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From The Berkeley Free Speech Controversy (Preliminary Report) prepared by a Fact-Finding Committee of Graduate Political Scientists, December 13, 1964.

     As political activity increased during the depression, President Robert Gordon Sproul imposed a ban on all political and religious meetings on campus (1934). After twenty years, with the effects of the McCarthy periods and the catastrophic loyalty oath controversy lifting, this ban was modified in 1957 after the students lobbied behind the scenes. The students at that time received support from Chancellor Kerr and from the Academic Senate in their efforts to convince President Sproul to allow political meetings on campus. In 1959, when the Sather Gate section of Telegraph Avenue -- long a center of off-campus free speech -- became a campus plaza and walkway, political activities were restricted to the campus entrance at Bancroft and Telegraph. This entrance strip was considered city property and as late as the Spring of 1964, the Dean's Office directed organizations to get permits from the Berkeley police department to set up tables. In the years following 1959, the Kerr Directives were promulgated and revised. They provided for the open forum policy, but established criteria which made it easier in most cases for groups to pay fees for rooms outside of the campus than to use campus rooms. Tables on campus for soliciting funds and recruiting members were prohibited , but this restriction never hit home as long as the Bancroft and Telegraph "safety valve" remained accessible. Complaints about the inadequacy of Hyde Park areas -- where students could say anything without prior notification -- were ignored for three years, and again Bancroft and Telegraph became a de facto Hyde Park area, satisfying this need. This is the background to the free speech dispute.

September 14: Dean of Students, Kathryn Towle writes heads of all "off campus" organizations to notify them that Bancroft and Telegraph sidewalk is University property and University rules apply there; henceforth, no tables, fund-raising, membership recruitment, or speeches will be permitted there.

September 17: Upon receipt of letter, heads of off- campus organizations join as "united front" to protest the new ruling and submit request to Dean's Office that Bancroft and Telegraph free speech area be restored, and that various restrictions on free expression be "reformed."

September 21: First day of classes. Dean Towle meets with united front -- i.e., the leaders of nineteen student groups, including Young Democrats, Students for Goldwater, Congress for Racial Equality (CORE), Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Friends of Student Non- Violent Co-ordinating Committee (SNCC), Young Socialist Alliance (YSA), and others -- to clarify rules and announces two modifications in interpretations: 1) a new Hyde Park area is granted on the steps of Sproul Hall to replace the three-year-old, but never used, area behind the snackbar and the de facto Bancroft and Telegraph area; 2) tables with University permission will be allowed at Bancroft and Telegraph but only under rules prohibiting fund-raising, recruitment, and advocacy of partisan positions. The students refuse to accept these pronouncements. When Dean Towle finishes clarifying the rules, dwelling at length upon the difference between advocating and informing an audience of a position, the students reject the administration pronouncement as infringing on their Constitutional rights. They request a change in the rules. Dean Towle says she cannot change the rules. The students, with permits from the University, set up tables; however, traditional practices -- including fund-raising, membership recruitment, and advocacy, mostly related to the upcoming elections -- continue during this first week of school.

September 28: Since the rules are supposed to be campus-wide, the united front decides to set up tables at Sather Gate, another traditional table area; and exercises traditional prerogatives of selling literature and advocating positions. They also decide to demonstrate their point of view by picketing a University meeting at which Chancellor Strong is presenting athletic awards. One thousand pickets support the call for rules change. At the meeting, Chancellor Strong makes a surprise change in the rules. Henceforth, advocating a position for or against a candidate or a ballot proposition will be allowed, but no further changes are envisaged. The matter is closed. Meanwhile, four organizations -- SNCC, SDS, DuBois Club and Slate -- are warned that action will be taken if they continue to break University regulations. Three organizations are told to make appointments with the Dean.

September 29: Further warnings are made to groups setting up tables at Sather Gate. Meanwhile, an appointment is set up with the united front for Wednesday, September 30, at 4:00 p.m. to further "clarify" the rules.

September 30: Five individual 3 are cited for violating University rules at-tables and are asked to appear at 3:00 p.m. for a meeting with the deans Many other students sitting at tables request to be seen at the same time. Over six hundred sign a statement declaring they are equally responsible for manning the tables. Over three hundred of these students appear in Sproul Hall for the 3:00 p.m. appointment but are refused access to the deans. Instead, the five are requested to appear alone. At 4:00 p.m., three names of leaders are added, and Dean Williams asks all eight to see him. The three hundred students again request similar treatment and are rebuffed. Dean Williams then cancels the meeting scheduled with the leaders of the groups. The students wait outside the Dean's Office until early morning when Chancellor Strong announces that the eight students have been suspended indefinitely.

October 1: The indefinite suspension -- a sanction which does not appear in the University regulations -- cause widespread student resentment. About ten tables are set up -- this time in front of the Administration building -- and a rally is planned for noon. The united front now demands not only a change in the rules, but equal treatment for all students under the rules and, specifically, the lifting of the suspensions. At about 11:45 a.m., Dean Van Houten and a campus policeman approach one of the tables (CORE) at which about a dozen persons are sitting. Jack Weinberg, a recent Cal graduate, is told he is violating University rules and is placed under arrest when he refuses to leave the table. Students spontaneously sit down around the police car which has arrived on the plaza and block the car from removing Mr. Weinberg. Mario Savio, head of Friends of SNCC, removes his shoes and begins to address a crowd of over a thousand, from atop the police car. He discusses the position of the united front and the injustice of the Administration's response to their free speech demands. Many others also make speeches. The protest is extended by sitting-in in Sproul Hall. Meanwhile, a group of faculty members tries to mediate during the afternoon and evening. The Administration tells them, and tells the students as well, that the issues of the rules and the disciplinary measures are not negotiable. The protest demonstration grows and grows. During the late evening, a knot of one hundred, mostly fraternity men, assemble and hurl lighted cigarettes and eggs on the hundreds sitting in the plaza; but after many tense hours, violence is averted when the hecklers leave in response to the silence of the demonstrators and an appeal from the Catholic chaplain.

October 2: Clergymen and student religious leaders who support the goals of the protestors try to mediate behind the scenes. Meetings with the deans are fruitless. Meanwhile, a similar group of faculty members works out a compromise and, together with some legislators, convinces President Kerr to meet with the students during the late afternoon. President Kerr summons five hundred policemen to disperse the crowd of over one thousand if an agreement is not signed. A long, tense meeting results in a six-point agreement: 1) restoring the privileges of student groups suspended during the week; 2) ending the demonstration; 3) submitting the student suspensions to a committee of the Academic Senate; 4) submitting rules to a tripartite study committee; 5) dropping charges against Mr. Weinberg; and 6) working to deed Bancroft and Telegraph sidewalk to the City of Berkeley.

October 3-4: The united front constitutes itself as the Free Speech Movement with an executive Committee representing each of the nineteen "off-campus" groups, independent students, and religious organizations. A nine-man steering committee is elected to plan interim policy and to choose negotiators to serve on the student-faculty-administration Study Committee. Mr. Savio will speak at the rally planned for Monday to explain the new developments and FSM strategy to the other interested students.

October 5: A few minutes before the rally, the Administration reverses an earlier order to arrest Mr. Savio if he tries to address his fellow students. Meanwhile, the Chancellor chooses ten of the twelve men to serve on the "Campus Committee on Political Activity" (CCPA) without waiting for recommendations from the students or faculty. He also announces that the Chancellor-appointed Faculty Committee on Student Conduct -- not an Academic Senate committee --will hear the cases of the eight students he has suspended and will recommend to him action to be taken. The FSM denounces these moves as violations of the October 2 agreement. Nevertheless, a moratorium on further demonstrations and tables is declared pending further negotiations on these matters.

October 7: Ignoring the call for revisions in the structure of the CCPA, the Administration allows it to meet. The CCPA calls for an open meeting Tuesday, October 13, to discuss its structure.

October 8: Six hundred unaffiliated students (called "independents"), meeting in a local church, choose five members to serve on the FSM executive committee.

October 10-12: The executive committee expands the steering committee to twelve adding a representative from the Republican and Democratic Clubs and the religious organizations.

October 13: Academic Senate endorses need for rule liberalization. Three hundred students in Harmon Gymnasium meeting of CCPA hear testimony from fifty students, all but one requesting dissolution of CCPA as presently constituted pending talks on fair reconstitution of body. Meanwhile graduate students from Graduate Co-ordinating Council with delegates from each department choose 7 representatives to FSM Executive Committee.

October 14: FSM denounces refusal of administration to negotiate outstanding differences in interpretation of October 2 Kerr-United Front agreement, and reveals plans to end moratorium on direct action if administration continues to "refuse to sit down and discuss issues." Professor of Industrial Relations, Arthur Ross volunteers to mediate.

October 15: President Kerr agrees 1) to remand the cases of the eight suspended students to an Academic Senate committee and 2) to reconstitute the CCPA with eighteen members -- four from the FSM -- to discuss rule changes.

October 20: Expanded CCPA agrees that all decisions will be by consensus of students, faculty and administration, each voting as a unit with one vote.

October 28: While the CCPA has been meeting to examine various proposals for new rules, the panel of five professors, appointed by the Academic Senate and headed by Professor of Law, Ira Heyman, begins hearing the cases of the eight suspended students.

October 29: Dean Williams testifies that the suspended students were singled out from among many students observed violating the rules to discourage students from protesting the regulations.

November 3: Though the table moratorium and the dispute itself have hampered canvassing for the elections, the FSM sticks exclusively with committees as the way out of the dispute.

November 7: The Administration contingent on the CCPA declares itself unalterably opposed to the students' position on political advocacy. The University demands the right to discipline students and organizations advocating activities that "directly result" in "unlawful acts" off the campus. The students demand that the definition of legal speech be left solely to the courts, citing the stand of the American Civil Liberties Union and that of the American Association of University Professors: "In the area of the first amendment rights and civil liberties, the University may impose no disciplinary action against members of the university community and organizations in this area, members of the university community are subject only to the civil authorities."

November 9: The FSM decides to "exercise our constitutional rights" and resumes manning tables. Still, it plans strategy aimed at reopening the advocacy issue at the Wednesday CCPA meeting. But Chancellor Strong disbands the CCPA on the grounds that the students had broken the October 2 agreements.

November 10: Dean's office sends letters to 70 students citing them for violations of previous day. Hundreds of graduate students man tables or sign petitions of support assuming equal culpability for themselves.

November 11: Three hundred meet to organize a teaching assistants' union and voice support for FSM demands. Administration ignores graduate student violations at this time.

November 12: President Kerr calls the proposals of the faculty contingent "a basis for constructive solutions to the current and difficult problems." The proposals would allow solicitation of funds and members, and would allow a faculty committee to recommend action to be taken against illegal advocacy. Tables continue; the Administration ignores them. The Heyman Committee criticizes the Administration's handling of the eight students. It recommends that six be immediately re-instated and charges expunged from their records, and that the remaining two receive a six-week suspension. This meant immediate reinstatement, for they had by then been out of school for longer than this period. Chancellor Strong states he will not act on the cases until after the December 8 meeting of the Academic Senate.

November 16: The FSM collects hundreds of signatures on a petition urging the Regents to leave the question of advocacy to the courts. -- Tables continue up. The Dean's Office announces appointments will be made for the following week for the seventy students cited for manning tables. The Dean's Office announces that graduate students who submitted their names as equally responsible will receive letters.

November 20: More than three thousand students rally at Sproul Hall Hyde Park area for two hours, than snake their way down to the west gate of campus to hear Joan Baez and await the results of the Regents meeting across the street in University Hall. Student representatives are barred from speaking at the meeting. The Regents adopt President Kerr's version of the CCPA faculty contingent proposal, allowing fund-raising and recruitment, but banning "illegal advocacy." They also recommend organizations and individuals be disciplined for their violations of rules over the past three months. Significantly modifying the report of the five man faculty panel (Heyman Committee) which asked only censure of the six students, the Regents reinstate all eight but do not clear the records of the six as the faculty group asked. Two students are placed on "probation." The students debate ways of expressing their disappointment. Some graduate students want an immediate sit-in, but Mr. Savio convinces the thousands of students to return home for the weekend and calls a rally for Monday to discuss future action.

November 21-22: The FSM Executive Committee and Steering Committee both split on tactics with a majority of each finally favoring a sit-in in Sproul Hall on Monday to express their feelings of despair over the Administration's refusal to meet with them or to permit students full Constitutional rights on campus.

November 23: Three hundred students sit in for three hours in Sproul Hall after hot debate during rally splits the FSM.

November 24: Chancellor Strong says the new rules are in force only at Bancroft and Telegraph. He says the administration has met the faculty demands almost completely. The FSM goes back to setting up tables. Thanksgiving intervenes.

November 28: In the midst of the Thanksgiving weekend, Art Goldberg and Mario Savio receive letters opening new disciplinary action against them for acts allegedly committed October 1 and 2.

November 30: Jackie Goldberg receives a similar letter. Several professors offer package proposals close to that of the FSM. FSM appeals again for talks regarding the advocacy issue and demands the new charges against some of its leaders be dropped. Plans for a sit-in in Sproul Hall are discussed if President Kerr still refuses to discuss the FSM position.

December 1: The Graduate Coordinating Council and the Teaching Assistants decide to go on strike Friday, December 4.

December 2: Eight hundred students move into Sproul Hall after a rally. They regard the action as a last resort in the face of the Administration's refusal to negotiate the student grievances and its "arbitrarily singling out students for punishment." The fourth floor becomes a quiet study hall, while movies are shown and classes are held on the second floor. Strict discipline is maintained; orders to stay out of offices are given and obeyed.

December 3: Governor Brown dispatches more than six hundred policemen to arrest the eight hundred students. The arrests go on for about twelve hours. Faculty are barred from the building during arrests. Meanwhile, a spontaneous strike is called and most classes are not held. Lawyers and faculty meet with the judge and the district attorney all day and finally, late at night, work out a bail arrangement. Nine hundred faculty members meet and call for amnesty and complete political freedom, including unrestricted advocacy. All day department chairmen try to contact Administration to no avail; apparently, Administration has orders not to talk to faculty members.

December 4: The final busload of released students arrives on campus shortly before noon. Meanwhile, the campus is being struck; the Office of Public Information calls the strike 85% effective in figures later withdrawn. Other observers estimate 60 to 70% of the students stay away from class. Two departments cancel classes and many professors honor the picket lines. The chairmen of all the departments constitute themselves as Council of Chairmen to fill the vacuum of authority on campus.

December 5-6: All weekend the Chairmen meet to work out a compromise to save the University. Sunday, Professor Scalapino, head of the Council of Chairmen, meets with President Kerr and works out an agreement which is approved by chairmen and is presented to an informal Regents meeting in a motel near the San Francisco Airport. On Sunday, two hundred professors meet to plan strategy to get the Academic Senate to endorse complete political freedom and amnesty. The FSM and the GCC (Graduate Coordinating Committee) agree to call off the strike as of Monday midnight.

December 7: The departmental chairmen call off all classes between 9:00 and noon and hold departmental meetings to discuss the Chairmen's agreement with the President: complete campus amnesty for acts through today is granted. No position on the advocacy question is taken.

     Professor Robert Scalapino, Chairman of the Political Science Department, and President Kerr address 18,000 students at an "extraordinary convocation" in the Hearst Greek Theatre. Many faculty members express their reluctance to support President Kerr by their cool reception of his speech.

     Mr. Savio walks to the podium after the adjournment of the meeting, but is grabbed from behind by two policemen and.detained in a dressing room. Finally, he is brought out and allowed to speak. He says that he had only intended to announce a.rally at noon on the SprouI Hall steps.

     At the rally, several departmental chairmen speak along with the FSM leaders, who explain that the strike will be called off so that the Academic Senate may deliberate in peace the proposals on political freedom of the two hundred professors. Meanwhile President Kerr meets with the professors who drafted these resolutions; word is spread that he has endorsed the resolutions. Later that afternoon, the Academic Freedom Committee and.the Chairmen's Council endorses the proposals with little change. The students call off the strike.

December 8: A tense campus focuses quietly on the meeting of the Academic Senate. After an hour and a half of debate, the Senate endorses 824 to 115 the resolutions of the Academic Freedom Committee. The FSM applauds the move as victory for the entire university. Faculty and students voice hope that the Regents will heed this 7-1 mandate.

December 10: Academic Senate tables motion aimed at thwarting future student strikes.


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