Mario Savio stood in Sproul Plaza in December, 1964 to impel his peers to join the demonstration for the Freedom of Speech Movement. His voice sounded shaky but it was easy to hear the passion he felt. Mario began by breaking down the university; he summed up the disloyalty of the undergraduate’s representative by using the man’s own words. He worked his way up the authoritative ladder by calling on the president’s lack of effort to enlighten the Regent’s of their inflexibility. Separating the persecutions, Mario expressed two arguments for direct action in order to prove to the audience and authority the undergraduates did have a voice.
In 1964, the United States was in the middle of a long war that would not have a winner. As a extremely anti-communist country, the U.S. began to advise the communist government when France backed out of the war. After too many fallen soldiers, a draft was called, creating high attendance at universities for fear of going to war. Such a lottery may have resulted in the outspoken generation that changed the world.
Mario began by echoing the previous speaker. He began by warning “those who are not definitely committed to the FSM cause to stay away from demonstration,” yet proceeded to ask students to offer “services to department chairmen and advisers.” By doing this, one could not argue with the two nouns that was to follow: strikebreaker and fink.
Following the strong opening, Mario advocated two ways to democratize the university and allow political discourse. He stated, “one, when a law exist, is promulgated, which is totally unacceptable to people and they violated it again and again and again until it’s rescinded, repealed.” Acknowledging that doing so may wear one out and feeling that they may be doing it for nothing, he noted “its effective violation as a method to have it repealed.”
Before moving on to his second mode of civil disobedience, Mario focused on President Kerr’s absence of...