Defendants' Letters — N-P

July 9, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
Berkeley Albany Municipal Court
Berkeley, Calif.

Judge Crittenden;

Asking me why I sat in Sproul Hall is the same thing as asking me why I am political. I originally entered Cal because I was so impressed with the political atmosphere which the students created around the university. This atmosphere differed very strongly from the apathy which I encountered at the university which I attended before Cal. It was a very beautiful thing to go to school at Cal and to see students who cared about things other than those which materially touched their lives. I was willing to do most anything to help Cal keep that special atmosphere which the administration was attempting to strip. I sat in Sproul Hall for the above reasons.

Sincerely yours,

July 12, 1965

The Honorable Rupert Crittenden
Berkeley-Albany Municipal Court
2120 Grove Street
Berkeley, California

Sir:

In writing this letter, I have assumed that your request for our personal statements reflects in part a belief that the majority of the defendants might be unable to give a reasonable or articulate account of their motivation. If this is indeed your conviction, then implicitly you must also believe that the entry of Sproul Hall on December 2, 1964, was an emotional act — sown, watered and reaped by a few skillful leaders — that furthermore it was anarchic and nihilistic in nature, designed to destroy rather than repair.

In reply I can only offer the personal motivation which led to my act of trespass on December second and third. The background, compressed for obvious reasons, is as follows: The administration of the Berkeley campus throughout the fall semester of 1964 wielded its powers capriciously and irresponsibly, in such a way as to isolate its authority above appeal, complaint or redress. They were dishonest in an especially distasteful way about their reasons for banning tables at the Bancroft and Telegraph area: I remember very clearly reading in the Daily Californian on September 21, the first day of classes, the announcement that Dean Towle had ruled the tables were eyesores and blocked traffic. Next to the article was a photograph of the area captioned UNSIGHTLY. By the next day the area suddenly became University property; the "eyesore" argument was quietly dropped and never brought forward again. The administrators knew so little about the students who walked past their building every day, whose academic lives they regulated, that they imagined that only passive acquiescence would meet their unreasonable edict, thus obviating any need to reveal the "real" issues at stake.


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This was the sleazy prototype for their pattern of action throughout the semester. I remember the dissolved committees with shame and disgust that men in responsible positions could be so shortsighted and criminally obstinate.

The final straw for me in that confused and frustrating muddle was the new disciplinary action instituted out of the blue on November twenty-eighth against the four re-instated students for acts allegedly committed on October first and second — a time at which they were all suspended from the University.

It seemed to me then that the Chancellor had decided to abolish reason, as well as political activity, in our lives as students. He deliberately opened again the wounds that were beginning to heal; for some stability had indeed returned at that time. I went into Sproul Hall with the idea of knocking on a door, quite literally, of breaking into their consciouness, which they had sealed so tightly against the more customary forms of petition. I wanted to effect an opening up, not a closing down, and that, in spite of vitriolic abuse and slander from the outside, I think in some small way we did achieve. I did not expect to be arrested when I walked into Sproul Hall. When the policemen came, the whole arrest struck me as totally irrelevant to the issues at hand, and I continue to think so. I do not consider myself a trespasser in the building my parents and I helped to create and support. I would enter in the same manner again, gladly, even with full expectation of arrest. I acted as an individual and, with complete awareness that such a request is impossible under the circumstances, wish to be judged as one.

Sincerely yours,

July 4, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
2120 Grove Street
Berkeley, California

Dear Judge Crittenden: Re —

As —'s father, I am writing you this letter in the hope that it will benefit you in deciding her sentence.

— has always been an idealistic person and her scholastic achievements are of the highest order. She was identified as a "gifted child" in the La Jolla public schools in 1957, and went on to graduate with honors from San Dieguito High School, with life membership in California Scholarship Federation. She entered the University of California at Berkeley in 1961 at age 15. Her record there shows that she graduated in June, 1965, with highest honors. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and is the recipient of a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, under which she will begin graduate studies at the University of Toronto in September, 1965.

Her character and personal life have always been above reproach. She has never been in any previous trouble whatsoever. Rather than having ever given her mother and me any least cause for concern, she has been a source of pride and joy, not only from the honors she has won, but as a loving, dutiful and appreciative daughter. We trust her implicitly.

Before joining the FSM, she had not been a member of any organization except academic or social. Knowing my daughter as I do, I assure you that her participation in the Sproul Hall incident was motivated by a sincere desire to improve conditions at the University.

I am enclosing letters from professional people in our community who have known since childhood. I respectfully request that you consider them.

Very truly yours,

July 8, 1965

Hon. Rupert Crittenden
Judge of the Municipal Court
2120 Grove Street
Berkeley, California

Dear Judge Crittenden:

This letter is written in regard to one of the defendants who was convicted of trespass after participating in the sit-in demonstration at the University of California Berkeley campus. It is my information that — will appear in your court for sentence in the recent future, and this letter is offered for your consideration at that time.

As an attorney I have represented the family in their business and family affairs for several years, and have come to know them quite well. We are also residents of the same small community,.

It is my personal conviction that — is a gifted, intelligent, and thoroughly responsible young lady. While I know nothing of the nature and extent of her participation in the demonstration which resulted in her conviction, I feel that her motivations could not have been from malice, caprice or bent for exhibitionism. She is an honest person, intellectually and morally, and I sincerely hope you will view and evaluate her conduct from that standpoint.

Yours very Truly,

July 7, 1965,

Judge Rupert Crittenden,
2120 Grove Street,
Berkeley, California.

Dear Sir:

I have known — for several years, and believe her to be a very conscientious, dependable, and very intelligent young lady. She comes from a fine family and should be able to make a valuable contribution to our country.

Sincerely,

July 9, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
2120 Grove Street
Berkeley, California

Dear Judge Crittenden:

I have acted as the physician for — for the past seven years. I know this young lady to be of the highest integrity and intelligence. Her background and behavior have always been beyond reproach. Her activities as a student and a citizen have been exemplary.

Yours truly,

July 13, 1965

Your Honor,

My name is —, I am 19 years old, was a sophomore during the 1964-65 school year, was arrested on all three counts, and have regularly attended court sessions.

I intend to combine in this letter an outline of my participation in F.S.M. and a personal sketch of my character. I will not be falsely modest nor, I hope, overly egotistic on this latter account.

I am an Eagle Boy Scout; I have never been arrested before; I was a National Merit Finalist, a Bank of America Award Winner, an Engineer's Award winner and an American Field Service finalist (foreign exchange group). In high school I was extremely active in several clubs, particularly debate and speech, which I continued at Cal. While at Cal I have maintained a 2.95 grade point average and have carried an average study load of over 19 units per semester. During the fall of 1964 I carried 23 units with a 2.65 average.

I am a political science major and have always been interested, if not active, in local and national politics and political activity. Civil Rights action in Berkeley has attracted my attention and to a very limited extent my participation. (I observed the Mel's Drive-In, the Safeway, and the Jack London Square pickets and direct action activities.)

In the F.S.M. dispute I became interested and eventually involved. I observed the early days of the first September sit-in, but not as a participant. During October and November I became actively involved in F.S.M. I worked in the office(s) and attended rallies, meetings, and innumerable bull sessions. I talked to many of the "leaders" in F.S.M., and on my own I spoke to Dean Williams, Mrs. Weaver (assistant to Dean Towle), and Dr. Sherriffs (the assistant chancellor). I personally tasted the bitterness of the Cal bureaucracy and was never, for example, able to make an individual or group appointment to see Dr. Strong.

As Your Honor knows, the spark which really set off the sit-in in December was the policy of arbitrary discipline and rule enforcement by the University Administration. I had attended several of the meetings of the committee holding hearings on the expulsion or "indefinite suspension" of the 8 students. I heard with my own ears testimony from the Deans themselves as to the arbitrary action they took. (For example, Savio and Goldberg were disciplined for speaking at a rally prior to a University meeting and encouraging a picket of that meeting, yet Dean Williams stated openly that at least 6 or 7 people spoke in his hearing — still he only bothered to take 2 names down.)

I went into Sproul Hall with no intention of breaking the law. I do not believe I ever did break the law in spirit or in form. I went to petition a redress of wrongs that had been leveled at several of my fellow students; I went to gain publicity for an unequivocally just cause; and I went to register a moral protest and indicate my outrage at actions taken by those administering the campus.

I personally tried the channels. I personally wrote letters, made appointments, and still saw the failure of sense and fairness by the Administration. I have collected every Daily Cal since September, every F.S.M. leaflet, flyer, or pamphlet ever put out, and as many different rules, interpretations or re-interpretations as I could gain from the combined offices of the Deans and the Chancellor.

My debate experience has taught me much on research and organization of data and I spent a very large part of my life considering and investigating the implications of direct action — especially last fall.

Someday I hope to become a lawyer. I have still, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, a great deal of respect for law and authority in general. I truly believe that an anarchistic environment is less desirable than almost any system of authority, but I cannot rule out of my political life the use of civil disobedience. (which I don't think we used in the sit-in although it was used in the police car incident.) I believe that the disruption Direct Action and/or Civil Disobedience may entail can be constructive when they are the only choices left besides abdication of a moral position.

I believe we exhausted "the channels" first; what we did next was logical, warranted, and in my mind both legal and magnificently restrained. I find it difficult to feel personal guilt. I regret my police record, and I fully recognize its significance; but likewise I recognize the much more terrible peril of swallowing one's own conscience and, in installments, selling out one's morality.

Sincerely,

July 11, 1965

The Honorable Rupert Crittenden,
Berkeley Municipal Court
2120 Grove Street
Berkeley, California

Dear Sir,

I sat in at Sproul Hall because I was in agreement with the publicized goals of the FSM. I felt that the Administration would not listen to the requests for political freedom made in a reasonable and polite manner by regular students. I felt that someone was trying "terror tactics" by having the Administration threaten to "discipline" the FSM leaders. Finally, I believed that if the Administration was successful in crushing the FSM by unscrupulous methods, a similar approach would probably be taken in future situations; and that would lead to a stagnation and then a decline in the intellectual spirit of the UC campus.

Yours sincerely,

[July, 1965]

Brief of Reasons for Entering Sproul Hall

I entered Sproul Hall around four o'clock on Wednesday, December 2nd. I heard Lieutenant Chandler's announcement of the closing of the building. I also heard the announcement of Chancellor Strong around three a.m. I studied for a midterm exam and slept while in Sproul Hall. From three a.m. until two p.m. Thursday I awaited arrest. I was arrested around two p.m. on Thursday December 3rd.

I was given a choice of walking or being carried and charged with resisting arrest. I chose to be carried to prolong my initial valid protest and also to protest the presence of six hundred uniformed policemen whom I felt had no bussiness on the campus of the University of California.

I followed the entire Free Speech controversy very closely. I have attended the university for the last four years and was quite interested in the crisis. I was never a member of any political group during this time until I became a member of the F.S.M. in October.

I was quite surprised when the traditional free speech area of Bancroft and Telegraph was closed by order of Dean Towle in September. I felt the reason for its closure (traffic) was not valid and began the follow the turn of events after September 14th.

My sources of information on the controversy were many and varied. I talked over developements with my friends, many of whom were also interested. The campus sources I read were the Daily Californian, the leaflets issued by the F.S.M. as well as leaflets issued by the Students for Cal. I usually read one San Francisco newspaper (most often the S.F. Chronicle), and often the Berkeley Gazette. I had the noon hour free during the fall semester every day of the week and attended many of the rallies held. I would estimate that I attended around fifteen rallies. I also read statements issued by the


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Administration which were often carried in the Daily Californian.

I felt that the agreement of October 2nd would probably settle the campus controversy. I attended one or two meetings of the Campus Committee on Political Activity and one meeting of the Heyman Committee. The Administration contingent to the C.C.P.A. seemed always to act as a unit and not to be able to agree with the students and the faculty but I still hoped the crisis could be settled. I was present during the silent vigil at the Regents meeting on November 20th. I felt the Regents showed bad faith and an unwillingness to hear the students when they wouldn't accept the decision returned by the Heyman Committee on the eight suspended students.

I followed developments very closely from November 20th until the time I entered Sproul Hall on December 2nd. I felt the action of the administration during the weekend of November 28th in opening new disciplinary measures for acts allegedly committed October 1st and 2nd violated the agreement of October 2nd and showed the administration wasn't interested in hearing the students but only further harassing them.

I felt that all channels of communication with the administration were closed and the only recourse was to enter Sproul Hall. My motive was not only one of protesting the situation which lead to the sit-in but to awaken the entire academic community as well to the crisis. I have a great respect for the law and have been arrested before. I felt the assemblage in Sproul Hall was a legal one for redress of grievances and not an unlawful one.

As a student of the natural sciences (zoology) I am deeply committed to a free and open inquiry into all subjects. Without a fully free and open forum I feel a student cannot think in the broad frames required to advance science and knowledge. I truly felt that the restrictions on free speech imposed by the administration could have a serious and deleterious effect on the free and open forum essential to the operation of a university like Cal.

The above brief summarizes my background, state of mind, and reasons for entering Sproul Hall on December 2nd.

July 9, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
Berkeley Municipal Court
Berkeley, California

Your Honor:

In this letter I will try to explain why I was arrested in the Sproul Hall sit-ins of December 2 and 3, 1964.

My participation in the sit-ins was my desperate way to meet a desperate situation. I am not a habitual lawbreaker and I do not believe that I have a right to break a law just because I think it unfair. I believe that this country's democratically-based procedure of law-making and the system of courts that can protect a person from abuse of the law, gives a person a recourse to merely defying laws that are unjust. But on December 2, 1964 I believed that the situation on the Berkeley campus was desperate because I was convinced that the students were allowed absolutely no way of changing, or even influenceng the formulation of, the laws which governed us.

In the fall semester of 1964 Chancellor Strong held a great many powers. Among thes powers were his power to exercise control over the student body and, if necessary, to discipline members of the student body by expulsion or suspension. By the written laws that govern the University, the administration's powers to do this were almost completely unchecked. Such complete and absolute power is usually no impossible burden for a university student body, because usually a university administration will grant many student desires and usually there is a constructive dialogue between students and administration, even if it is not official and not immediately apparent. But by December 2 I believed such a very necessary dialogue between students and administration had disappeared and I saw no indication that the administration was willing to allow it to return. The administration action that finally convinced me of this was the summoning of Mario Savio and three other FSM leaders to be disciplined for their actions October 1 and 2. The summoning of Savio and the three others not only posed another threat to freedom of political advocacy on campus but it was also a threat to the existance of the FSM — the only effective vehicle we could use to meet this threat. The situation was desperate because the four summoned students, or for that matter any student in the FSM would be judged and punished by the same agent who accused them — the Chancellor's Office or faculty members. I saw this summoning as the culmination of a long series of indications of the administration's unwillingness even to listen to the students. From the very beginning of the free speech conflict I saw the administration work to confuse the issues and to refuse to allow any constructive dialogue between students and administration. (such as Dean Towles' statement when the ban on political activity was first made that tables [were] not to be set up because of a "traffic problem", or the administration's summary rejection of the Heyman report.)

I was arrested [in] December because I believed that all lawful oportunities to change the administration's ban on free speech were closed. And in this desperate situation I acted desperately. I broke the law to protest a law that was unjust and a law I was given not opportunity to change legally.

Yours,

[July, 1965]

Judge Rupert Crittenden

Sir:

Since I want this to be a short statement, I am going to have to skip over the events, the readings, the experiences which have slowly shaped my present frame of reference. In essence, it comes down to this: belief requires action. Out of this, my participation in the Sproul Hall sit-in, for me at least, logically follows. I believed, and still believe, that Free Speech of necessity includes the right to collect money and to advocate action, that the administration at Cal in the early days of the Fall semester of '64 acted to abridge these rights, that this was both wrong and illegal, and that their punishment of individuals for action in this area was also both wrong and illegal.

I do not mean to imply that the blame for the impasse which led to the sit-in was completely one-sided. The failure of communication, of understanding, lies partially on the shoulders of the Free Speech Movement; stubborn, even arrogant intransigence was too often the characteristic position taken by FSM.

For me, the sit-in was not an easy choice. I don't like group action, am not a joiner, and have always had a ready suspicion of anything remotely resembling a mob. Yet, there came a time when I had to weigh and consider all the gray areas, had to conclude that FSM was basically, if desperately, right, and that I had to take a stand. It wasn't an easy decision, and the repercussions are still sounding, but the agony of decision cannot, must not be avoided.

July 8, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
Berkeley Municipal Court
Berkeley, California

Dear Judge Crittenden

My reasons for taking part in the Sproul Hall demonstration on December 2nd and 3rd are first, the unconstitutional restrictions the University administration placed on freedom of expression; second, the intransigence of the administration and failure of normal channels for solution of the conflict; and third, the steps taken by the administration to expel four student leaders of FSM during the days immediately preceding the sit-in.

In the spring semester of 1964 I had studied constitutional law. From the knowledge I gained in this study I was convinced that the original restrictions the University placed on political activity at the beginning of the fall semester were unconstitutional. According to the Supreme Court cases I was familiar with, these prohibitions on the collection of funds, the solicitation of membership, and the advocacy of social and political action constituted a naked abridgement of the freedoms of association and speech guaranteed under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. The University administration made no serious attempt to give a constitutionally justifiable purpose for its prohibitions and in fact there was no constitutionally justifiable purpose.

Later in the semester, discussions in the Chancellor's Study Committee on Political Activity ended with the administration insisting that it had the right to punish students for on-campus advocacy which resulted in illegal off-campus action — with the University determining the connection between the advocacy and the action. The administration took the further step of arguing that an act would not have to be judged unlawful for the University to take action. The University's position, I believed, came dangerously


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close to a previous restraint on speech and constituted a form of double jeopardy. It was my opinion that only courts of law should have the power to determine the legality of specific advocacy and to punish such advocacy. At the Regents' meeting of November 20th, the University's highest governing body reaffirmed the administration's position on advocacy.

It was my belief that before the civil disobedience action of December 2nd FSM tried all practicable means of approach to the administration and to a settlement of the dispute through normal channels. I did not believe that a test case of the restrictive regulations was practical because two civil rights organizations would have been severely handicapped and several campus political organizations would have died from lack of funds and membership during the many long months required for such a case. Moreover, I did not believe that the University was willing to allow itself to be placed in a position vulnerable to lawsuit. Nor did I believe that students disciplined or expelled by the University had access to a court of law for appeal. Their only appeal was to the disciplining and expelling authority itself. There were other extra-campus avenues for settling the conflict. An appeal to the Regents was attempted and failed. In fact the Regents refused to hear an appeal as a body and instead voted to increase administration resources for dealing with rebellious students. I felt that an appeal to the state legislature would have been fruitless because of the unremitting hostility shown by many members of that body and by the general public to FSM and its cause.

I was convinced that all channels of approach existing on campus for settling the conflict were tried by FSM and failed. FSM was continually subjected to administrative arbitrariness, administrative "run-around", and refusal on the part of the administration to discuss constitutional issues. It was my conviction that the channels established for hearing student grievances exist not for justly settling


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these grievances but instead for containing, dissipating, and crushing student dissatisfaction. I looked upon the attitude of the administration as one of paternalism and retribution. Attempts to give serious consideration to FSM complaints were infrequent, if not non-existent. Furthermore, I was appalled by the hypocrisy exhibited by the administration. This hypocrisy was evidenced by the original "traffic problem" excuse given for the restrictions on campus political activity. It was manifested in the administration's slavish response to outside pressures for the curtailment of this student political activity coupled with the administration's refusal to give serious consideration to the student complaints. It was shown by the administration's orgy of self-congratulation throughout the semester for having lifted its self-imposed Communist-speaker ban after the political reasons for the ban no longer existed. It appeared in Clark Kerr's tacit acceptance of the misplaced praise and credit for the non-violent settlement of the October 2nd crisis, when in fact Clark Kerr himself presented the means and threat of violence. It was shown by the administration's failure to uphold or discuss reasonable constitutional principles. And finally, it was exhibited by my third and last reason for demonstrating in Sproul Hall.

This third reason, as I have stated, was the action taken by the administration to expel four student leaders of FSM during the last days of November. This action recalled the administration's earlier refusal to reinstate certain suspended student leaders on the recommendation of the Heyman Committee while their cases were being heard by that committee — in effect declaring them guilty until proven innocent. The action by the administration at the end of November followed the reinstatement of the suspended students and was in effect a negation of this reinstatement. It reached back two months to heretofore unpunished and uncited actions by the four affected students. In my opinion it was a vindictive reaction to the lifting by FSM of its self-imposed moratorium on constitutional political activity. I viewed it as the ultimate in insincerity and hypocrisy on the part of the administration.

For the above three reasons I took part in the demonstration in Sproul Hall on December 2nd and 3rd. It was my intention to remain in Sproul Hall until the University either agreed to allow constitutional political activity on campus or consented to engage in an honest discussion of student grievances. What I thought was factual information at the time may have been erroneous or inaccurate, but on those dates I believed it to be true and accurate and I acted according to these beliefs. To not have acted as I did, I would have considered personally immoral, insincere and intellectually cowardly. I belonged to no political or civil rights group; my act was individual.

Respectfully,

[July, 1965]

Dear Judge Crittenden:

I don't think I'll ever forget the cross-examination of Ex-Chancellor Strong when he was asked:

"Had you ever gone to student rallies to listen to what they were saying?"

"I had passed by them," was his answer.

"But did you ever stop to listen?"

"For a short time, yes."

"Dr Strong, did you ever stay for a whole rally?"

"No."

"Did you ever stay for half the rally? Did you ever stay for more than five minutes, Dr. Strong?"

"No."

That, Judge Crittenden, is what drove me into Sproul Hall on December 3 — the administration's lack of interest, response to and recognition of student requests. And the administrators are the ones who employ our professors, set up curriculum, tell us who will speak to us, set up major requirements. They are the one's to whom we must go for help and counseling. Dr. Strong's attitude I can't excuse. My opinion of Mr. Clark Kerr (who has done much to improve education) is higher because I can say that he is caught in a trap between the Regents, the Students and his fellow executives. But such an administration that can be caught in such a trap should not be handling the educational aspects of the University community for then they put them under serious jeopardy as was seen last semester when student political activities were halted; as was seen in last semester and other semesters when "red baiting" had destroyed many a great, serious teacher; when fear of public disapproval has prevented the Administration from allowing the student body to hear certain speakers and see certain movies. Sir, I don't believe that a University can be run successfully this way. I feel that it is the students that are the University, not the Regents nor the Administration. The Administration should exist to help the students get the best education possible. The administration should act on our ideas, and requests. We should not be forced to subject ourselves to rules created by an Administration controlled by prominent off-campus people who know little about the student body and little of its needs.

Judge Crittenden, you can't understand how much the majority of us love Cal. We are proud of our University and wish to make it a great one. Governor Brown (in a statement I read a few months ago in the Chronicle) told us that if we didn't like what went on at Cal, we should go somewhere else, for hundreds of other students were eagerly awaiting acceptance. I think Governor Edmund Brown misinterpreted our intentions, and us. We are not rioters, nor are we chronic demonstrators. We simply believe in fair play and truth — we felt that the Administration was not showing us either. My immediate reasons for participating in the Sproul Hall sit-in were to speak out for the following: the students who were to be unfairly subjected to disciplinary action by the Administration; educational reform; student and professor unity; a strong student voice in University affairs.

I feel obligated to give to you the reasons why I "went limp." Just as a man is immune to self incrimination and search without a warrant, so a man's most valued possession, his body and "soul" should be protected by the privilege of "going limp." Locke and Hobbes, and even modern American laws imply that self defense is a vital, natural right. In the modern complex society it has been necessary to limit this right just as freedom itself had to be limited. But at least the individual should be given the right to say to the policeman — arrest me, I will not resist, but neither will I give assistance.

Yours truly,

July 13, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
2120 Grove Street
Berkeley, California

Dear Judge Crittenden:

— has asked me to write a word to you about her character. When I was practicing psychology in Beverly Hills she came to me over a period of four years, from August 1959 to the late summer of 1963. Her reason for coming was a slight stuttering condition which plagued her in both her class adjustments and in her social reactions with adults and peers. I feel I know her very well and I am happy to make this report in her behalf.

She is a bright girl who applies herself effectively to her studies and class assignments and respects her opportunity to get an education. She is extremely conscientious and industrious and possesses a very high order of personal integrity. Her honesty and reliability are completely trustworthy in every sphere of her character, morals, work, community relationships, personal interactions, family feelings, and social order. I am not aware of the nature of her problem with you and I feel my statements here are relatively objective and unbiased. I feel that she is one of the finest young women whom I have ever known.

Most sincerely,

[July, 1965]

To: Judge Rupert Crittendon

Subject: Statement regarding my participation in the December sit-in in Sproul Hall

I participated in the sit-in demonstration in Sproul Hall on December 2 to protest certain University regulations which infringed upon my constitutional right to freedom of speech. I felt that I was justified in this action as, to the best of my knowledge, all prior attempts by the students to negotiate with the administration in regard to this matter were unsuccessful as a result of the administration's indifference to the students' demands. I felt that the University was responding to outside pressures in passing the regulations in question and that students could only protect their rights through exerting a counterpressure in the form of a sit-in.

I feel that I acted responsibly in choosing to participate in the sit-in, and, in fact, that I behaved in the only responsible way. Before arriving at the conviction that the students' demands were just, I listened to arguments on both sides carefully and read what responsible literature that was available. I was well aware of the seriousness of an act of civil disobedience but felt that the nature of my grievance was of such importance that it justified and made obligatory my action.

I do not believe that my presence in Sproul Hall on December 2 was unlawful, as I was there on extremely urgent and legitimate business, to protest the abridgment of my consitutional rights. I refused to cooperate with the police officer who arrested me as I felt obliged to remain in the building until I had accomplished my ends.

In conclusion, I feel that my action was a responsible one,


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and, were I confronted with the same situation again, I would certainly behave similarly.

Sincerely,

[July, 1965]

The Honorable Judge Rupert Crittenden
Berkeley-Albany Municipal Court

Your Honor:

In response to a request from the court, this letter is to explain briefly my reasons for being in Sproul Hall December 2-3, 1964. It is difficult, of course, to be brief about motives when the situation has such an involved history and so many things influenced me in important ways. Most of my reasons have been offered in testimony during this trial. In general, I felt a deep moral and intellectual concern about the survival of the university as a place for free inquiry and free discussion, and about the necessity for my participating in a demonstration once the situation had reached the impasse it did. Before then, as now and in the future, I was opposed to the use of demonstrations as political tactics or as effective ways to solve problems. This was the only demonstration in which I have participated. At the time, I did not feel clear about whether I was actually breaking the law by remaining in Sproul Hall as I did.

As a first-term graduate student, coming to Berkeley after four years at Harvard and an upbringing in the academic atmosphere of Yale, I was astounded and deeply concerned by the events of the fall semester. Much of my concern and observation is summarized well, I think, in the report on conditions in the university made to the university's investigating committee (The Byrne Report to the Forbes Committee of the Board of Regents, published in full in the Los Angeles Times, May 12, 1965). Perhaps I felt with greater impact the threat to all university values and function which I'd never imagined could be so easily destroyed. By December 2,


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I had come to believe that none of the parties to the controversies was acting completely in good faith; actions by the administration just before then seemed likely to prevent any solutions from ever being found, no matter what political was made in the community. Under the circumstances, I felt my participation in a demonstration was more important than anything else I could do to prevent losing all hope of reform. This view has to some extent been borne out in the facts cited in the Byrne Report. It has also been encouraging to note that the demonstration had positive results, that rules have now been published which implement many of the recommendations of that report. It is extremely unfortunate that during the fall political means, means of due process, to such solutions had failed. I do not feel that in the event of a future failure of the academic community, or even the larger community, to recognize its problems, further demonstrations are justified.

Yours sincerely,

July 4, 1965

The Honorable Rupert Crittenden
Berkeley Albany Municipal Court
Berkeley, California

On the first day of the fall semester (1964) I was disappointed to hear that the students would no longer be able to set up tables on campus to activate other students to participate in political and social activities. The reason given by the Administration for not allowing us to set up the tables ("tables block the flow of traffic") seemed to me to lack the ring of truth and especially so at a time when most students were keenly interested in the upcoming national elections.

Throughout the semester I kept reacting with disappointment, puzzlement, frustration, and anger to the actions of the Administration. It seemed to me that the whole problem could have been solved easily if the Administration would have realized that the students have a real and intense interest in politics and civil rights and that we felt that involvement in politics and social activities on campus is a legitimate part of our university years.

As the semester progressed, the Administration began to return to us piecemeal what it had taken away from us. We were allowed to set up tables and distribute literature, but the Administration reserved for itself the rigt to determine which of our activities were legal and which were not. I could not accept this solution because the Administration never stated what it considered to be legal and what it considered to be not legal. And in any event I believed that it was the job of the Courts to decide on the legality of any action and that it was not the job of the Administration to decide what actions are legal and what actions are not legal.

I have been brought up with the belief that elected and appointed officials have the obligation to listen to the complaints of the people they govern. During the Fall semester we tried repeatedly to enter into a meaningful dialogue with the U.C. Administration. These attempts either met with failure or with the reply by university officials that they had no choice but to follow the rules established by the Regents and that any changes would have to be approved by the Regents. On November 20, 1964 we took our complaints to the Regents.

What happened at this meeting is a good example of the way things went all semester. The Regents refused to listen to various student proposals that they make certain changes in the rules governing student political activity. The Regents not only refused to listen to representatives of the FSM but they also refused to listen to the proposals put forth by the student government. I was one of the five thousand students sitting on the lawn outside the building where the Regents were meeting as a form of petition to the Regents to hear what our representatives had to say. When our representatives came out and told us that they were not given a chance to speak I left with a heavy heart. The highest official body to whom we could appeal had refused to listen to us and in doing so the Regents denied that we had a legitimate complaint. What is more important, this decision denied that we, as students, had a right to be heard in matters which affected us directly and with which we were very concerned.

This feeling of sadness soon turned to anger when on returning to Berkeley after Thanksgiving, I found out that four students had been selected by the Administration to be disciplined for events that had occurred almost two months before. I had thought that the October 2nd incident was water under the bridge, and in any event I thought that it was unfair for the Administration to select four people to be disciplined when thousands of us had been involved. Furthermore, there was the question of due process. The Chancellor was pressing the charges. The four students were to go before a committee selected by the Chancellor. The committee was to make a recommendation to the Chancellor who was to have the final say as to what to do with the four students. The Chancellor, then, not only pressed the charges and selected the judge but he himself was the final judge. This seemed to me to be a violation of every rule of fair play. I did not see how the four students could possibly get a fair hearing in this type of situation and I did not feel that I could just sit by and do nothing while four students faced the risk of expulsion for activity which I had supported and in which I had participated.

Had there been other means of communication open to us the sit-in would never have occurred. But as far as I could see there were no other means available to us to let the Administration know how we felt. The Student Government was not able to communicate any more effectively with the Administration than could the FSM. Chancellor Strong did not appear to be inclined to enter into a meaninful discussion with the students and the Regents had in effect told us on November 20th that they were not interested enough in our problems to even let us come and speak to them.

I went into Sproul Hall on December 2, 1964, to show my solidarity with the four cited students. I did not leave Sproul Hall when requested to do so because I wanted to bring our complaints to the attention of the general public in the hope that an aroused public would encourage the Administration to enter into a thoughtful and serious discussion with the students. Our hope was that public interest would help us gain the rights to engage in a honest an open exchange of ideas with the right to engage in social and political action on campus without unnecessary restrictions and harassments. The reason I did not walk out of the building when asked to do so by the arresting officer was because I entered the building to make a protest and I was not voluntarily going to leave the building until the Administration agreed to sit down with us in an honest attempt to discuss ways of changing the rules on political activity which we found so unbearable.

My decision to participate in the sit-in was not taken lightly nor was I happy about it. Respect for the law had been an integral part of my upbringing and up to that point I had never envisioned that I might find myself in conflict with the law. I knew that while my parents would understand my motives they still would be greatly upset by my actions, and I did not want them to feel any distress because of what I did. And yet I felt that the issues at stake were important enough to override the scruples I usually live by.

As I look back on the sit-in today, I still feel that we had no other way open to us to bring about what I considered to be some badly needed changes in the university. As a result of our sit-in the Administration has make many changes and it has also set up the machinery by which disputes between the students and the Administration could be settled in a more rational manner. It is unfortunate that the price we had to pay to get the Administration to make some changes — changes which the Administration now admits were desperately needed — is a criminal record which will follow us for the rest of our lives.

Respectfully submitted

July 14, 1965

The Honorable Rupert G. Crittenden
Judge of the Municipal Court
2120 Grove St.
Berkeley, Calif. 94704

Dear Judge Crittenden:

—, one of the Sproul Hall sit-in defendants, will be sentenced by you on July 19th. I know that in the case of youthful first-offenders, judges are eager to ascertain their background, motivation and character before imposing sentence. I consider it my duty to supply the following information to you.

— has been an honor-student in our Religious School throughout his childhood and youth. In recognition of his exemplary participation in youth activities, he was awarded a B'nai B'rith Scholarship for a year's study in Israel.

In the Spring of 1962, while on our pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Mrs. — and I visited — at his school in Jerusalem. We found that he had chosen to assume a most exacting religious regimen and was applying himself to his Biblical studies with diligence.

Since his return from Jerusalem, he has continued his religious way of life with great devotion. We engaged him to lead our Youth Congregation, which he did for two years with zeal and dedication. Our young people are profoundly impressed by his intense and extensive religious commitments and self-discipline. (Paradoxically, his father is prominent in the liberal leadership of our Congregation). Whether traditionalist or progressive, all of us are convinced that — is a deeply religious young man with tremendous promise of community leadership upon achieving maturity.

None of the people among whom — grew up would ever think of him as a rebellious person. For two years prior to his transfer to the Berkeley Campus, he has been teaching the Rabbinic doctrine of gradual human elevation through voluntary assumption of self-discipline in a free society. Up to the time of the Berkeley incidents he had always practiced the tolerance and passivity toward others and the strict demands on self which he had learned and taught.

It appears that youthful idealism of even the highest order can be misguided. Your judicial wisdom can give that idealism a more mature direction. As a Congregation, we pray most fervently and plead most sincerely that —'s sentence be tempered with such wisdom. As an individual, I would stake everything I am and have on the conviction that you will never regret your leniency to —.

Respectfully yours,

July 7, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
2120 Grove Street
Berkeley Calif.

Dear Judge Crittenden:

I have known — for 15 years, since the very day he arrived in Sacramento. My interest in him has been a deeply personal one, as he is the exact age of my youngest son, who has been a close friend of his for years and is a fellow student of —'s at Berkeley.

— is an intense and dedicated young man, who has always gone all out for causes in which he believes. My son and I for the most part believe in the same causes as does, but like most prudent people, we go only so far even for causes we feel are just — we never "stick our necks out" — we just are willing to "stand up and be counted". My son tells me that contrary to most reports, the overwhelming majority of Cal students were strongly behind the FSM movement.

What about the the van guard the students up front? The law has found them guilty — they stuck their necks out, they asked for it, they got it. Having proved their point, that they were willing to sit in until arrested, I agree that they should have accepted the expected arrest, and submitted quietly, without "going limp." But somehow the phrase "resisting arrest" doesn't in my mind jibe with the television scenes or the newspaper accounts!

— is a fine person, great potential for a future in social service work or the academic field. I would hate to see a person so honest, so hardworking. and so sincere receive a harsh sentence. In fact I feel that getting bumped down those stairs was punishment enough for the going limp part! Maybe I'm out of order if this letter is construed as an attempt to influence you but I know that fine boy well enough to "stick my neck out" for him!

Finally, I have a hunch that in years to come — will feel a little uncomfortable about his all out involvement but my son and thousands of other Cal Students will feel a little uncomfortable in that they were not more involved!

Sincerely

July 7, 1965

The Honorable Rupert Crittenden
Berkeley-Albany Municipal Court
2120 Grove Street
Berkeley, California

Dear Judge Crittenden:

We deem it a privilege to have the opportunity of giving you a "parents'-eye" view of our son, —, and want also to express to you our appreciation for maintaining this scrupulous interest in each student on trial, in spite of the great number under consideration.

My husband and I are social workers; my husband is a social work consultant with the State Department of Social Welfare and I am working in a childrens' institution as a casework-supervisor.

— has been endowed with an easy-going disposition, a soft heart, good intelligence and a fine sense of humor, and these traits have tended to make his childhood and early youth as free of conflict and turmoil as it can possibly be. He never seemed to feel the need to "show off", strive for popularity, or be "in" with any group, yet he always had friends and always kept active — among his favorite activities were scouting and other youth activities. He was no "goody-goody" (he is too much of a tease with a tendency to practical jokes, for that), yet from early childhood he has had a strong sense of moral values and we have never had reason to revise our complete confidence that — — or his sister, three years his senior — would ever do anything that would violate the ethical code they have acquired at home and in the Synagogue.

Upon graduation from high school, the Sacramento Chapter of the B'nai B'rith, in recognition of —'s services as a leader in the AZA (a youth group sponsored by this organization), awarded him a scholarship enabling him to spend a year of study and work in Israel. — returned from his stay in Israel deeply interested in religion as well as in social justice.

In this serious mood he enrolled at the Sacramento City College where he became an honor student. He also began to be interested in existing social, economic and racial inequalities and discrimination. — became an active member of CORE and soon became imbued with the feeling that it was up to his generation in general and up to him in particular, to start righting the wrongs that the Negroes have been suffering for so long. — spent a year tutoring in a local study center sponsored by the Community Welfare Council and worked one summer as a volunteer for a YWCA sponsored program.

When — transferred to Berkeley he came to feel that the privilege of attending a great university was not a privilege to withdraw into an academic ivory-tower, and that it was his moral obligation to continue working for racial equality, and economic betterment for the poor — in short, to help bring the realization of the American Dream to all Americans. Because the Free Speech Movement evinced similar aims, — joined this group.

At the time of the Sproul Hall sit-in on December 2, 1964 — was convinced that the issues at stake were of prime importance not only to all students, but also to the University as a whole. As he repeated to us again and again, "We don't want to harm the University, we would like to see it function at its best." — felt that if he had walked out of Sproul Hall when there was yet time to do so, he would have traded his self-respect for self-interest. And because we had brought — up to believe that one's self-respect is indeed to sine qua non of one's peace of mind and mental health, we have accepted —'s actions in the spirit which motivated him, even though from the vantage point of our age and our experience we could not help but advocate a slower course of action which would not have infringed upon the law. But, as an old Jewish proverb says: "You cannot expect to find a mature head on young shoulders."

In conclusion, we would like to enter the plea that in judging the students on trial, the court consider them not as criminals or delinquents who are out to serve their own needs without any regard for the welfare of others, but as young people intent to serve the welfare of society, as they see it, in spite of the dangers to their own immediate or future welfare.

Respectfully yours,

July 6, 1965

Your Honor,

I entered Sproul Hall intending to stay, using my physical presence as an emblem of protest; I had no idea, and remain now unconvinced, that I was doing an injustice, although I suspected that the action could be construed as extra-legal.

I chose this particular form of protest because the time seemed right, as well as the cause, and the participants seemed ready. That the political and civil issues involved could be given their proper emphasis by some sort of conspicuous mass action, I was sure, and felt also that no suit, let alone an effective suit, could or would be made through the courts without a concrete affirmative gesture. I would characterize the sit-in, for my own part, just so: a "concrete affirmative gesture."

I felt further that the issues on which I took stands and sides were important enough to call thus peremptorily to the public eye, worth even peoples' missing the point of the protest, if only to consider it. And of the effectiveness of my individual decision to join the mass protest, I am sure also.

Thank you for the careful consideration of my case.

Very sincerely,

[July, 1965]

Dear Judge Crittenden,

I sat in at Sproul Hall because I felt that the students were being treated unjustly. I felt that their complaints were legitimate, justified and important. The indifference and total disregard for those complaints was inexcusable. This being the case, I felt that something important and drastic only would finally prove to them that the problem was a serious one and that the students were really serious. I know that trespassing is illegal. I was prepared to take the consequences if this act would finally after untold effort, would make them realize what they had done. I believe that if you allow people to take away rights gradually, you will turn around one day living under a dictatorship. This sit-in represents more than a Regent-student struggle. It is a struggle for keeping one's basic rights as enjoyed by the Constitution. I know we were right and I would do it again.

Respectfully yours,

July 4, 1965

Dear Judge Crittenden,

The reasons why I sat in Sproul Hall on December 3 and 4, 1964 are briefly outlined below:

  • In limiting political and social organization and discussion on the Berkeley campus during the fall of 1964, the University administration also quashed student civil rights organizations. Since I am convinced that the civil rights movement is an essential factor in restoring dignity and freedom to deprived segments of the United States' population, and that the civil rights movement is best led and organized by educated people, I thought that the administration had acted wrongly in its repression of student civil rights activity and organization.
  • Administration policy on student political and social activity during the fall was unclear, but the administration chose to ignore the policy recommendations of the Academic Senate regarding liberalizing and clarifying campus rules concerned with student political and social activity on and off campus. The administration also terminated discussion with student leaders who were concerned with the repressed civil rights organizations and activities. Since the channels for communication between students and administration were cut off by the beginning of December, it became imperative to find some way to reopen communication, because the academic careers of several of the student leaders concerned with civil rights were endangered by the lack of democratic judicial procedure on the part of the administration.
  • I therefore felt morally obligated to somehow register my opinion on the matter to the administration, and to express my sympathy with the cause of civil rights and the importance of its campus organization. I thus chose to sit in Sproul Hall, because I was convinced that this would bring to the attention of the administration my fervent belief in human rights, human dignity, and my support of the campus civil rights organizations.

Truly yours,

[July, 1965]

Judge Rupert Crittenden:

I feel that when a society has forgotten the meanings and the reasons for its platitudes about freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom to petition, when its bureaucrats think that they encompass everything in their power and in their morality, and when those bureaucrats as their bureaucracies grow in size find that the above freedoms present only barriers to the smooth operation of the machine, those freedoms are in desperate danger and must be vigorously protected.

In a society whose people are devoid of social conscience, whose people do not think of each other or even of themselves but only of status, whose people work only to exploit each other or under the exploitation of each other, the only cause for hope arises from intelligent, dedicated individuals who are willing to imperil everything they have to protect what good there is in the society and to reform and reconstruct the rest.

The struggle in Berkeley was over two principles: freedom of speech and assembly, and the right of the governed to have a voice in the body that governs. The first was the main issue. It was the issue which brought people together who were willing to risk their careers and even their lives to protect the liberty this country was said to have been conceived in.

On the whole we have at least temporarily won the battle for free speech and assembly on the campus. The second principle, the attainment of which most of us feel is the only way to permanently achieve the first, has in no way yet been recognized by the campus administration. However if a fight over this principle of representation unfortunately should have to continue this Fall, I do not think that mass civil disobedience will be used. The situation has changed, the problem is more advanced. The fight would be to organize the campus, for once united, the campus must be heard by those who wish to govern it.

I do not believe that civil disobedience is basically a good idea nor that it is easily justified, but, you know, there comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart . . .

Sincerely yours,

July 9, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
2120 Grove Street
Berkeley, California

Dear Judge Crittenden:

This letter is in reference to my son, —, who is one of the Berkeley students involved in the sit-in at Sproul Hall.

I would like to tell you that — has never given me reason to be other than proud of him. He has been an excellent student. As your records show, he won both a state and a private scholarship when he graduated from high school and he was a National Merit Scholarship runner-up. Furthermore, he is one of the minority of young people today who cares about what is happening in our world and feels that he has a responsibility to society.

All he has said and done with regard to the situation at Berkeley has made it clear that he acted out of a moral commitment to what he honestly believed was for the good of both the university and the country as a whole, even though he has been well aware of the possible cost to himself.

I think that is a pretty sound basis for action, and I hope with all my heart that he manages to hang on to that attitude.

Sincerely yours,

July 13, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
Berkeley-Albany Municipal Court
Berkeley, California

Your Honor:

In September the administration attempted to severely restrict student political speech, advocacy and activity. This occurred at a time when this activity was beginning to be effective. Such coincidences do not often occur withour causal connection. Therefore, I believed the administration acted deliberately. Since a democracy cannot function as intended without giving full political rights to its citizens, and since the administration's actions were clearly anti-democratic in their manner and intent, I supported the FSM from its inception.

Prior to the December sit-in, the FSM engaged in numerous protests and negotiations. Students also became aware that a return to the old conditions would remove only the severest restrictions on their rights. Although the FSM activity produced a few gains in student rights, these gains were not accompanied by guarantees against further arbitrary restriction by the administration in the future. It was impossible to obtain such guarantees because of the authoritarian and undemocratic nature of the administration's organisation, use of power and manner of decision making.

I supported the December sit-in as a means of protest and as a political weapon to obtain student civil liberties and to obtain democratic representation of students in decision making and the enforcement of rules to the extent that their own activities and environment are affected. I supported this "civil disobedience" not only because it is justified in view of the civil liberties issues involved but also because the authority which deems such protest illegitimate, being undemocratic, is itself illegitimate. I continue to support protests against arbitrary administrative authority and efforts to obtain full student political rights and a democratic institutional structure an the campus, and I will support and participate in repeated civil disobedience to attain these ends if, in my judgement, the circumstances justify it.

I personally joined the December sit-in because it would have been most hypocritical for me to urge others to accept the consequences of civil disobedience designed to secure my own political rights without accepting those consequences myself. Although I do not consider my actions criminal, I wish the Court to understand that I realized at the time that they would be considered so, and am willingly held accountable for them. My actions were committed with deliberateness and due consideration of their personal and social implications.

Respectfully yours

To the Hon. Rupert Crittenden:

I regarded the attempt of the administration at the University of California at Berkeley to quash all student political activity last fall as an unjustifiable abuse of power. Because I despise abuse of power as a matter of course, because I do not regard the rights of free speech, press, and assembly to be conditional on the approval of a university dean, and because I did not wish to see the local civil rights organizations strangled by inability to raise financial support, I decided to protest and oppose these policies of the university. For this reason I participated in the Free Speech Movement.

My decision to participate in the Sproul Hall sit-in was made after as careful and complete an evaluation of the situation, principles, and consequences involved as I was capable of. It was made in total awareness of the probability of arrest and the possibility of conviction.

At that time, the administration was making a show of trying to accomodate student demands and simultaneously attempting to expel student leaders. Where all channels of communication had been closed by the administration, this action, in violation of preceding student-administration agreements, created a situation in which the only remaining course of action left to the students was a confrontation. Because I fully realized that the only remaining and possible course of action was an exercise of force to match that of the administration, and because of my commitment to the unity of action in the Free Speech Movement, I decided to participate in the sit-in.

I realized that some measure of order would have to be sacrificed, but in this conflict of values I regarded the principles involved in the Free Speech controversy to be of such importance as to warrent that sacrifice.

I believed and still believe, that my participation in the Sproul Hall sit-in was a highly principled action. A refusal to participate in the sit-in would have amounted to a betrayal of my convictions and constituted nothing short of moral cowardice.

Yours sincerely

July 12, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden:

I am informed by my attorney that the court is requiring from me a short statement explaining why I sat in at Sproul Hall.

My reasons for being in Sproul Hall are substantially the same as those of the defendants who took part in the representative trial. I was protesting what I believed to be the unconstitutional restriction of the freedom of speech and political activity of students by the university administration. I was further protesting what I believed to be the arbitrary disciplinary action against a small group of students by the university administration.

Since I believed that these protests were justifiable on both constitutional and moral grounds, and since I believed that all other avenues of discourse with the university administration were either exhausted or closed, I was forced to resort to a peaceful sit in as the only remaining legitimate way in which to give expression to these protests.

[July, 1965]

Judge Rupert Crittenden
2120 Grove St.
Berkeley, California

Dear Judge Crittenden:

I was born October 27, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois, and moved with my parents to California in 1947. I grew up in Monrovia, Calif., and graduated with honors from Monrovia High School in 1959. I entered the University of California that fall with a California State Scholarship. For two years I lived in Barrington Hall, a student co-op before moving into an apartment. I had a double major in physics and astronomy during the five years I was an undergraduate at UC.

For three summers I did calculations and worked in the field for the Geophysics Branch of the United States Geological Survey in Menlo Park, Calif. In 1963 I was employed as a research assistant for the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California and for 1.5 years was allowed to do research on a topic of my own choice. The results are contained in a paper "A Model of the Internal Constitution and Temperature of the Planet Mercury" published in the Feb. 15, 1965 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research. I obtained my BA in June of 1964 and spent a year of study and research on my own. In the fall of this year I will be going to England to Churchill College in Cambridge University for graduate study leading to a PhD in astrophysics.

I am a member of the Berkeley Consumers Co-op and consider myself a resident of the community. While a student I took part in the Fair Housing campaign, as well as the protest against HUAC and the sit-ins over job discrimination at the Palace Hotel. I considered the actions and policies of the UC Regents and Administration to have violated the political rights and freedoms guaranteed to Americans by the Declaration of Independance and the United States Constitution. I am prepared to suffer the consequences for the actions I took along with the other 800 in defense of these liberties.

Sincerely,

July 13, 1965

Dear Judge Crittenden,

I followed, rather than participated in, the actions of the students and the administration from September until the incident around the car. There I sat in periodically. After that time the "score" between the two factions appeared to be settled. When the administration sent the letters to the four students, however, I felt that it was unlikely that they would be treated fairly. That incident, specifically, led me to go into Sproul Hall on December 2. At that time I did not think that arrests would be made, probably because they were not made either in the previous sit-in in that building or in the incident around the police car.

More generally and more importantly, I felt the civil rights work here in the Bay Area as well as in the South could be hindered by the administration's new enforcement of the rules on collection of funds etc. Although I had not personally participated in civil rights work until December, the movement has had my sympathy for much longer and I entered Sproul Hall in its defense. Because of this, I feel that my actions there were right in the moral sense, and I would repeat them if I felt this was again the case, although perhaps with greater trepidation at the possibility of another arrest.

Sincerely,

July 11, 1965

Judge Rupert Crittenden
c/o Lawyers' Committee
2214 Grove Street
Berkeley, California

Your Honor:

Soon after the arrests in December, I wrote a letter to a friend who is teaching in Japan, trying to explain to her my involvement in the events of last fall. The letter is long and complicated, but I think a quotation from it provides the most honest, unreconstructed answer I can give to your question:

". . . Monday following the Regents meeting, with the 'lawful-unlawful 'problem unsettled, some students willing to accept the Regents' dicta, others not, everyone feeling impotent after the Regents' performance, the Chancellor decided to punish four of the FSM leaders. Besides being vindictive, this action put the other leaders and the lay-FSMer in a bind. For myself this was the problem. I had supported the leaders and their actions to this point (by signing the graduate petition, attending rallies and the vigil at the Regents meeting); I thought they were in the right, and by following I had encouraged them. Could I fade out now and let them take the punishment? If the FSM quit now would anything be done about the 'lawful-unlawful' problem? Judging from the administration's earlier performance, no. The FSM staged a sit-in protest in Sproul Hall. Which was more important, the law against trespass or the administration's ignoring rights guaranteed by the 1st Amendment? After four or five hours of indecision, almost chickening out, I rode my bicycle back to campus and carried my headache under the policeman's arm as he locked the doors of Sproul at 7:00 p.m. . ."

I was not a member of any campus organization at the time the ban was placed on tables at the Bancroft and Telegraph area. My work on an M.A. in Comparative Literature and my other major interests have been apolitical. However, I felt strongly that basic rights were being denied students on our campus. The events preceeding December 3 made clear to me that the administration had no intention of listening seriously to students' grievances, much less acting upon them. I became convinced that the only way anyone would be heard was for a great number of students to remain peacefully in Sproul Hall untill someone took notice and listened in earnest to what they were saying. I decided that according to my own sense of right and what is important I should be there to be counted.

Yours sincerely,

About this text
Title: Defendants' Letters -- N-P
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