1964 October 1

Jack Weinberg Arrested; Berkeley Free Speech Movement Escalates


Former graduate student Jack Weinberg was arrested while manning a Congress of Racial Equality table at the University of California, Berkeley, and placed in a police car. (CORE was a national civil rights group, founded on March 9, 1942, which organized the famous Freedom Ride that began on May 4, 1961.) Demonstrators surrounded the police car, where Weinberg remained for 36 hours. University administrators had previously banned on-campus student activity related to off-campus political issues, which included civil rights activity in the Bay Area (see June 9, 1961; September 16, 1964). Weinberg’s arrest ignited the Free Speech Movement, the first major student protest of the 1960s.

Jack Weinberg is credited with originating the statement “don’t trust anyone over 30,” which became a slogan among many student protesters in the 1960s.

Mario Savio delivered his famous speech denouncing “the system,” one of the classic statements of the 1960s political upheaval, on December 2, 1964.

Learn more at the Free Speech Movement Archives. Photos, documents, more:

Read: David Lance Goines, The Free Speech Movement: Coming of Age in the 1960s (1993)

Read the biography of Mario Savio: Robert Cohen, Freedom’s Orator: Mario Savio and the Radical Legacy of the 1960s (2009)

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