By Jo Freeman
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Additional resources for At Berkeley in the Sixties: The Education of an Activist, 1961-1965
Some of the students who would join TASC had persuaded the administration to modify 17 in 1957 so that “off-campus student groups” could hold special meetings on campus to listen to suitable speakers approved by the administration, but this small gain had required a major effort. SLATE sought to increase the pressure for change through public action. In March of 1959, it asked permission to hold a rally at Wheeler Oak, which grew in Dwinelle Plaza near the bridge, to support a fair housing ordinance then on the Berkeley ballot and to protest the University Housing Of¤ce’s listing of rental units for students that were only available to whites.
The group deliberately misrepresents facts, opposes any kind of cooperation, fosters con®ict, and seems to be systematically seeking means to embarrass the administration,” he stated on October 1, 1958. The Daily Cal was also hostile. ” Criticism heightened student interest in SLATE. 5 For the next several years, SLATE membership averaged a few hundred students, of which thirty to forty came to meetings regularly. There were usually about a dozen active leaders. Roughly 850 students joined SLATE at one time or another.
They denounced the Democratic and Republican parties as two sides of the same capitalistic coin. 5 BASCAHUAC, the Bay Area Students’ Committee against the House Un-American Activities Committee, had the most sonorous name, though I never found out exactly what it did besides sell pamphlets calling for the abolition of HUAC. In 1938, Congress had formed a temporary committee to investigate subversive propaganda. The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) became permanent in 1945. In the next ¤fteen years, it spent $5 million of the taxpayers’ money to pay for 55 staff members, 5,000 subpoenas, and 50,000 published pages of hearings and reports.