Emmy-nominated Berkeley alum Tiffany Shlain produced this cloud-sourced film commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement (FSM). The two-minute film brings together voices from around the world to recall the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. and FSM leader Mario Savio to demonstrate the power of free speech today. The issues raised by the FSM in 1964 continue to be debated with passion on campus.
This film is part of a campus-wide program to commemorate the 1964 protests by UC Berkeley students against a ban of on-campus political advocacy. The students demanded their right to free speech and academic freedom through non-violent civil disobedience tactics, pioneered and inspired by the civil rights movement and Mississippi’s Freedom Summer. The FSM led to the introduction of reforms on many other university campuses that made freedom of speech more consistent with how it is guaranteed by the First Amendment and set the national stage for mass student protests against the Vietnam War.
Today, UC Berkeley stands as an example to today’s students that they can and need to be leaders. The university’s uniqueness, a mixture of excellence and unruliness, serves to encourage this generation to never underestimate the power of people to make change.