Mario Savio (December 8, 1942 – November 6, 1996)

“Mario Savio (December 8, 1942 – November 6, 1996) was an American activist and a key member in the Berkeley Free Speech Movement. He is most famous for his passionate speeches, especially the “put your bodies upon the gears” address given at Sproul Hall, University of California, Berkeley on December 2, 1964. Savio remains historically relevant as an icon of the earliest phase of the 1960s counterculture movement. … During the summer of 1964, he joined the Freedom Summer projects in Mississippi and was involved in helping African Americans register to vote. He also taught at a freedom school for black children in McComb, Mississippi. In July, Savio, another white civil-rights activist and a black acquaintance were walking down a road in Jackson and were attacked by two men. They filed a police report where the FBI became involved. However, the case stalled until President Lyndon Johnson, who had recently passed the Civil Rights Act, allowed the FBI to look into it as a civil-rights violation. Eventually one of the attackers was found, charged with misdemeanor assault and fined $50. When Savio returned to Berkeley after his time in Mississippi, he intended to raise money for SNCC, but found that the university had banned all political activity and fundraising. …”
The Nation: What Might Mario Savio Have Said About the Milo Protest at Berkeley?
Common Dreams: A Half Century After Mario Savio’s Berkeley Speech and Today’s Warming Planet (Video)
NY Times: Mario Savio, 53, Campus Protester, Dies

About 1960s: Days of Rage

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