Mario Savio, Sproul Hall, 1964.
Jesse Kornbluth wrote a a really great post on Huffington Post a couple of days ago titled, “The Police Riot at Berkeley: If They’ll Beat a Poet Laureate, Will They Kill a Student?” In it he provides a great comparison of Mario Savio’s legacy to the “Occupy” events taking place at Berkeley.
Again, I’ve never considered myself an activist, but as someone who struggled with financial aid in my last year of college and was glad to graduate on time, if only because I wouldn’t have been able to afford to go to Berkeley anymore with the rising cost of tuition every semester, the Occupy protests resonate with me. It’s ridiculous, because I come from a fairly well-to-do middle class, medium sized family, and to know that I probably wouldn’t have been able to afford to go to Berkeley if I was just a few years younger sickens me.
Our public education system is the laughing stock of developed countries, and the way the government continues to cut resources to higher education makes me fear for future generations, when only the rich will be able to afford to go to college, further broadening the class divide.