The sentiments Mario Savio expressed 47 years ago are as relevant now as they were then. . . . [Democracy depends upon] the ability of people to join together and make their voices heard. The days of apathy are over, folks. Once this has begun, it cannot be stopped, and it will not be stopped. -- Robert Reich, 11/15/2011Mario Savio was a leader of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, best known for his fiery speeches, particularly the one on the steps of Sproul Hall on December 2, 1964:
There's 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.Yesterday's Open University Strike and Day of Action at UC Berkeley included rallies, marches, teach-ins, and a vote to establish an encampment. It culminated last night with Robert Reich, who has become a national treasure in my opinion, delivering the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture at Sproul Plaza.
Before his speech, the indefatigable Reich posted the piece below about the limitations being placed on the Occupy movement's First Amendment rights and how in response we must "occupy democracy." -- Lovechilde
Occupiers Occupied: The Hijacking of the First Amendment
By Robert Reich, cross-posted from his website
A funny thing happened to the First Amendment on its way to the public forum. According to the Supreme Court, money is now speech and corporations are now people. But when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with the political consequences of this, they’re treated as public nuisances and evicted.