Herbert Bradford Cleaveland
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|Free Speech Movement Oral History Conducted by Lisa Rubens in 1998
Herbert [Brad] Cleaveland had just graduated from Berkeley and had written a thirteen-page “Letter to Undergraduates” in the SLATE Supplement to the General UC Catalog that called for “open, fierce and thoroughgoing rebellion.” In this interview Cleavland begins by describing how the FSM leadership crystalized over the thirty-one hours the police car was surrounded beginning on October 1, 1964 and goes on to discuss his involvement with the Steering Committee, his observations about various leaders with attention to the role of Jews and women, his efforts to continue the momentum of FSM and his later work for educational reform.
Jo Freeman. At Berkeley in the Sixties: The Education of an Activist, 1961-1965. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004, pages 141-44 and 279.
quoted with gracious permission of Jo Freeman:
Brad was one of those ex-students who were wedded to Berkeley. After graduating in 1959, he continued as a grad student until he received his M.A. in 1962 and was still around in 1964. Born in 1932 and raised in Washington, D.C., Brad had spent four years in the navy between high school and college, where he decided his calling was to be a Presbyterian minister. Brad went from religion to radical politics via the study of political science, serving as SLATE's first treasurer and occasional inside agitator along the way. His many years in the classroom gave him a particular interest in reforming collegiate education. He thought classes and grades were oppressive. Son of a junior high school shop teacher, Brad earned his bread as a union carpenter while writing tracts and working for those causes he believed in. His 12-page call for an "educational revolution" by "open, fierce, and thoroughgoing rebellion on this campus," with demands on the Regents "in which the final resort will be CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE" was largely ignored by the students but read by some faculty and administrators as SLATE's call to arms.
Brad Cleaveland, the man whose rant in the SLATE Supplement put Alex Sherriffs on red alert, became a good friend and admirer of Clark Kerr. Brad went into construction, probably one of the most useful things he could do with his M.A. in political science (though he completed coursework toward his Ph.D.). While working on a project in Saudi Arabia in 1976, he went to hear Kerr lecture at a university seventy miles away. Recognizing him, Kerr invited him to his lodging after his speech. He wanted to know why Brad had attacked him back in 1964. They soon discovered their common interest in improving undergraduate education and talked for two and a half hours. When he returned to the Bay Area, Brad called on Kerr and they've been friends ever since.
|May 13, 1963 Revival of The Cal Reporter
This SLATE publication issued by Mike Schwartz, Jo Freeman, Sandor Fuchs, Brad Cleaveland, Ken Cloke, and Steve DeCanio set forth many of the issues which came into play in the FSM and later in the Educational Reform movement.
SLATE Supp Vol I No IV
September 10, 1964 per California Monthly
A LETTER TO UNDERGRADUATES from Brad Cleaveland
"FROM THIS POINT ON, DO NOT MISUNDERSTAND ME. MY INTENTION IS TO CONVINCE YOU THAT YOU DO NOTHING LESS THAN BEGIN AN OPEN, FIERCE, AND THOROUGHGOING REBELLION ON THIS CAMPUS."
|Education, Revolutions and Citadels
by Bradford Cleaveland
reprinted in The Berkeley Student Revolt: Facts and Interpretations
, ed. Seymour Martin Lipset and Sheldon S. Wolin (New York: Anchor Books, 1965)
BTS Note: The two introductory paragraphs may have been added by Brad to a copy of the pages from the reprint.
|Quoted in Intro to 1/4/1965 We Want A University
".. we get a four year long series of sharp staccatos: eight semesters, forty courses, one hundred twenty or more "units," ten to fifteen impersonal lectures per week, one to three oversized discussion meetings per week led by poorly paid graduate student "teachers." Over a period of four years the student-cog receives close to forty bibliographies; evaluation amounts to little more than pushing the exam button, which results in over one hundred regurgitations in four years and the writing of twenty to thirty-five papers in four years in this context means that they are of necessity technically and substantially poor due to lack of time for thought." Brad Cleaveland
|6/28/2019 via phone to Barbara Stack: John Sutake remembers that Brad Cleaveland moved and he seconded a motion to adopt the name “Free Speech Movement” at a late-night meeting in Art Goldberg’s living room on College Avenue. Many had fallen asleep and Brad asked John to second his motion and they woke up the others, the motion passed, and then everyone went back to sleep.
Press about Brad
2/23/1965, Look Magazine, Behind the Campus Revolt: The California Uprising, John Poppy
"[photo caption:] Non-student Brad Cleaveland (left), author of a pamphlet urging "open, fierce rebellion" at Cal listens as Mario Savio orates."
October 2 / 3, 2004, Counterpunch, The First Ex-Catholic Saint, Lenni Brenner
"I dismissed Mario as a fool. I abandoned P&F shortly after, & didn't think about him again until 1984. Brad Cleaveland, an FSM leader, put us together. We met in San Francisco, at the UC medical center, & Mario told me his tale."
1/9/2008, Culture Change, What a Free Speech Movement instigator teaches us today, Jan Lundberg
"BC [Brad Cleaveland]: The resistance was intensive from about the time of my manifesto was published September 10, 1964, by SLATE. Many, including myself, had been working 24/7 until October 2, 1964 when the movement became explosive and hit the national and international press. That was the day we seized the police car in front of the Administration Building.
This event was an astonishing one; explosive even, and in no small part because of the international press coverage. So, the beginning was the two weeks prior to October -- of highly intensive student activism -- and October 2, with the dramatic take-over of a UC police car. It occurred at noon during the heaviest foot traffic in the center of Sproul Plaza. We turned a police car into a speakers' platform and held it for 72 hours.
By '64, and the FSM revolt, I'd been active for 7 years. I was the first treasurer of the first radical student group, SLATE Student Political Party. In '59, just after the top 3-4 leaders of SLATE left Berkeley for points East to grad schools, such as Columbia and NYU, I led SLATE in a 'defiance rally,' which, in turn brought about the early retirement of UC Berkeley's Dean of Students. In 1960, I was a principal organizer of the anti-HUAC demos in SF, on May 13th, l960. In 1962, I got my MA, under three principal faculty members, in Political Theory. The group formed under Hannah Arendt, who was a Spring '55 Lecturer, in the Political Science Department."
1/26/2009, The Daily Californian, Historic Cafe Grounds For Coffee and Conversation, Jessica Kwong
"Yet the Med's fame is rooted in more than its coffee grounds. The cafe served as the meeting grounds for radicals from Beat Generation artists to Free Speech Movement activists.
'I would go into the Med and I would see somebody with a blue serge suit on and a big wig-it was Ginsberg, and I would say 'Hello, how you doing?'' said Brad Cleaveland, 76, a Berkeley resident who was a principal activist during the Free Speech Movement. 'He was standing around a group of people sitting there, all talking intensely. I saw him lots over a period of two to three years.'"
11/17/2011, Time.com, Occupy Oakland Protests Regroup at Berkeley, Jason Motlagh
"The resurgence in Berkeley is a shot in the arm for Occupy movements across the country. The break up of Occupy Wall Street on Tuesday was accompanied by similar actions in Seattle and an ancillary camp in San Francisco, on the heels of other raids in Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City, Denver and Oakland. Authorities cited concerns about sanitation, drugs and crime to justify police actions. But in Berkeley, heavy-handed police conduct (and an abundance of cameras) appear to have backfired, much as it did in Oakland on Oct. 25 when an Iraq War veteran was seriously injured by police. Last week, police used batons to disband a student rally against tuition hikes and budget cuts. Video of the incident went viral on the Internet, galvanizing sympathy for the campaign.
(Read 'Occupy Oakland: After Second Police Raid, Protest Ends with a Whimper.')
Indeed, the Tuesday rally stretched from the columns of Sproul Hall, a touchstone of the Free Speech Movement, to rooftops surrounding the plaza out front. Students stood shoulder to shoulder with nostalgic veterans of the 60s-era protests, and counterparts from Oakland, many of whom had marched about five miles from the cleared City Hall plaza to show their support. 'You can raid a camp, but not a movement,' says Luke, 22, a displaced Oakland camper, moments before a speech by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich calling on students to take a moral stand against the hyper-wealthy. The rally culminated in a vote on whether to set up tents in defiance of a university order; it passed unanimously.
'This is overpowering for me; it's a movement I helped start,' says Bradford Cleaveland, 80, a long-time activist and former graduate student who offered encouragement to students. He shared a black-and-white picture of him on the steps of Sproul Hall next to Mario Savio, the late student leader famous for his 'put your bodies upon the gears' address, to establish his bona fides. 'It's the same, but better, because it's more difficult to do this kind of thing now -- there's so much fear.'"