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The Free Speech Movement Cafe
On February 3, 2000, the UC Berkeley community came together with alumni of the Free Speech Movement (FSM) to celebrate the opening of the Free Speech Movement Cafe at the Moffitt Undergraduate Library. The highlighted speaker, FSM activist Bettina Aptheker, '67 (now a professor at UC Santa Cruz), was joined by Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl; University Librarian Gerald R. Lowell; and Lynne Hollander Savio, widow of Mario Savio, a leader of the movement.
The Cafe was made possible by a gift from Steve M. Silberstein, '64, M.L.S. '77, which also includes funds to establish the Mario Savio/Free Speech Movement Endowment for library materials and a digitized archive focusing on the Free Speech Movement. With this gift, Silberstein hopes that Cal undergraduates will be inspired to learn about the history of the movement that took place in late 1964 and stands as a clarion call for the era. "We owe no small debt to Mario Savio and the individuals who made up the Free Speech Movement," said Silberstein. "Despite great personal and family sacrifice, they spoke up for the ideals upon which our society is based and in which we all believe."
In 1998, when accepting the gift from Silberstein, Chancellor Berdahl said: "Inherent in Berkeley's excellence in the postwar era has been the free and open expression of ideas by all members of the university community, an assumption that many of us may take for granted. No one would disagree that the Free Speech Movement had a significant role in placing the American university center-stage in the free flow of political ideas, no matter how controversial."
In true Berkeley fashion, the opening celebration was temporarily disrupted by student demonstrators in gas masks who support the availability of organic foods in campus eating establishments.
Located to the left of the Moffitt Undergraduate Library entrance, the Cafe's hours are the same as those of Moffitt Library. The menu offers cafe fare, including soups, salads, sandwiches, baked goods, and beverages.