Dec 5, 2013
A Night of Hope in Berkeley
Posted on Nov 16, 2011
He didn’t have to say that the bullies remain.
After the speech, the crowd milled around as if not quite sure what to do next. There were a few tents in the middle of the plaza; the Occupiers had announced earlier that evening that they were going to keep their tents up, despite the expressed intention of the UC police to remove them.
But the hard-core Occupiers were only a tiny fraction (less than 1 percent, I dare say) of the larger crowd, which also wants to “do something.”
I walked back from the gathering with a friend who had been in Sproul Plaza on that day in 1964 when Savio gave one of his most famous speeches, including these lines: “There comes 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.”
She added that she feels a sense of loneliness in this movement today, a social loneliness. Back then there were so many different movements, and they connected together. There was so much to become involved in.
Last night, at least, the crowd remembered and renewed the wellspring of hope. Before Reich spoke, one of the three young Savio award-winners stirred the crowd with a vivid vision of “when hope comes back.” Here’s hoping.
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