Free Speech Movement

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Free Speech Movement leader Mario Savio leading student protestors at the University of California, Berkeley. Nov. 20, 1964.

Free Speech Movement "was a struggle by students over the right to engage in political speech on campus".


Mario Savio atop the police car holding FSM organizer Jack Weinberg via
The "Free Speech Movement took place at UC Berkeley from Sept. 10, 1964, through Jan. 4, 1965. [1][2] It was a "student protest...under the informal leadership of students Mario Savio, Jack Weinberg, Michael Rossman, Brian Turner, Bettina Aptheker, Steve Weissman, Art Goldberg, Jackie Goldberg, Jack Kurzweil..."

The FSM "was a struggle by students over the right to engage in political speech on campus, which helped to catalyze broader political activism on campuses around the country over student rights, civil rights and the Vietnam War."[3]


Robert Treuhaft, "a radical left-wing attorney prominent in progressive and New Left politics in the San Francisco Bay Area" acted as counsel for the Free Speech Movement, "representing the more than 700 students arrested at the University of California at Berkeley during a two-day sit-in in 1964. He himself was also arrested during the sit-in, at the direction of then- Assistant District Attorney of Alameda County, Edwin Meese, who later became Attorney General during the Reagan presidency. In addition, Treuhaft and his firm Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein represented anti-Vietnam War protesters, Black Panther Party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and University of California students and town residents arrested during the struggle over People’s Park in Berkeley."[4]