Radicalism in California

669 Words3 Pages
Radicalism in California Radicalism was a major problem for California in the 1960s, especially for the bay area. University of California at Berkley was the homestead of Radicalism. The Radicals included Students and non students, all very liberal and some were "hippies". The Radicals started out with good intentions, fighting for free speech and to stop racial discrimination. Unfortunately the radicals lost track of what was really important, and they got violent. Who knows what they could have accomplished if they had remained peaceful protesters, and found different, legal, ways to get their points across. Radicalism started to rise as early as the 1960s when college students got upset because of their exclusion from a hearing of the House Un-American Activities Committee in San Francisco. Around the same time Black College students down in southern states started to have sit-down strikes in racially segregated areas. This idea came from the sit down strikes of unions back in 1927. This set up Radicalism for the Bay Area, Berkley students had spent time in the south protesting with the Black College Students. They decided that they would do the same thing in the Bay Area, they protested unfair hiring activities by many Bay Area employers. This was the very beginning, but it really started to take off in September of 1964. The University announced that they would not allow students to use the sidewalk near the school for recruiting and meeting for political reasons. Partly because the Government was trying to restrict political speech and advocacy. However, when the administration attempted to enforce the new order, students organized the free speech movement. They called a student strike and used civil rig... ... middle of paper ... ...came in on many occasions and when the Radicals were trying to take back "peoples park" the national guard flew over and dropped tear gas on everyone and prevented them from leaving the area. This was a turning point, the radicals realized that they weren't being taken seriously and that the opposing force was to strong to fight, so radicalism faded out. The "Radicals", started out as students fighting for a noble cause, like free speech and racial equality. By using the peaceful protests they got a lot accomplished. But they ended up being a bunch of punk kids who would throw tantrums about anything they disagreed with. They acted immature, as if they were spoiled children away from home for the first time. Which in some cases, was exactly what they were. It's a shame that they turned out like that, who knows what else they could have accomplished peacefully.
Open Document