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First Five Now: The Free Speech Movement: How It All Began

October 22, 2020 @ 2:00 pm EDT

Jack Weinberg (Steve Marcus, via University of California, Berkeley/The Bancroft Library)

In celebration of Free Speech Week, First Five Now presents an interview with Jack Weinberg, whose act of civil disobedience 56 years ago helped launch the highly influential and revolutionary Free Speech Movement.

On Oct. 1, 1964, Weinberg was arrested on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, on charges of distributing civil rights movement advocacy information. Following his arrest, he sat in the back of a police car for 32 hours while thousands of students gathered to block the vehicle’s movement.

Weinberg went on to become one of the leaders of the ultimately successful Berkeley Free Speech Movement, and he has been an active campaigner for social and environmental causes ever since.

Weinberg’s arrest and confinement in the police car marked the beginning of student activism at Berkeley which would spread to other campuses nationwide and later inspire mass protests against the Vietnam War.

Created in 2005 and occurring annually every third week of October, Free Speech Week is a non-partisan, non-ideological event designed to raise public awareness of the importance of freedom of speech and of a free press in our democracy — and to celebrate those freedoms.

This program will premiere Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. EDT on our YouTube channel.

First Five Now is a Freedom Forum conversation that explores topical issues and features current newsmakers who are using the five freedoms of the First Amendment to guide their work.

Photo credit: Steve Marcus, via University of California, Berkeley/The Bancroft Library


October 22, 2020
2:00 pm EDT
Event Category:




Freedom Forum
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