“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. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”
~Mario Savio, student leader of the 1960’s free speech movement at the University of California Berkeley in late 1964.
In 1964, at the University of California at Berkeley, the Free Speech Movement erupted. As fate might be, it all went down just blocks from Pacifica Radio’s flagship, 94.1 FM KPFA in Berkeley, and naturally Pacifica journalists caught the whole thing on magnetic audio tape, which has since been securely housed deep within the vault of Pacifica Radio Archives. These recordings remain highly revered, among some of the most historic and treasured audio footage in Pacifica’s collection.
Shortly after the movement waned in 1965, KPFA, using the actuality they had just recorded, produced a gripping and incredibly informative documentary on the protests entitled Is Freedom Academic? This week on From the Vault we’ll travel back in sound as we feature excerpts from this brilliant documentary, a radio piece that truly captures the many flavors of the Free Speech Movement like no other. We’ll also speak with Professor Robert Cohen, the co-editor of the 2002 book The Free Speech Movement, Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s and author of a yet-to-be-released book on the political life of Mario Savio.
Archival recordings used in this week’s episode, The Free Speech Movement:
BB0503 Is Freedom Academic? MORE INFO
Other programs of interest:
BD0016.01 Sit-in Inside Sproul Hall MORE INFO
BB2365 Sproul Hall Sit-in Documentation ’68 MORE INFO
Click here to purchase a copy of this program or learn more about and purchase copies of the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.
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