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Radicalism In California Essay

902 words - 4 pages

Radicalism in California

Radicalism was a major problem for California in the 1960s, especially for the bay area. University of California at Berkley was the homestead of Radicalism. The Radicals included Students and non students, all very liberal and some were "hippies". The Radicals started out with good intentions, fighting for free speech and to stop racial discrimination. Unfortunately the radicals lost track of what was really important, and they got violent. Who knows what they could have accomplished if they had remained peaceful protesters, and found different, legal, ways to get their points across.
Radicalism started to rise as early as the 1960s when college students got upset because of their exclusion from a hearing of the House Un-American Activities Committee in San Francisco. Around the same time Black College students down in southern states started to have sit-down strikes in racially segregated areas. This idea came from the sit down strikes of unions back in 1927. This set up Radicalism for the Bay Area, Berkley students had spent time in the south protesting with the Black College Students. They decided that they would do the same thing in the Bay Area, they protested unfair hiring activities by many Bay Area employers. This was the very beginning, but it really started to take off in September of 1964. The University announced that they would not allow students to use the sidewalk near the school for recruiting and meeting for political reasons. Partly because the Government was trying to restrict political speech and advocacy. However, when the administration attempted to enforce the new order, students organized the free speech movement. They called a student strike and used civil rights tactics and mass civil disobedience against the university. This could be marked as the actual beginning of Radicalism, but basically in the beginning it was a free speech movement against unconstitutional restrictions and was successful at first. Several students were disciplined for the tactics that were used in the strike. After they had been arrested, crowds of students occupied the campus administration building. They had a huge sit in at Sproul hall, the police intervened by order of the governor and arrested 700 people, 578 of them were found guilty of trespassing and resisting arrest. Earlier it was declared that "sitting in" was just a form of trespassing and "going limp" when trying to be arrested was just a form resisting arrest, which is completely true if you think about it.
After all this cleared up, the University did pass resolutions that the University should not...

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