an on-campus political party: the university could not get funds, or would receive a bad image if it were in any way connected with the HUAC demonstrations.

       3). On March 22, 1961, one day before SLATE sponsored Frank Wilkinson to speak on campus, President of the State Senate Hugh Burns predicted the loss of campus rights for SLATE. "Eventually," he said in the Daily Cal., "SLATE will be exposed for what it is-- and I think that there is a possibility that they will lose their campus group rights." Assemblyman Don Mulford said on the same day: "I think they (SLATE) have outlived their usefulness--if they ever had any. . . . I have reason to believe that the university will look into SLATE." These statements are most remarkable in that 1) SLATE was indeed soon "exposed for what it is"--by Senator Burns himself in the Burns Un-American Activities Committee Report of 1961, to be discussed below, and 2) the University shortly carried out the predictions of these political figures.

       4). On March 30, 1961, SLATE was notified by Dean Shepard that its identification as a student political party in the advertisement for the HUAC record was in violation of its agreement with the University in 1958 specifically not to so describe itself if it was to obtain the status "officially recognized" student organization. Such a status permitted SLATE to hold meetings on campus, etc. While it is true that describing itself as a political party was a violation of its original agreement with the University, many people questioned the motives behind the administration's letter of March 30, since after 1958 SLATE had gradually slipped into the habit of describing itself as a student political party without the administration once calling the original agreement to its attention or once chastizing the student newspaper for so identifying SLATE. In fact, Dean Shepard himself admits this fact in his letter of March 30 to SLATE when he said, "During the past three years, such terminology has been increasingly used by yourself and by others to describe your organization." (Emphasis added) In his letter, Shepard warned that SLATE "must abide by the original terms of recognition and refrain from identifying itself as `a student political party'," particularly in the advertisement of the record Sounds of Protest. At this point no threat to throw SLATE off-campus was made.

       5). On May 11, 1961, Mike Myerson, then chairman SLATE, was called into Dean Shepard's office to discuss a leaflet which used the phrase "campus political party. At this time, Myerson apologized and explained that the leaflet had been written by someone who had no known about the March 30th letter, an explanation which Shepard said in a letter, later, he was willing to accept as reasonable. Shepard then told Myerson that SLATE was not to use the term "political party" again. This Myerson promised to do.

       6). According to the S.F. Chronicle (June 13, 1961) the university was given a copy of the State Un-American Activities Committee 1961 Report--hereafter referred to as the Burns Report in honor of its chairman Hugh Burns--on Thursday, June 8, 1961. This report, released to the public on June 13, 1961, called SLATE the perpetrator of communist propaganda, and the leader in the HUAC demonstrations. Most of the report, in fact, was an "expose" of SLATE's "subversive activities". The report also attacked University President Kerr, stating that he had opened the campus gates to "communists, faculty members, students, and anyone else who cares to utilize the university property as a brawling ground for political controversy."

       7). On June 9, 1961 Dean Shepard sent a letter to Mike Myerson informing him that henceforth SLATE "may in no way identify itself with the University nor use any of its facilities, including those under the supervision of the Associated Students." It is extremely important to note why, according to the administration, SLATE's status was changed. It will be recalled that Dean Shepard had warned on May 11 that SLATE was not to identify itself as an on-campus political party again. After May 11, SLATE did not violate the administrations ruling on identification. Rather, the violation which the administration cited was the signing of a telegram to Ohio State (about Frank Wilkinson) sent by SLATE on April 17, 1961. According to Dean Shepard in his letter, he had not been aware of the telegram on May 11, but was now using it as evidence of a SLATE violation "which occurred after due warning." But there had been no SLATE violation after May 11th, and it should be remembered that before April 17 SLATE had received only one official notification of its violation of University policy in which warning was directed primarily at the advertisement for the record. Perhaps this is Shepard's definition of "due warning"; his actions, however, fit the definition of ex post facto, and seem to be a violation of due process, since SLATE was permanently dropped from on-campus status without a hearing. If there had, in fact, been a hearing, Myerson would have testified that he had neither seen nor approved the phrase "campus political party" attached to his name on the telegram of April 17.

       8). On June 13, 1961 the Burns Report was released to the public. The headline in the Chronicle was "U. C. Under Fire In State Senate's Subversive Study." In its article, the Chronicle said that the Burns Report "made it clear that the Committee favors a clampdown on the campus activities of students and teachers, closer control of the campus newspaper, and a ban on campus talks by communists." Later in the article, the Chronicle noted that "University officials announced Saturday that SLATE had been suspended for `identifying itself as a political party' in violation of campus regulations. They made no reference to the Senate Committee Report." In another article on the same day, titled "Timing of Ban on SLATE Argued", the Chronicle reports:

University of California officials denied yesterday that a lengthy adverse report on Slate by a State Senate Sub-committee had anything to do with their kicking the controversial group off campus. The report by the Senate a Fact Finding Sub-committee on Un-American Activities is being released to the public today, but it was given to the news media--and to the university--last Thursday.

       The article stated that the University insists its decision to make SLATE off-campus was made on June 6 -- two days before it received the Burns Report. The article went on to say that when Dean Shepard was asked what would have happened to SLATE if its members had continued their political activities but obeyed the order not to call themselves a political party, he declined to comment. The article concludes by stating:

Indeed, the prevailing attitude of the University's officials seemed to be a hope that any further furor over the organization famed for its ability to arouse furor, would vanish with the end of the semester. (Emphasis added).

       To what conclusion does this chain of events lead? It seems to us that the evidence is too convincing to allow us to accept the administration's interpretation of their own action. The technical grounds for SLATE's removal from on-campus status are too weak, the manner in which they were applied too arbitrary and too questionable, to allow us to conclude that the University was only enforcing regulations and was acting solely as a neutral bureaucracy. The "coincidental" timing of the statements by Burns and Mulford (March 22) and the first letter sent to SLATE (March 30), the release of the Burns Report to the University (June 8) and the change in SLATE's status (June 9) because of a violation in the past, argue that the University's action against SLATE was the administration's response to intensive political pressure exerted upon them. Even if the Administration's claim is true -- i.e. that their decision to revoke SLATE's status was made on June 6 before they received the Burns Report -- still the University was well aware that they were under heavy attack by certain political groups because of student political activity on campus. And the center of student political activity had been Slate. The statements by Burns and Mulford, the protest by certain individuals and groups against Wilkinson's right to speak on campus, the Committee/s films and statements, the Hoover Report, and the influence that these documents had on people throughout the nation -- all these created an adverse image of the University with which the administration could not be pleased, especially when it sought government subsidies.

       We cannot help but conclude, therefore, that the "neutral" administration succumbed to off-campus (pro-HUAC) political pressures, and now played an active role in repressing on-campus student political activity.

                            -- Alice Huberman, alumna
                               Jim Prickett, History, S.F. State

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