Mario Savio Memorial Lecture on Tuesday in Berkeley Will Be Moved to Sproul Plaza

Monday November 14, 2011 - 07:45:00 AM

Lynne Hollander Savio has informed people on the Will Call list for the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture, this year to be delivered by Professor Robert Reich, that the event, orginally scheduled for Pauley Ballroom on the UC Berkeley campus, has been moved to the Mario Savio Steps in Sproul Plaza. It will take place at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. 

Here is the text of her email: 

The Mario Savio Memorial Lecture and Young Activist Award Board of Directors and Robert Reich, the scheduled lecture speaker, have been asked by the Occupy Cal General Assembly to transfer the event to the Mario Savio Steps in Sproul Plaza at 8 p.m. Tuesday evening, instead of holding it inside Pauley Ballroom. This is in protest against the use of excessive police force against non-
violent demonstrators who were peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights to free speech in a symbolic encampment. Although we recognize that this change of venue may pose a physical hardship for some of the attendees, it was unanimously agreed that we would be violating our mission statement (see below) to reject the request. Depending on the exact circumstances at the time, a somewhat shortened presentation of the Young Activist Award will be held, and the award winners will speak.

The following efforts are being made to ensure people's comfort and safety as far as possible.

1 - The students are planning to erect a few tents on the grass in front of one side of Sproul Hall at 6 p.m. Based on past experience, they believe the police will either seize the tents pretty
immediately or wait until late at night. In other words, a confrontation is very unlikely to occur during the period of the lecture, especially with a large number of people in the Plaza.

2 - Professor Reich is likely to start speaking at 8:40, not earlier. This will be preceded by the Young Activist Award speakers.

3 - the students intend to set up an area with chairs for those in need. If you can sit low down and still get up, please bring a cushion or a low beach chair. All of the rest of the audience will also be asked to sit on the ground so as not to block the view..

3- Dress warmly. Rain is not expected. The temperature is likely to be in the low 50s.

4 - There will be amplification.

Please do not attend if you feel the circumstances would be too difficult for you. We also want you to be aware that it is possible (though the students feel it is unlikely), that if the tents are taken down earlier, the
atmosphere might remain too charged and too chaotic for the lecture to be held.

If you contributed to the Lecture fund in order to secure seats in the reserved section, you may choose between having your donation refunded or letting us keep it and receiving a CD of the lecture, if one can be made.

We apologize for your inconvenience and disappointment, but, as Mario Savio said: There comes a time...

Thank you for your interest and your support.

Lynne Hollander Savio and the Board of the MSML&YAA

Mission Statement: To honor the memory of Mario Savio and the spirit of moral courage and vision which he and countless other activists of his generation exemplified;

To promote the values that Mario Savio struggled to advance throughout his life: human rights, social justice, and freedom of expression;

To provide a forum where young people can connect with older activists to understand their common ideals and find inspiration and nourishment for activism today;

To recognize and encourage young activists engaged in the struggle to build a more humane and just society.