Free Speech Movement 40th Anniversary
These photographs were taken on October 8, 2004 at "FSM@40," the 40th anniversary celebrations of the birth of the 1964 Free Speech Movement on the U.C. Berkeley campus.
The week-long event featured lectures, performances and seminars all over the U.C. campus. But the highlight was to be the Sproul Plaza noon rally on Friday, October 8, with a speech given by Howard Dean from the roof of a police car -- a re-enactment of the famous moment when FSM kingpin Mario Savio gave an impassioned diatribe from atop a police car trapped in the middle of the plaza.
On my way to the big noon event, I stopped off at one of the seminars being given that morning in Kroeber Hall.
I was surprised to find MoveOn co-founder Joan Blades (on the left) sharing a panel discussion with International Answer co-founder Gloria la Riva (on the right). Quite a combination!
Joan's group MoveOn is one of the driving forces in the mainstream anti-Bush campaign; Gloria is an up-front Communist and Saddam Hussein supporter who openly encourages violent attacks on American troops and American interests worldwide. But that doesn't stop Joan from appearing with her at a seminar. After all, what are friends for?
After a few minutes of "defeat capitalism by any means necessary," and so forth, I'd had enough and headed down to Sproul Plaza.
On the way, I quickly discovered the rumor of the day: Bush will draft you into the military if he gets elected. Never mind that Bush had already pledged he would never re-institute the draft; never mind the fact that the draft bill in Congress had been introduced by Democrats; never mind that the draft bill had already been voted down almost unanimously in the House of Representatives; and never mind that even during the Vietnam War college students got deferments that kept them out of the military: "Bush Drafts Your Ass" was the Democratic talking point and therefore the message du jour.
Everywhere I looked as I approached Sproul Plaza: draft, draft, draft.
On the edge of the plaza, the omnipresent Maoists of Revolution Books had set up their tent.
Across from them, the Saudi-funded, shari'a-law-supporting, terror-group-connected Muslim Students Association were not above putting their women to work at a proselytizing booth.
Meanwhile, Michael Lerner, the well-intentioned but painfully naive founder of Tikkun, a Jewish group that promotes an imaginary peace by ignoring the realities in Israel and Palestine, worked the crowd and handed out anti-war flyers that bemoaned the "anti-Semitic behavior among others who want an end to the Iraq war." He may look awake in this photo, but the man is sleepwalking.
But everyone was eagerly awaiting the main event: the arrival of Howard Dean!
This being Berkeley, naturally, there were plenty of confusing mixed messages to be seen. This anti-Bush/anti-Kerry protester had the best sign of the day.
First Lurch, now this. Halloween came early this year.
The Deaniacs could barely contain themselves as the clock struck noon.
Before the main event, however, the crowd was treated to an appearance by a couple of svelte ACLU lawyers (!) who unnecessarily explained the political benefits of joining the ACLU.
And then it was time for -- the man who would have been President!!...
(Click here to see Howard Dean in action.)