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Progressive Labor Party [Maoist Communist] leaflet ,
early December 1964

The magnificent struggle led by the Free Speech Movement (FSM) for the political rights of all students has reached a new and decisive stage with the mass arrest of the sit-in demonstrators and the calling of a general student strike. Many questions arise:

Why are Governor Brown, the Board of Regents, and the UC administration so determined to crush the FSM?

Why are they so insistent upon enforcing their undemocratic regulations?

Why don't they grant the simple but fundamental demand of FSM that students should have the same constitutional rights that all Americans are supposed to have?

It's true that Governor Brown and the UC administration don't want their authority challenged. Such a challenge frightens them and that's why Governor Brown shouts "anarchy" and calls the cops. But there's much more to it than that.

The real politics behind the free-speech struggle at UC is fundamental and of national significance. The United States ruling class, which controls the government, the economy, and the university system, is confronted with a far-reaching and growing crisis at home and abroad -- that is the Negro freedom movement and the liberation revolutions in Vietnam, the Congo, and Latin America.

One of the most important sectors of the people supporting the cause of Negro freedom and demanding an end to United States foreign intervention is U.S. students. The Mississippi Summer Project was carried forth by students. The picket lines against Knowland's jimcrow hiring practices at the Oakland Tribune are manned mainly by students. Students led the great sit-in that forced thirty-three of San Francisco's snootiest hotels to stop discrimination in hiring. Students are publicly circulating declarations that they are unwilling to fight against the Vietnamese people. The list of examples are endless.

It's no accident that it's President Johnson's top man in California, Governor Pat Brown who's been giving the orders to UC President Kerr. President Kerr keeps his right ear open to Knowland. The university officials represent the same financial interests that control the government, that determine domestic and foreign policy, that profit from the cheap labor of colonial peoples and the Negro people.

They don't want students going to Mississippi, or picketing the Tribune, or circulating petitions and demonstrations against U.S. aggression in Vietnam and the Congo.

Nor do they want students circulating radical literature or hearing revolutionary speakers, or learning about Marxism- Leninism, or joining progressive and socialist organizations.

They want students to be submissive, passive, conformist and unthinking . . . to be mere products of a factory-type university system whose only ambition in life is to be a "success" like Governor Brown, President Kerr, William Knowland, or the representatives on the Board of Regents. In other words, they want students to come out of school in the image of and as servants of the capitalist class.

When students reject that intellectually corrupt path and instead become active, thinking, and non-conformist --when students actively challenge undemocratic rules and bureaucratic authorities by fighting for their rights, then they are given a bit of the Vietnam, Harlem, and Mississippi treatment --suspensions, expulsions, arrests, jail and police intimidation.

One of the leaders of FSM said after the mass arrests that "students have learned more about how democracy works in the United States through the Free Speech Movement than they could have through 40 years of academic classes."

How true!

One lesson learned by most students is how the daily press lies. Every student who has had any relationship with the FSM knows how the press has lied about FSM . . ." 40% outsiders and communists," "takes orders from the Progressive Labor Movement and other communist organizations," "only 50 demonstrators showed up for the rally," etc., etc.

One can now realize to what extent the news media will lie in order to mislead the American people, especially when it involves internationally vital matters (where billions of dollars are at stake) such as Vietnam, the Congo, Cuba, China, and the Soviet Union.

The student movement of the 1960s is alive with radicalism and a searching inquiry into the real nature of U.S. foreign policy and the oppression of the Negro people. Being thinking people, students are better able to discern bogus propaganda from truth. Being young people, students are alive with the enthusiasm, honesty, and idealism of youth. That is why students throughout the world are also in the forefront of the struggle for freedom and against foreign aggression.

The struggle for free speech at UC is now at a decisive stage. The fight can be won if the general strike gets the support it deserves and needs. Truck drivers, members of the Teamsters Union, set an honorable example by respecting student picket lines. The entire labor movement, the civil-rights movement, every democratic-minded person and organization should support the FSM's just demands:

Drop all charges against the sit-in demonstrators!

Reinstate all students!

Restore the Bill of Rights at the University of California!



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