Administrative Pressures and Student Political Activity at the University of California

Information about Report

Confused Poop Sheet for Research on Repression in Berkeley

We are preparing a 30 to 50,000 word report on the history of repression at Berkeley. We believe we can show that a broad spectrum of incidents and measures have had a massive repressive effect upon all forms of student-citizen involvement in social and political activity. The result has been to cripple the leadership of such activity, to demolish its organs of communication, and to cripple the organizations responsible for the educating and mobilizing functions of this activity.

This report will be directed to the Chancellor's (new) committee, to the Academic Senate, to Chancellor Kerr and Governor Brown, and be made generally available to students and faculty (in the interests of their education.) We hope that it will serve as a theoretical framework for future action in the field of civil liberties and possibly as an informational resource for court or other actions, as well as provide a brief account (!) of some aspects of student activity and the responses such activity has engendered.

We desperately need research and background material on specific organizations and topics. These pages are meant as a general indication of the type of material needed, and as a plea for assistance from anyone able and willing to help.

Information On Organizations, Etc.

This is a brief sketch of the types of information needed:

In respect to all the above types of information, the following should be observed:

This brief (!!) guide is of course an impossible job; but some approach to fulfilling it must be made. Any of the above information MUST be given in writing (typed, if possible), and in a fairly coherent and organized form. The problems of coordinating and handling the material obviously preclude verbal communications being very helpful.

Finally, time is short. We should like to have the report ready by the first of November, in order that it may be given to the study committee. This is, clearly, an impossible task: but it must be done. Hence, even partial coverage of the above topics is desperately needed. People are needed for research (e.g. newspaper files) and interviewing; at the end of this leaflet appears a list of people covering specific topics who need help or will be able to direct help to where it is needed.

Information Sheet for Research on Repression in Berkeley

We are compiling a report on repression at Berkeley. The project is massive and complex, and much aid is needed. This information sheet describes the general nature and goals of the report, indicates specific areas of work in which help is needed, and provides some general guidlines upon which to base research on specific topics.

The central thesis of the report is fairly simple. In the past seven years there has been a broadening concern on the part of the student-citizen with social and political activity. The 'movement' this concern has produced, and in which it is embodied, has evoked in response a wide spectrum of incidents and measures which have tended to severely repress this 'movement' and to infringe the civil liberties of participants in the 'movement' and of others. The cumulative effect of this repressive response has been to cripple the leadership of the 'movement', to virtually destroy its channels of communication, and to seriously damage those areas of the 'movement' whose function is to educate, to organize, or to mobilize.

We are using a generalized concept of 'repression' to establish this thesis. By a 'repressive measure', we mean simply any incident or measure which has tended to repress social and political activity, or to infringe civil liberties. Some examples will show the scope with which we are employing this concept, and will indicate the type of treatment we purpose.

a) Following the Fred Schwartz-William Mandel debate several years ago, the Regents were sent copied of Tocsin (a periodical somewhat to the right of the Birch Society), which contained condemnations of KPFA, for which Mandel is a commentator. Shortly thereafter KPFA was forbidden permission to record, or to use tapes recorded at, any campus event sponsored by students. Since KPFA had for years been the main channel of communication between the student 'movement' and the outside community, and had broadcast such tapes whenever they seemed to deserve an outside audience (which was often), the repressive effect of this refusal was considerable. This and other incidents involving KPFA become more interesting when they are considered in the context of the following: the repeated refusal of the Regents to allow establishment of a campus FM station that might reach the outside community (one exists at Santa Barbara): the apparent reluctance of the campus AM station to carry programs on topics connected with the 'movement'; and, in particular, the consequences of the establishment of new rules governing the Daily Californian, which caused the strike of 1960 and resulted in the DC's changing its pattern of news coverage and becoming, in the eyes of many, a 'house organ'.

b) Repressive measures occur in concatenated chains; it is important to establish their interrelation. For example: the growing response to SLATE- sponsored activities, and SLATE's political success, in time moved the ASUC to broaden the scope of its concern to include the social/political activities that students were becoming involved with. This led to criticism of the ASUC from outside, and to attempts to limit its activities in this domain. This in turn provoked the dissatisfaction of graduate students with the ASUC. A poll was taken (not all graduates were reached), and a referendum offered them the simple choice of remaining in the ASUC or leaving it. A minority of graduates voted. Of this number, a majority wanted to leave. Thereupon, the graduates were declared out of the ASUC. No serious attempt by the Administration, the faculty, or, unfortunately, by the graduates themselves, was made to establish a voluntary membership pattern for graduates. The severance of the graduates from the ASUC has its consequences: in following years the patterns of graduate leadership and participation in groups concerned with social and political affairs changed markedly, to the detriment of such groups.

c) A body of regulations governing the relations student groups enjoy with the University has been established in recent years. We believe we can document in depth the following claim: these regulations have seriously hampered, and in some cases effectively destroyed, the functioning of all groups involved in social and political activity, have infringed the civil liberties of their members and others, and have had serious consequences for student groups not involved in such activity. By 'document in depth', we mean: provide substantiation of this thesis for every such group.

If such documentation can be furnished (we believe it can, under conditions mentioned later on), the seriousness of the following charge becomes evident: that this body of regulations is not a result of law, but of interpretation of the law. After documenting this charge as far as is possible, we will try to display the motivations for such interpretations of the law by documentation, establishment of repeated patterns, and informed speculation as to the pressures which have possibly influenced these interpretations.

d) Note that, in our sense of the term 'repressive measure', each time an organization is denied use of a University facility by such a regulation, or does not ask for such use because such a regulation exists, it has been subjected to a repressive measure. The term is not intended to be pejorative, however: the inability or refusal of the graduates to provoke a dialoge on the subject of voluntary ASUC membership has had repressive consequences upon many organizations, and the failure of the faculty to implement channels of communication between the students and the Administration has had repressive consequences for both these groups. Similarly, the fact that the students did not fully and actively support the faculty in the loyalty oath controversy of 1949-51 has had repressive consequences for the faculty.

Clearly the spectrum of incidents and measures we are attempting to treat is very broad. (Some unifying principle must be used to integrate all this material; the concept of 'repression' has been generalized, to this end.) Clearly also, the difficulties of this undertaking are immense. We shall return to these two points later on.

Purpose Of The Report

The specific purposes of the report are several. It will be submitted to the Chancellor's Study Committee to aid it in reaching conclusions about the expression of civil liberties on the campus. It will be given to Governor Brown, to President Kerr, to the Academic Freedom Committee of the Academic Senate, and to the AAUP and ACLU, as background material for these individuals and organizations to use as they see fit. Finally, we shall try to make it generally available to students and faculty members interested in the subjects with which it deals.

More generally, the report will be intended to meet a need which has often been felt by those concerned with the student-citizen role in social and political activity. No comprehensive effort has been made before to provide a broad description of the extent of such activity, nor of the response to it and the problems it has faced. In this sense, the report is meant also as an historical document, and as source material for future such documents.

In respect to these aims, it should be mentioned that the Executive Committee of the Free Speech Movement has endorsed this as an official FSM document, pending approval of it upon completion, and has pledged support; and that SLATE has done similarly.

Structure Of Report; Methodology

The structure of the report will (provisionally) be as follows. A 20,000 to 50,000 main essay giving a brief history of student social and political activity, setting forth in more detail the main thesis mentioned on page 1, and substantiating this thesis by a fairly detailed analysis of topics having the flavor of items a) - d). This essay will be documented as thoroughly as is possible; the documentation will be contained in a series of appendices. The number of these appendices is as yet uncertain; it will depend on the amount of material we are able to draw upon, and will be somewhere between 20 and 100. These appendices will for the most part consist of fuller descriptions or interpretations of specific subjects in the essay; for an idea of their scope, see Topics (below).

As regards methodology, we intend to use the generalized concept of 'repression' purely in a phenomenological sense, i.e., we are not interested in charging conspiracies, nor in ascribing blame. The concept of blame has no place in this report (indeed, if 'blame' exists, it falls on all groups and, probably, on all). We wish instead simply (!) a description of the present circumstances and problems of student involvement in political and social activity, and a perspective on the history and forces which have brought about these circumstances and problems. It should be noted that the concept of 'responsibility' is distinct from that of 'blame', for the latter presupposes a moral judgement, while the former is merely descriptive. We have already made a moral judgement by deciding that the topic and subjects of this report are important; it is our feeling that the purpose of this report will be furthered by giving as objective an account as is possible of the causal connections between a wide variety of events, rather than by trying to assign 'blame'. The basic equation of this report will be: "X happened, and was responsible for Y happening". We shall for the most part be concerned with documenting such relationships, either directly or by displaying a repeated pattern that strongly suggests such a relationship. Occasionally this will be impossible to do (e.g., in a) above, surely no causal connection can be established between Tocsin and the KPFA incident, but the temporal coincidence is so striking as to make mention of it irresistible); but we shall try to hold such occasions to a minimum, and to qualify them carefully. We feel that documentable facts will be sufficient to establish a possibly-perturbing picture.

A Plea For Help

Obviously, the problems involved in a project of this size and complexity are staggering(the full report may run over 100,000 words). The situation is mildly complicated by our having set a deadline of November 2 for completion of the report. This is patently impossible to accomplish; it must be accomplished, nevertheless, if the Chancellor's committee is to have the benefit of this report. And it can be accomplished (the evidence of one's experience notwithstanding) if people are willing to contribute more than good will.

Presently 40 people are working on various aspects of this report, not counting the "work staff", of which more later. If twice this number can be found, the goal in the last paragraph can be realized; if more, no one knows what we might do.

Let's put it bluntly. The potential consequences of this report are tremendous, if and only if its aims are accomplished. And for this, good will isn't worth a damn. The only way to get this report out in the form it might have, is for individuals to be willing to take on a specified area of responsibility, small or large, and do it competently and do it fast. Nothing else counts. Suggestions are fine, good wishes are dandy: and irrelevant. (The right to make suggestions about treatment, scope, etc. of this report is earned by working on it.) We who are working on this report feel that it is, in a sense, a test. There are many people on campus who will sit down around a car, on impulse or out of conviction, and spend a while sharing in the drama of a situation, surrounded by others in a common cause and basking in a good feeling inside. Fine, we're not knocking it; many of us were around that car: but maybe this is as important, or more important. And there are others who wouldn't sit, who said, "Yeah, good cause but wrong method, this should be done coldly and rationally, what are the facts, surely Reason Will Prevail, or at least you should try." (Some of us said that too.) Well, here's the chance for the latter to show they're not just mouthing off, and for the former to show they've got the guts to something a bit harder than sitting in the sun. (Sure, waiting for the cops took a kind of guts, but this is a different kind we mean. Because the work involved in this report is brutal. The first 2 1/2 pages of prospectus and goals may look pretty, and we hope that the report will be, in a sense, pretty. But the work involved is just plain ugly. It involves running around, losing sleep, praying your classes won't wipe you out (only consolation: 2 week deadline), trying desperately to organize facts and find them in time to meet a deadline. Or it involves digging through newspaper files and making painfully-accurate collections of references, or sitting with a typewriter and tape-recorder trying to transcribe tapes (torture). There'll be no pay and no thanks from anyone, save maybe the few people you work with.

This is probably a bad way to plead for help; but we just haven't got time enough to use circumlocutions. The test of whether you think this report is valuable, of whether you want to see some footing put under, and substance put in, your civil-libertarian interests is whether you're willing to work on this. No one has any time, that's an axiom; you have to make it. People working on the report probably have more responsibilities to fulfill, and are at least as concerned about their schoolwork, as you are; but they believed it was important enough to find a place for it. In a word: the report needs you.

Sermon over, back to business. Except to say again: if enough people think this is important, the report can be done as fully and as well as we hope. It is our feeling that the report is the most important order of business for the FSM, and that its effectiveness in this regard is only a small fraction of its potential effectiveness.


Fortunately, most of the material involved breaks down fairly clearly into "topics": topics narrow (history of a particular organization, generalized problems of repression it has faced) or broad (see b), page 1). Or, into "blocks of work": e.g., to do the documentation on a specific event or issue, or to transcribe a given tape.

The only way to handle the topics is for people, individual people, to take responsibility for providing as comprehensive and responsible a job on a given topic as they can. If they have responsibility for a topic, they can get others to help them in gathering and interpreting material, and the work staff will provide people to trace documentation, type up tapes, etc. But the notion of 'responsibility' is crucial here; it is the keystone on which the whole report rests.

(Since this information sheet is also intended for those who are working on topics, let it be noted that the first 2 1/2 pages are intended as a general guide to the aims and tone and methodology of their individual blocks of responsibility. Please to heed this insofar as is possible; it will make the editing and integrating of the entire report much more feasible.)

There follows a list of "topics", with some indication of their nature if this is not obvious. Some of the topics have been accepted as responsibilities; the names and phones of those involved are listed, for the convenience both of the others involved and of anyone wishing to contribute to that specific topic (if you know anything, your knowledge will probably be needed). (Note to those who have topics: try to keep a constant cross-flow of questions and information between related topics.) We desperately need people qualified to take charge of the unassigned topics, or to take the responsibility of recruiting a staff to investigate such a topic. Please note that each organization concerned with social or political activity is in itself a topic; we have prepared a guide to research on organizations, which is available via Work Central or Coordinating; if you would like to take the responsibility of covering an organization not on the list, please contact coordinating.

Topic Number

    Topic Number
  1. Free Speech Rally Spring 1959: causes, events, consequences, parallels with the first weeks of this semester. Aryay Lenske, TH17963.
  2. Recent activities re Farm Labor; coordinating past farm labor activities. Irene Bronston, TH16779.
  3. Attempts to gain student control of ASUC finances. Joe Hacker, TH56237.
  4. Housing office loyalty oath controversy. Phil Roos, TH35611.
  5. Coordination of research on attempts to make the ASUC voluntary, and the change of ASUC to compulsory status in 1955. Phil Roos, TH35611.
  6. Kerr Directives: causes, meaning, consequences. Barry Jablon, TH91527 (call after 1 p.m.)
  7. Background of the Daily Californian strike; events of the strike; consequences. Larry Marks, 5271525.
  8. The Drinnon and Angress cases. Bob Starobin, TH58421.
  9. DuBois Club and Students For Fair Housing. Jack Kurzweil, TH33538.
  10. Last year of SLATE. Sandor Fuchs, TH13454.
  11. SLATE, Summer 61 to Summer 63, coordinating. Robin Room, TH87839.
  12. SLATE, first 3 semesters. Brad Cleveland, TH19402.
  13. Subject A controversy. Fred Bauer, TH84496 or ext. 3478.
  14. Graduate Students' Assosciation, coordinating. Fred Bauer, as above.
  15. English Graduate Assosciation. Fred Bauer, as above.
  16. Women For Peace. Jackie Goldberg, TH52413 or TH59590.
  17. Academic Senate and faculty. This is a big topic, and involves in part trying to describe the actions and positions the A.S. and faculty have taken with regard to all of the questions we are considering; also, the relationship of the Administration to these groups. Coordinating this are Steve Plagemann, TH39999, and Peter Muldavin, TH83748.
  18. Coordination of research on organizations in the civil rights/integration movement. Stevie Lipney, TH14381.
  19. The Katz case. Mike Folsom, 5255072.
  20. The peace movement. Coordination (provisionally; call Coordinating first to check): Steve Saliff, TH81094.
  21. KPFA. Michael Rossman, TH13757 (from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.)
  22. Legal aspects of the student-administration relation. General coordination: Ken Cloke, TH84863.
  23. Particle magazine. Dunbar Atkins.
  24. General patterns of ASUC activity.
  25. Cuba, everything connected therewith. Someone to coordinate this is badly needed.
  26. CORE. Jack Weinberg.
  27. FBI in relation to student activity. Coordinating: Bettina Apthecker, TH83861.
  28. FSM and the recent problems. John Tenny is doing a history, LA48353.
  29. Graduate leadership and participation-patterhs in organizations. Someone is badly needed.
  30. HUAC and consequences. Someone needed badly.
  31. Kerr. David Piper is doing outside work on Kerr, TH13418.
  32. Loyalty Oath Controversy. Someone is needed; provisionally, see 17).
  33. Research on the problems of religious groups on campus. Someone needed.
  34. ROTC and the whole long battle. Someone badly needed to coordinate.
  35. SLU. Likewise.
  36. Speaker Ban and its lifting. Likewise.
  37. Chancellor Strong. Kitty Piper coordinating, TH13418.
  38. Precinct work for political candidates and work for bond issues. See 21).
  39. Stiles Hall projects and activities. Someone badly needed.

Please note again that this list is not intended to be comprehensive; it contains any of the topics where responsibility has been taken by individuals, and some of the topics for which individuals are needed to accept responsibility.

Work Crews. A work crew is being assembled for various needs. If you can volunteer an hour or more of time, it could be well- used to check or find references in newspaper files, do typing, etc.

Tom Irwin (TH89203) and Marston Schultz (TH14651) have gotten together a beginning staff of 15. If you would like to volunteer, please contact them. If you have responsibility for a topic and cannot yourself find people to type, document, deliver, tape, etc. call them; but please try first to get people yourself. Work Central number, 12 to 8 p.m., is TH32641 after 10/20.

Coordinating notes for those working on topics: The magnitude of this project makes it imperative to have everything in writing, and, in particular (unless this is impossible) in typewriting, and as organized as is possible. The basic structure is: small (or large, if necessary) but complete essays which will be used as appendices, and from which material can be drawn for the covering text. Full documentation is, of course, essential; call the work crew to get someone to chase down things if you can't. To facilitate inter-topic communication and general coordination, whenever it is possible make three copies of reports or summaries, with the topic number or subject in the upper left hand corner of each page; keep one yourself, and forward the carbons to Coordinating. Conversely, if you need material from another topic, call Coordinating for it.

Writing crew.. A writing crew is being formed (has been formed) to make sense out of the whole mess. Joseph LaPenta (TH13757, or leave note in box in English Dept. TA) is coordinating it; call him or leave a note if either you would like to contribute to it or would like to draw upon it.

General Coordination and information: Machael Rossman (TH13757, prefferably before 10 am or between 11p.m. and 2 a.m.; or leave note in TA box in Math Department; or messages at TH91527 between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m., or at TH91545, some hours). If there are questions, or needs not met in this sheet, or if you want to volunteer work on a topic, or if you're working on a topic and want to keep in touch, please call.

Deadlines: if possible, basic work on topics should be completed by a week before deadline; if this is impossible, call Coordinating.

Note in general that organizational files are legitimate sources of documentary material.

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