WNP490: Third World Liberation Strike Part 2
Nicole: [00:00:00] It's Outside Lands San Francisco, podcast of the Western Neighborhoods Project. I'm Nicole Meldahl.
Arnold: And I'm Arnold Woods.
Nicole: Hello Outside Landers and as always, lovely to see you again Arnold.
Arnold: Nice to see you again. Nicole. We had a couple podcasts in January and curiously, we did not do them together.
Nicole: I know.
Arnold: You did one and I did one.
Nicole: This is our first podcast together in 2023. Fun fact, listeners, whenever Arnold is like, oh, Nicole's on assignment or whatever, it means that like I, I it means my health has failed me cause I am a 95-year-old woman in a 38-year-old's body. So, thank you. We're, we're struggling through this.
Arnold: We definitely muddled through it. I think we had [00:01:00] two very interesting podcasts in January. So, all the better for it.
Nicole: Yes, absolutely. We're not always on the schedule we predict at the end of our podcast, but we always get around at things eventually. Except for that Laguna Honda podcast may never come to fruition. But anyways, you may remember that the last time Arnold and I were together, all the way back in 2022, we began the epic story of the S.F. State strike in 1968 to 1969. And well, we're back to bring you the second installment of this tale after weeks of Arnold patiently waiting for me to finish our research into this incredibly important history. Sometimes we take extra time to get things right. And we're again joined by an equally patient man who was there to see the history unfold, our favorite Tennessee member, David Friedlander.
David: Thank you, Nicole. Thank you, Arnold, for having me. [00:02:00]
Nicole: Well, we love having you on the podcast. It's really no skin off our backs, David.
Arnold: Absolutely. And you may wanna listen to the first installment of this, which was episode 487. But as a quick refresher, the strike began on November 6th, 1968 and was a response by the Black Student Union and the Third World Liberation Front, following the administrative suspension of George Murray, a member of the Black Panther Party. He was then teaching at State and Nicole, quickly, what were they striking about?
Nicole: Oh yeah. So, they wanted greater representation and control of curriculum at San Francisco State. So they, they wanted a Department of Black studies, something that they could craft themselves. And in general, better representation for minority stories and history and, in academia at S.F. State. And spoiler alert, they got it. But we're not there yet. We're not there yet. [00:03:00]
Arnold: And we may not get there, all the way there this week, but we'll get to that too. Anyways, they presented 15 non-negotiable, non-negotiable demands. And the strike escalated through December of 1968 as administrators and local administrators tried to get control of this situation while San Francisco State saw a revolving door of presidents.
Nicole: Yeah. And David, you pipe up when you have a memory. I know you're ready for it, but I'm just reminding you. You're gonna be, you're gonna be our, our you know, our action man on this podcast.
David: Got it.
Nicole: So, we left the story in December 1968 with other campuses lending support. The American Federation of Teachers starting to enter the fray for their own reasons. And we're gonna get into that. And acting president Dr. S.I. Hayakawa not handling things very well. And we're really gonna get into the intricacies of Hayakawa’s personality traits, maybe some character [00:04:00] flaws. So, I know you're ready for that. Let's get back to it then.
Arnold: And so, as we left it last time, we'd mentioned that a key issue in this struggle was Hayakawa’s refusal to communicate with students in his attempts to take a hard line on campus agitation. Now remember Hayakawa, he was a big Reagan fan. We imagined him looking up at a framed photo of the governor, whispering “W-W-R-D.” What would Reagan do?
Arnold: And at this time, Reagan was quoted as saying that the strike quote, “is not just the high jinks of over-enthusiastic students, this is insurrection.” End quote. And he believed that quote, “organized society cannot back down without giving up our rights.” Again, end quote. And God bless some good old fashioned Cold War ideology from him.
Nicole: This podcast ended up being a lot, a podcast kind of about Ronald Reagan, and I don't know if I mentioned it last podcast, but my mom loved Ronald [00:05:00] Reagan. Like she called him her president. And I'm really surprised being a 1984 baby, but I wasn't named Reagan. I don't have any personal affection for Reagan, but I just want you all to, to know that he was a big part of my life.
Arnold: Well, the use of the female name Reagan may have gone down after the Exorcist.
Nicole: Oh, good point, Arnold. Good point. Well, so Reagan was a big part of my childhood and he was a big part of this strike. And as the strike wore on and it was clear that campus administration was well, shall we say, inadequate to the task of restoring peace, this student-led revolution received more and more press. And the reporting was often sloppy. It could be incendiary, often with an agenda and or inaccurate because things were moving really quickly and journalists were really out of their depth in covering a cultural movement that was [00:06:00] outside their comfort zone. You know, for like the Chronicle, the Examiner, a lot of these journalists are, are middle-class white folks who kind of don't understand the point here.
Arnold: There was one journalist who was the exception.
Arnold: And that was Lisa Hobbs at the Examiner. She was Australian by birth. She would go on to become a world-renowned journalist and cut her teeth in San Francisco. She said, quote, “there are times in a reporter's life when telling things exactly as they are is a near impossibility. This is not an excuse, just a statement of fact. At San Francisco State College these past few weeks, the reflection of what is really happening has been hard to both grasp and define.” End quote.
Nicole: Yeah. You know, you ever come across someone you're researching, you're like, oh, I bet she's awesome. This was one of those things where I researched, researched her a lot more and was like, she is awesome. [00:07:00] So, on Christmas Day, she interviewed Dr. Nathan Hare, who was in charge of Black Studies, at State at the time, at a bar called the Scene on Fillmore and Clay. And although Hare was demonized as a radical by other outlets, the Examiner profile by Lisa Hobbs depicts a very different person. A peace-loving man who spoke eloquently about the consequences of powerlessness in society And, he was married to a woman with a master's in music education who worked as a coordinator for the Oakland Museum at the time. So, you know, these aren't radical insurrectionists. They're cultured, passionate people who were looking to make society better. And they're deeply embedded within the culture here and the communities here in San Francisco and the Bay Area. And good on Hobbs for presenting them as such.
Arnold: So, the situation, it's complicated and absolutely hard to grasp. In December 1968, [00:08:00] San Francisco was spending a massive amount on policing the strike. Black clergymen from the Bay Area supporting nonviolence, actually asked Governor Reagan to force Trustees to negotiate with the Black Student Union saying we all support these students in principle. We feel the Trustees have a responsibility to prevent violence, to do something besides help the city spend $30,000 a day to bring police on campus.” End quote. And as you'll see, churches and men of faith play a critical role in supporting this. And David, I remember last time you were saying something about this police presence on campus. What do you recall of that?
David: Well, what I had mentioned last time was that there was a lot of police, but also it was because of where we lived, because of where I lived in the Sunset and Paul Judge and people like that live the Richmond and other neighborhoods in the Western neighborhoods. And we came to school, we probably knew these, some of these [00:09:00] police officers and their brothers or their sisters or their mothers or their, maybe we even went to school with their kids. So, on one hand it could have been the tactical squad, it could have been SFPD plainclothesmen, but they were also, some of them were from our neighborhoods. And so, you had, it was kind of a, it was an interesting composition there to, on one hand, you wanted police off-campus, but they were also possibly someone you knew. So, but there was a, a large police presence, and I think if you go back and look at some of the video, you'll see like armed police officers riding their horses down Holloway, Holloway Avenue. And so, it was difficult at best.
Nicole: Yeah, that's, I mean, it's a really good point, David. There's, there's always a black and a white way to look at something, but there's a lot of nuance and a lot of gray in these situations. And we're doing our best here with, with this podcast series now, to sort of see things from every angle. The students who involved with the [00:10:00] strike, the students who weren't involved with the strike. The cops who came down too hard, the cops who, you know, spoke out, as you'll see in the end. The cops who stood up for, you know, students and not using violent tactics. So, we really are trying to show you everybody's piece of the pie here, so to speak. And, oh, go ahead.
Arnold: I was just, and this police presence on campus, as you mentioned, is a majorly divisive issue. Particularly the use of this tactical squad and outside police that were incognito, wearing no badges or otherwise identifying clothing. And I think I, as I recall last time, we mentioned how these, you know, unidentified cops were easily identified by the strikers on campus. When the tactical squad and unmarked police attempted to arrest strike leader John Levin of a Progressive Labor party on campus on December 12th, newspapers [00:11:00] called protestor response a quote, “wild melee.” But imagine someone with no identification, trying to mishandle you or a cop in riot gear coming down on you. That's a terrifying prospect. And David, you have something to say about that?
David: Well, I just wanted to mention a little bit here. We, we mentioned John Levin of the Progressive Labor Party, and some of us may not even recognize that name, but I, I wanted to go into a little bit about that. Progressive Labor Party was basically a, a, a Maoist Marxist group, and they were part of the students for Democratic Society. And I had gone to some of the meetings of SDS on campus, and obviously they supported the strike. But the problem with folks like, and again, no disrespect to John Levin and his, his, his viewpoint and the, and other viewpoints, they were Marxists and so they believed in class struggle. And so, everything [00:12:00] that they looked at was from that perspective. So, if you were into say, okay, Black Students Union are into black nationalism. Or you were into women's rights or gay rights, or the environment that was secondary to their viewpoint, which was basically class struggle. Young socialist alliance, they were Trotskyites. I mean, I, I know 50 years later people will try what's it, you know, Trotskyites? Yes, this was a big deal. These were like, you know, Russian communists who didn't follow Stalin. They followed Trotsky.
And then you had people, the people that I liked in SDS, were the Joe Hill caucus. Joe Hill being a famous union martyr of the early mining 19, 20th century. And they wanted to go out in the neighborhood. They were not Marxists, they were radicals, student radicals. They wanted to go out in the neighborhoods that, much like some of the people did early on before the strike happened. So, you had all these, these factions within SDS and there's a lot of pressure there one way or the other. Obviously here, we mentioned the Progressive Labor Party [00:13:00] later that year, for those of us that followed it, SDS schismed. They had a, they had a national convention in Chicago and basically became three different organizations, one of which was the Weatherman, which is outside the, this podcast. But again, this is just background to what was going on at State during the strike at this time. You had the Black Students Union, you had Third World Liberation, you had SDS, but within that, you had all these various factions, kind of jockeying for position. So…
Nicole: Absolutely. And this would ultimately make it, make the strike more complicated, and sort of undo it, as all these kind of competing priorities not worked against each other, but it was hard to pick who the leaders you were supposed to focus on. If you're like, you know, Joe Blow on the outside trying to be like, I wanna support this strike, but you're like, who's in charge of this and what are the actual demands? I hear something about communism, I hear something, whatever. But that's like so many podcasts away. We got some…
David: I was a communist. [00:14:00] but with a little “c.” See, I like, I like the idea of a commune, which eventually I would end up on, but another story.
Nicole: Yes, there's a lot happening at S.F. State and in San Francisco at this time.
Nicole: And in researching this podcast, what consistently surprises me is, I've always known about that cause that's the fun part of history, right? Where we're in it and we're like mucking it up and changing the world. But like this, this very strong conservative presence in San Francisco is not what people think about and not what people talk about. And you really get into it, you know, with Reagan as king, when you start to get into the opposition to this forces. And so, great, this is amazing background. You're the perfect guest to have here, David.
David: Thank you.
Nicole: Okay, so we've got these arrests happening, right? These arrests were part of a series of warrants signed by Hayakawa who told reporters, and I quote, “it should be clear by now that I intend to keep this college operating and provide all protection [00:15:00] necessary for people who want to learn safe from harm and disruption.” So, this was very much the party line that we're responding with force to keep students not participating in the strike safe. And you hear this all the way up the chain of command from president to administration, to Trustees, to the mayor, to the president of the United States and the gov, or, and the governor,
Arnold: And kind of much like some of the Black Lives protests recently, we discussed this last time, the violence that did occur wasn't necessarily coming from the strikers.
Arnold: The other agitators were getting involved.
Nicole: Other idiots, I think is the, the, the right, some of these, some of these reports, they're idiots.
Nicole: Just gonna say it.
Arnold: Anyways, these anti-Hayakawa photos and signs start popping up all over the campus. And hilariously, Dr. Caroline Shrodes, who is chairman of the [00:16:00] English department, said she quote, “neither encouraged nor prohibited them.” End quote. They were made by kids from the art department to raise bail monies for arrested students. By December 1968, students involved in earlier protests were appearing in court.
Nicole: I love this so much cause, like never change. Early twenties individuals who are like the art kids are like out there like putting signs up. The English department professor has to be like, oh, I don't know what's going on. Like, I'm just a professor here. So, one of the highest profile cases was that of Terrence Hallinan on trial for assaulting a police officer during the May 21st sit-in which he said he did to protect Diane Feeley, who had been beaten by police. Now if you listen to our last podcast on this and other podcasts on other demonstrations, you'll know that Hallinan is a really big deal. His family [00:17:00] is, is, well Google it. It's, he, there are force to be recorded with for good here in the city. So, he was defended by his father, Vincent Hallinan, and his father was assisted by his brother Patrick Hallinan. So, this was the wrong family to mess with legally.
Arnold: And Hallinan's defense centered on putting the tactical squad on trial. It heated up on December 20th when the judge ruled a member of the tactical squad had to appear in full uniform in court, so the jury could see it for themselves. Films presented in court clearly showed Hallinan being beaten by police after he attacked Tactical Squad Officer Norbert Gutierrez. They also showed that the tactics denied by Officer Michael Brady on the stand were clearly being actually used at San Francisco State.
Nicole: Oops. So, this case was [00:18:00] important because show of force on campus was definitely escalating. On Christmas Eve, police supervisor at S.F. State, Williams C. Blake asked for permission to use the National Guard in future demonstrations. And the quick use of force on campus was something Hayakawa was particularly proud of. He mentioned this at every single major meeting. And he was called up, you know, to Washington DC to testify on the crisis at S.F. State. Every single time. He was like, I didn't mess around like those idiots at Kent State. I just called the cops in immediately, right? Look at me. Rule of law and order. Like absolutely talked about this all the time, how much he was proud of having police on campus.
Arnold: Yeah, he absolutely loved it and he also loved looking tough.
Nicole: Sure did.
Arnold: He published a wild article in the Examiner, which, and where he defended policemen in the most insulting way possible. We're going to quote from this article at length so you really [00:19:00] get a measure of him. He felt that, police officers were quote, “a really misunderstood minority that everybody hates. I get kind of worried about it because even if everybody hates them, still the world needs them very, very much.” End quote.
Nicole: Yeah, and in explaining, this is my favorite, in explaining why students disliked the police, particularly the tactical squad on campus, he said that, and I quote, “liberal arts people tend to be pretty pacifist and they don't recognize the necessity of war.” Because what's happening on campus is a war. He then blames the quote, “big, big cultural gap between professors and police.” End quote. Which he explains is due to the fact that the police were, and I quote, “rarely well-educated,” and quote, “and professors are snobs who think of cops as their inferiors, both socially and intellectually.” I'm not making this up, you guys. I will send you [00:20:00] the newspaper article. So, in his opinion, this is why teachers defended students whenever there was an altercation with police. He said that it's because, and I quote, “the sympathies all lie in one direction.” Way to defend a whole community of, of hardworking public servants by calling them idiots.
Arnold: Now, to his credit, in the same article, Hayakawa emphasizes that police should be better educated and trained in a way that deemphasized military tactics and prepared them to be community servants instead of warriors. But he blamed the community for quote, “not insisting on better police, better police department.” In this article, he also admitted that there seems to be some evidence that the tactical squad behaved like fascist goons, but he wanted to make it clear that it wasn't their fault, it was their training. Which is [00:21:00] a long way of saying, dear listeners, that debates about police tactics is an age old American problem. David,
David: This gentleman is a professor of semantics.
David: It stuns me to that, you know, I mean, having conservative politics and a conservative viewpoint is fine. But the way he articulates his position is. Also just to mention you know, like Mr. Peabody and Sherman in the way back machine, we went all the way back to the San Francisco State strike, which Nicole predates Kent State. Just FYI.
Nicole: Excuse me.
David: No, I just want, cause somebody's listening there. Wait a second. That didn't happen until 18 months later, but...
Nicole: That's what happens when I go off script.
David: Okay. But I think all of this is amazing. I mean, again, I think we talked about it last podcast and when you look at some of the KQED video on YouTube.
Nicole: Oh yeah
David: And it's just like he's, he's, he's [00:22:00] embarrassing him himself. Seriously.
Nicole: So, it's true. I do, you know, it's easy to make someone a villain, right? Like, and I don't really agree with the politics after he left S.F. State. Like I wasn't like, oh, like the rest of his career I'm totally down with. But like, he wasn't cut out for this job and, but like, rather than admit that and be like, you know what, I don't, I don't think I'm really here for this. He just like doubled down. So like, I kind of feel for him, but also I don't, cause he's a complete jerk throughout this entire process. Which, you know, again, we're talking about nuance, right? History's all about nuance. And especially at State, like this was complicated. So, let's maybe slow down here a minute and let's make note that the fact that not everyone on campus actually supported this strike, which is, you know, kind of mind boggling in retrospect. I think the majority of students were like, I'm just here trying to go to school. I'm like, and I want to get on with my life. There wasn't like an [00:23:00] anti-strike sentiment, but there was also an anti-strike sentiment. So as art department kids were circulating anti-Hayakawa posters, a man named Andrew Victor, leader of the San Francisco chapter of the American Nazi party was distributing and I quote, “anti-negro leaflets,” titled “Had enough Whitey?” Which, you know, is proof that you can't count on much these days, but you can always count on Nazis being on the wrong side of any situation. And it's also mind boggling that San Francisco could be home to a local chapter of the American Nazi Party.
Arnold: There was also the Silent Majority Against Revolutionary Tactics, which is, the acronym is SMART.
Nicole: Amazing acronym.
Arnold: Yeah. I wonder how long it took them to come up with that.
Nicole: You know, I think a lot of these groups start [00:24:00] with the acronym and then work backwards.
Arnold: Absolutely. Anyway, SMART was led by Mike Silva, who was a junior at the college, and Dick Geno, a South San Francisco insurance salesman because he obviously had ties to the campus. SMART had about 250 members who joined at $1 apiece through a leaflet and mail campaign. They held meetings at Lincoln High School and issued a list of demands that called for keeping the college open, the permanent removal of George Murray as a teacher, and to suspension or expulsion of any arrested students.
Nicole: Sorry, Lincoln High Alumni, that, that was hard to hear.
Nicole: Yeah. So, they also wanted present entrance standards, unaltered, because one of the BSU demands was that all minority students that wanted to go there would be allowed to enter and learn at S.F. State. And to keep all courses open to all students because people [00:25:00] believed, people genuinely believed, that by creating black studies it would exclude white students from attending these classes. Which is truly something folks. You gotta love when white people complain about racism against themselves. It's just, it's truly magnificent. They also wanted to cut the salaries of striking teachers and investigate those advocating violence or anyone who wanted the community to have a say in college and administration because, boo Democratic higher education.
Arnold: So, and let's be clear here, the white students were perfectly entitled to take courses in the Black Studies Department or any of the cultural studies departments.
Arnold: I know plenty of white people who actually majored, or received, you know, PhDs [00:26:00] in those areas. So…
Nicole: It’s about inclusion, not exclusion.
Arnold: Right. And it's hilarious that the tactics that they learned from the, that they're using the tactics that they learned from the strike to oppose the strike. There was also a group called Irish Americans and Concerned Citizens for Higher Education, which published a 12-point program that supported the quote, “suspension of black instructors, Nathan Hare and George Murray. And proposed a course in patriotism.” End quote. In addition, they wanted to suspend anybody participating in the strike. So, for good measure, they also wanted all pro-communist speakers to be barred from speaking on campus. Sorry, David. And they were very into using the National Guard to restore order and keep the campus open.
David: But see, that was a communism with a, with a big “C.” That's like top down. They're not talking about bottom-up people, right?
Nicole: Listeners, you didn't see David go, who me? Made like that. [00:27:00]
Nicole: Yeah. So, you know, there's, there's a lot of people who are not into this strike.
David: But I'll, I will say this. Like most of the people that I know, there were students there, they were either for the strike or they were, they just wanted to go to get an education. Like you mentioned, there wasn't a big, like anti-strike contingent on campus. It wasn't like that. Again, a lot of us were commuters from the neighborhoods. They were just trying to get an education. Whoops. There's this big thing going on. And some people took sides, you know?
Nicole: Yes. These were obviously fringe groups. The Nazi party didn't have a large presence at, at, on campus, at State, or in San Francisco. But like all things were in play here, right? It kind of shows you that I kind of think of all this time at S.F. State kind of chaotic, where everyone's sort of grabbing for their piece of the attention that you're, that the strike is getting, right? And with all this in play, to your point, David, like this could [00:28:00] not have been an easy environment to just like get off the M-line and, and head to your, like Humanities 101 class. So, in acknowledgement of this, the Academic Senate actually allowed students to choose pass or fail grades for one semester only. And this obviously benefited students who spent a lot of time protesting, plus for them. But it also protected draftees who needed to successfully pass a full course load to avoid being sent to Vietnam. And the Senate also relaxed punishments for students found guilty of campus violations for this reason and this pass or fail system, while there were some grumblings at top, at the top, that the Senate was sort of like bowing to pressure from protestors, they actually kept it going all the way through the end of the strike. And it was, it was approved all the way up the line.
Arnold: Yeah, there's a lot of moving parts going on here. And as this hard to define situation was [00:29:00] escalating, third parties took a larger and more active role in negotiating a compromise. It was clear the city had to be more involved in a more constructive way beyond just the policing that they were doing. Mayor Alioto appointed a Committee of Concern in the S.F. State strike, also referred to as the Liaison Committee. And later had the Mayor Citizens Committee for San Francisco State College. This committee is stacked with local attorneys as well as prominent business and religious leaders.
Nicole: Yeah. And the Examiner, which was a pretty conservative newspaper at the time, by the way, felt the convening of this committee was and I quote, “an expression of the city's legitimate interest in the school.” End quote. But admitted that, and I quote again, “the ultimate settlement must rest legally and morally on the Trustees, administration and majority faculty. They are obliged to see that when peace returns to the campus, it does [00:30:00] so under educationally sound terms. They cannot unshoulder that responsibility, nor should the committee or anyone else expect them to.”
Arnold: So, this is when the Labor Council brings in a mediator named Ronald Haughton to arrange a peace meeting and Alioto, he brings in Samuel Jackson. No, not Samuel L. Jackson, although he, around the same time, is involved in protests in college in Atlanta.
Arnold: But this is just Samuel Jackson and it's fun to think about Samuel L. Jackson running his negotiations like it's a Quentin Tarantino movie.
Nicole: Yeah, I’m here for that alternate version of this story.
Arnold: So, these are mediator. Ronald Haughton and Samuel Jackson are titans in their field. Haughton was fresh from the boycott of California's DiGiorgio Fruit Corporation that had been led by Cesar Chavez and the National Farm Workers Association. He went on to [00:31:00] become the first chairman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority in the 1970s and was personally appointed by President Jimmy Carter.
Nicole: Aah, one of my favorite presidents. He's super neutral. Maybe not supernatural, but I love any man who gives up his peanut farm to run the country. So anyways, Jackson was vice president of the American Arbitration Association in Washington, DC and director of AAA's new Center for Dispute Settlement. He was one of five presidential appointments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and also president of the Topeka, Kansas branch of the NAACP before joining the National Board of Directors, also for the NAACP. So, good lord. Can you imagine how busy these men were in the 1960s? Like how were they not being called to go everywhere [00:32:00] all at once.
Arnold: And San Francisco State has to be considered fortunate that these men had the time to deal with their situation.
Nicole: Do you think it's like when baseball players decide where they wanna be traded, they're like, I'd like to live in San Francisco. Yeah, sure, send me there for a couple years. It's probably, that's trivializing something very important. But like I, and I also just always think in baseball terms.
Arnold: So, we have this new committee that is looking for solutions. The State College Board of Trustees also pulled together an advisory group for Hayakawa, which against all possible good logic failed to include Edward O. Lee, the only black member of the Board of Trustees, and the college looked for a permanent president. Although that wasn't going well since the campus was in utter chaos at the time. A high-ranking contender for the position, Frank Williams ,said he would only consider the job if the Black Students Union [00:33:00] got what they wanted. And if Reagan wasn't governor of California anymore. Well, that's not happening, so back to the drawing board,
Nicole: You know, good on them for being like, we should probably get an African-American candidate in here. But everyone they approached was like, yeah, you're gonna have to clean some stuff up first. So, around this time too, the BSU and TWLF were looking to spread their message beyond campus with sponsored meetings throughout the city. You've got Benny Stewart of the BSU speaking to students at Polytechnic High School, cause you've gotta get those high school kids in early, right? And he spoke there along with Larry Pinkney of City College's BSU, in a meeting sponsored by a group called Plan of Action for Challenging Times, Plan, Inc.
And all these groups, so, this is a good, you know, point to stop to say that like a whole bunch of other campuses are getting involved. Like people across [00:34:00] California were in sympathy with what's going on here and all these different support groups keep popping up, which added to some of the confusion I spoke about earlier. It's so hard to keep track of all them. A lot of these groups didn't even make it out of this strike, like they just ceased to exist after this. So, this was a time to organize loosely associated groups of individuals with, with a common purpose that lasted for a very short period of time. So, along with reaching out to high school kids, rallies are also being held at Glide Memorial Church, which is a big supporter of the movement because the reverend there was a big supporter of the movement. So, here we have Glide, for a long time being a critical part of San Francisco, and I think David has something to say on that. Well, I, when you
David: Well, I when you mentioned, you didn't mention his name, but Reverend Cecil Williams.
David: He was the heavyweight in that era. And he deserves a mention in this podcast.
Nicole: Yeah. Churches like Glide Memorial, which continues to have such a vibrant presence here in San Francisco. They, they [00:35:00] become that through these really dynamic committed leaders like, like Reverend Williams. And there were also press conferences that were held at the Socialist Workers Party headquarters on Market Street. So, there's widespread community support here for sharing information and trying to educate folks on what's going on at San Francisco State.
Arnold: So, how did the conservative opposition respond to all of this? We get an editorial in the San Diego Union, which called student protesters “anarchists,” and said, quote, “the crisis in the United States of America today, today is of such great magnitude that there are no more innocent bystanders anywhere today. Not on campus, not in the churches, not in government, or governing boards of our institutions, not in the neighborhoods, not at the pools, and not at work. A person who fails to raise his voice or give his support to the enforcement of the law [00:36:00] is not an innocent bystander.” End quote. Basically, they're saying, hey, if you're not supporting our police, you're against us.
Nicole: Yeah. So, this is a pretty good summary of where conservatives were at, at the time, but also kind of now, right? Like nothing is sacred. No one is safe. We all must fight the enemy. And like the enemy is the other side. You know, like it's, it's alarming when you go back and study these kinds of, this kind of rhetoric, how contemporary it can feel to the things that we're hearing today. Which is a little depressing when you think it's still happening. But, but, they survived. So, you know, maybe uplifting that we'll get through this crazy moment in American life too. Anyways, all a long way of saying that the strike was stirring things up throughout the state and neither Reagan nor the Trustees wanted outside mediation because you don't negotiate with terrorists, right? So, you remember the new right is rising and [00:37:00] Reagan got his first Republican-controlled assembly as he moved into 1969. So, this is an emboldened governor and an emboldened conservative block in California.
Arnold: Yeah, remember this is the Reagan, around this time is the one who's advocating to pave over People's Park in Berkeley to get out the homeless and the protestors there.
Nicole: Also, something that isn't up for grabs and in discussion today. So good grief. This is now a podcast about how nothing ever changes.
Arnold: Which seems to be a theme of many of our podcasts.
Nicole: Oh gosh, I'm sorry. We're supposed to be the, the uplifting history group. The ones…
Arnold: So, if you're not gonna negotiate, what do you do? You fight fire with fire and that's what they did. In what can only be construed as complicit intimidation tactic, the names and addresses of everyone who had been arrested on campus was printed in the [00:38:00] local papers. And although Hayakawa swore that he did not initiate the investigation, the State Attorney's General's office started looking into handling of student body funds.
Nicole: Yeah, the AG Office specifically scrutinized a $400 check to Reverend Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial for speaking at a BSU event held at the ecumenical house on campus, which was a gathering place for students involved in the strike. I'm gonna pause and give myself pat the back cause that's the first time I have pronounced ecumenical correctly in my entire life. I did it! My practice paid off. Anyways, please don't tell me I pronounced it wrong. No, you're nodding. Thank you. Thanks for letting me have it. So, as the investigation intensified, surprise, surprise, Hayakawa owned up to instigating it, saying that the speaker's fee was unusually high. [00:39:00] And, in a super boss move, Reverend Williams shot back, said that he was sorry to hear Hayakawa wasn't making more like he did. So good.
Arnold: Remember this is the AG’s office looking into a $400 payment because they had nothing better to do.
Nicole: Yeah, apparently.
Arnold: So, the issue isn't how much Williams was paid, but rather how the check ended up back in the Black Student Union's possession, specifically in bookkeeper Nesbitt Crutfield's hands. The press had a field day insinuating that this check had been used to purchase firearms by the Black Panthers and all kinds of nonsense like that. In the end, Williams had to simply say that he had donated his fee back to the Black Students Union. And, in January 1969, there was a quiet mention in the Examiner that the funds had been fully returned to the student body.
David: The check was never cashed. How [00:40:00] could it have been used at all? It’s like, nevermind.
Nicole: Wild. Like absolutely wild some, it's interesting when you already know how something ends and then you're going back and you're tracing like how the press is covering it, an unfolding situation. All these like wild things that get thrown out there and you're like, good lord, that's not true.
Arnold: Again, much like these recent years here.
Nicole: Oh yeah. Fake news isn't new y'all, it's, it's very much.
David: But you have to re, you have to remember too, I mean there, we're talking, believe it or not, there's no internet in 1969. So, it's like how do you learn any news? You get it probably from the newspaper, you know?
David: Radio maybe, a little television, sure. But then you had to have somebody on campus writing it, you know, videoing it. So how do you get, you know, instantaneous communication wasn't happening then.
Nicole: Yeah. Or crazy Uncle Phil who would tell you things he heard on the grapevine.
David: Especially if he was in the tactical squad.
Nicole: Yeah, [00:41:00] exactly. Right. There's a lot of different stories floating around about what's happening. So, I actually am glad I wasn't a journalist at the time. It seems like a difficult thing to parse out and because things are really heating up now, right? Reagan goes on record saying that, and I quote, “those who find it intolerable to go to college under existing conditions can go elsewhere for their education.” End quote. And with a campus divided and no peace in sight, Hayakawa closed S.F. State one week early for the Christmas holidays. Now he say he did this supposedly to align with other public schools in the city, but really this was to curb a strikes momentum. Think of this, I'm sorry, it's a baseball metaphor again, but think of this like a catcher calling time out and then heading to the mound just to like talk nonsense about nothing with a pitcher that kind of needs to cool off to try to get like a hot hitter to settle down as well. So, hope you all listen and watch baseball. [00:42:00] Otherwise that will make no sense.
Arnold: Always love a good baseball metaphor.
Nicole: Somewhere Chelsea is like, I don't understand what this is.
Arnold: This also gave administrators and mediators a break from campus clashes to focus on another problem, which was teacher dissatisfaction. Throughout December, the San Francisco State Federation of Teachers warned of a strike if their grievances were not addressed. They wanted wild and crazy things like, you know, expanded sick leave, lower class loads and more money, as well as tenure on contract instead of in gentlemen's agreements. And, you know, more money. That is still a major ongoing problem. Our teachers need to be better paid.
Nicole: Yeah, and the tenure track process is also messed up. I'm friends with a couple professors at S.F. State, whose names I will not say right now, and they're like, everything is so messed [00:43:00] up. No one's got our back anyways. So, yep, continuing the theme of this, nothing ever changes on this podcast. So, we have Theodore Meriam, president of the California State College Board of Trustees. He sends M.F. Keene, assistant Chancellor for Faculty Affairs, and Norman Epstein, chief counsel for the Trustees to speak with American Federation of Teachers representatives, and of course, the omnipresent, from here on out, Ron Houghton is in attendance. Now, this is just in time because the AFT had a new demand. They wanted $300,000 and excess salary savings funds from the state to prevent anticipated layoffs. Now that salary savings fund was kind of a slush fund that continually went unused in the state budget. And when money goes unused, it's just sitting around the city or the state, it just goes back into the general fund, [00:44:00] which is a genius way for the local, you know, state and city officials to grab at more money that should be used for the purpose it was set aside for.
Arnold: Everybody hoped that if the teacher dispute could be resolved, the student dispute would follow afterwards. But the American Federation of Teachers was clear that, while it sympathized with student demands, their strike was separate. Theirs was a labor dispute, a fight for wages, hours, and working conditions, not a philosophical revolt. They wanted to keep it focused. They wanted to keep it classy. As negotiations got under way, AFT President David Selden refused to remark on Hayakawa's administration, although he did let it slip that he wouldn't want his son attending a school run by such a man. Well, not always classy, apparently.
Nicole: Mostly classy. A more appointed blow to the administration came from local [00:45:00] 1352 president Gary Hawkins, who straight out called for the abolition of the State College Board of Trustees, to be replaced with local boards sensitive to the needs of each college. And all the while, the Mayor's Citizens Committee was on it, and everyone was optimistic about finding a resolution that would allow campus to reopen on January 6th without disruption.
Arnold: So maybe a resolution was possible. Because there was one point almost everybody agreed on. That being, we all agree Hayakawa was the worst.
Nicole: The worst.
Arnold: On December 30th, 1968, Willie Brown demanded, demanded his removal as a quote, “necessary prelude to the restoration of peace at campus.” End quote. He added that Hayakawa had, quote, “become the symbol of Ronald Reagan in San Francisco.” End quote. Shrewdly, Brown saw Hayakawa as “acting as a caretaker for [00:46:00] people who are hostile to higher education. When you put someone in who, who is hostile to the desires and aspirations of disadvantaged people, particularly minority black people, then you cannot have peace.” End quote. Finally, he ended up saying quote, “anyone who desires to support Dr. Hayakawa is supporting the enemies of higher education.” End quote.
Nicole: Yeah. David has something to say about that.
David: This was the Willie Brown prior to him being mayor of San Francisco, I believe he was a supervisor, district supervisor. They might have even been elected countywide at that time.
Nicole: I think he was. I think he'd moved on. He, he was district supervisor for the Haight-Ashbury. Right. Do you remember that correctly?
David: He wasn’t, well, I remember him as an attorney for years and I think after, he might have been the second supervisor after Francois.
David: Minority supervisor. But Willie Brown, very eloquent as always.
Nicole: Yeah, you know, it's, it's something if Willie [00:47:00] Brown steps in. But he wasn't the only one, right? You have Senator James Q. Wedworth of Hawthorn opening the 1969 state legislature with a request that the Senate demand the immediate resignation of State College Chancellor Glenn S. Dumke, who, if you remember from our latest podcast, is the super villain of our podcast series. And also, Hayakawa. Wedworth also wanted an investigation of the state college system in general and was advocating for a restructuring of the whole system.
Arnold: Yeah. Woodworth blamed Dumke for an across-the-board complete failure, and said Hayakawa was quote, “at best, a part-time professor, and by his own admission, he was not an administrator.” End quote. Wedworth also told his colleagues that student militants are tired of doing as we say, they want to do as we do. And most of all, knock down the double standards that have permeated our system of [00:48:00] government for generations.” End quote. Thank you. But even as these winds were shifting, things are still a little tense on the ground.
Nicole: Yeah. Even as more minds were changed or more people high up were starting to advocate for some of the things at least that students and teachers were looking to, to achieve, it was still a long way to go. As the Christmas-New Year Peace, as it was called by at least one person on campus, as this came to an end, everyone sort of like, girded their loins, for this awful, this awful reopening of campus. The week before classes resumed Hayakawa banned meetings and gatherings on the central campus. He banned unauthorized visitors and effectively limited picketing to campus perimeters. And he was actually allowed to do that. There's a lot of weird rules around like what, like he's allowed to do and what the Trustees are allowed to do, but he was allowed to do this as long as he [00:49:00] designated another area for gathering, which he did, the athletic field. And so, I'm gonna insert a joke here about this being the time that the athletic field on campus saw any real action. Only time, only time. Sorry, everybody who does sports at S.F. State.
Arnold: Thank goodness the National Guard was not at the ready, but Captain Mortimore McInerney, quote, “the outspoken supervisor of police operations at San Francisco State College,” end quote, he got replaced. He was the youngest captain on the force. And also, once told a reporter that quote, “hitting demonstrators over the head is not only stupid, but inflammatory.” So yeah, this is the guy you're getting rid of. Yeah, don't want that energy in charge of police during peaceful protests.
Nicole: Yeah, get rid of that. We don't need any of that here. Any reasonable approaches to public safety, we don't want any of that on campus. So that brings up the dreaded day, [00:50:00] January 6th, 1969, which apparently is just not a great day. No matter what decade you’re in.
Nicole: Oh boy. Do you think folks came back from winter break to a harmonious campus? You all think here. David knows, so don't say anything,
Arnold: Dun, dun dun!
Nicole: You'll have to tune in next week to find out in the third and hope, what I, what I hope will be the final installment of the San Francisco State Strike of 1968 to 1969.
Arnold: And this leads us to say, Say What Now? And this week we turn back to Dr. Caroline Shrodes, who in an Orwellian twist, said she could neither confirm or deny that reports that students were putting up the anti-Hayakawa material on campus. Turns out, she's also the department chair who offered Hayakawa a permanent faculty position at San Francisco State.
Nicole: Do you think every day she was like, ugh, my bad, y'all. Put up whatever posters you want. This one's on me.
Arnold: Anyways, thanks again for joining us, David, for part two on this San Francisco State Strike podcast.
David: You're welcome. Glad to be here. Hopefully I'll make it to the next one, whenever that may be. Whenever Nicole finishes her research. Thank you very much.
Nicole: Hopefully it's just next week. We should also point out, like I do all this work to try to have a basic understanding. We all do all this work to have a basic understanding of a strike. There are far more educated individuals. There's someone who's writing a book on this because [00:52:00] this is something to write a book on. So like, this is just a cursory overview that we tried to make as thorough as possible.
David: And you did. So, thank you.
Nicole: Yeah. Tune in next week when I talk about, when I recap, when we recap history, the chair of the history department at S.F. State, talking about how important history is. Anyways, yes, David, thank you for always making the podcast better.
Arnold: So, this of course brings us to listener mail. So, we actually heard from our very good friend, one of the many in this family who are friends of ours, Mark Van Raam.
Nicole: Van Raam!
Arnold: Mark Van Raam wrote about last week's Boudin Bakery podcast. He said quote, “I learned so much about Boudin in, on episode 489. Thanks for a great podcast. Growing [00:53:00] up, we always called Sourdough Bread, French Bread in our family and circle of friends. Now I know why. I also learned what happened to Colombo and Parisian bakeries. Although Whole Foods and Trader Joe's bread is pretty loose to San Francisco French bread, there's no substitute for San Francisco's original. The episode made me revive my Boudin account and order the variety pack for delivery to my Hampton, Virginia home. $41 for the order and $32 in delivery fees. I can't wait for the smell of real French bread.” End quote. Thank you, Mark.
Nicole: WNP should be gettingda finder’s fee for that. Can you tell I'm in fundraising mode listeners?
Arnold: Well, in part, we kind of did because Mark is a member.
Nicole: That’s true. He gives us a lot. Yeah. So, if you have ideas for future episodes or like something [00:54:00] came to mind while listening to this episode, were you at the strike? Are you related to Caroline Schrodes? Are you Caroline Shrodes? I don't think so. I think she was a little bit older at the time. Well, anyways, if, if this jogged your memory or you have something to tell us, as long as it's nice, drop us a line by emailing email@example.com or leave us a message on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. You're at outsidelands with a z. Arnold's in charge of the Facebook, so you're directly connected to him. And I'm in charge of the Instagram, so you're directly connected to me. Arnold also does the Instagram, or the Twitter. Arnold's everywhere. And Arnold, what are the benefits of membership and donating? Can you remind me? I seem to have forgotten.
Arnold: Absolutely. Our very good members like Mark Van Raam get our quarterly membership magazine. They get discounts on events, [00:55:00] although, for the events that require personal attendance, Mark is probably not making the trek from Virginia to here for it. But there are local Van Raams who do.
Nicole: It's true. And we have virtual events, which we don't charge for. Right? Cause it's not right to charge people to sit in their living rooms.
Arnold: And there are other exclusive perks, and your membership supports all the good work we do and make available for free, which includes OpenSFHistory. It includes the Cliff House collection. It includes this podcast. So, become a member by clickity, clickity, clacking on the big orange button at the top of our, any website page.
Nicole: Yeah. All over there. Yeah. And if, we really need your support, because we're hooking up all of our scanner stations again and realizing that our computers are super old and don't wanna talk to our scanners. So woohoo! [00:56:00] Make that donation today, so we have computers. Speaking of now it's time for announcements. Announcements that aren't that we need new computers.
Arnold: But what's going on in 2023 you ask? Well, slowly but surely, we're organizing all the chaos here at our Balboa Clubhouse. Our OpenSFHistory digitization station is in the works, courtesy of, as you mentioned, our good friend Chrissy Huhn, who leads UC Berkeley's Imaging Services team.
Nicole: Hate that title.
Arnold: One of our favorite Sunset district artists, Thomas Beutel, is helping us restore a miniature model of a classic Richmond District home. We're looking to get some funding for that. So, we're looking at you Victorian Alliance. What else have we got going Nicole?
Nicole: So, our former student intern and brand-new board member Lindsey Hanson, is [00:57:00] hard at work curating a window exhibition on the windmills in Golden Gate Park. And I'm putting the finishing touches on the first of four rotating OpenSFHistory shows inspired by Ansel Adams. So, look for those to debut at the end of this month. I'm also curating a Richmond District History display for Andytown's newest location at 800 Great Highway. And, hot off the presses! We just confirmed with Fort Point Beer Company that we'll be leading trivia nights at local bars throughout the city
Nicole: Should be so much fun.
Arnold: More big news! Events have started showing up on our website.
Nicole: Yeah, they have.
Arnold: So, we've got three history walks lined up with John Martini that are happening in March and April. Now open for ticket purchase. He'll be leading history tours of the Presidio main base, the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park, and Mounstain [00:58:00] Lake. Tickets are $10 for WNP members, $20 for non-member. So again, become a member. Reserve your ticket on our website at outsidelands.org/events or find these events on Eventbrite.
Nicole: Yeah, we're big on collaborations. I told you about Fort Point Beer. We're also cooking something up with Manny's in the Mission, and we also just confirmed today that we are the official partner of Johns Hopkins University's annual seminar for students. Which means they get to sit in our freezing office and talk about history. But also, we're working with the California Association of Museums. I work with the Western Museums Association. We're working with the San Francisco chapter of American Institute of Architects to help them with their conference. And something we're very excited about, we are bringing Shipwreck Week to life this year. And I say all this to let you know that your membership really supports a lot of active work and [00:59:00] communities far and wide. But also to remind you, you should get on our mailing list because that's where you find out that we're doing all this stuff and you can get tickets. Cause things are gonna sell out. So, if you aren't already on that list, be sure to sign up for our monthly email newsletter at outsidelands.org. We don't blow up your inbox, I promise. We're very respectful and we don't sell your information. So become a WNP insider today.
Arnold: But we also wanna know what you want.
Arnold: So be on the lookout. We're gonna be sending out an audience survey. I know a lot of people just disregard those kinds of emails. It only takes a couple minutes, but we wanna hear from you about what you want from us. So that we can improve what we give to you. So, sweeten the pot, everyone who completes that survey, will have a chance to receive a free year of WNP membership from us. There will be a, I guess some kind of random drawing or something that happens so that [01:00:00] anybody who's not already a member can become a member for a year.
Nicole: And if you are a member, we'll extend your membership an extra year into the future
Arnold: There you go.
Nicole: So you get extra membership from us. That, that email, if the amazing magical powers of setting an email to go out in advance has happened correctly, that should be in your inbox already Outside Landers. So, it should have gone out on Thursday. So double check, sometimes our emails go to spam. It's very frustrating for everybody involved. So…
Arnold: Which is, this is a way of telling you that we're recording this before Thursday.
Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. And that this is going live, air quotes, on Saturday. The magic of the podcast has been revealed. We used to record them three at a time, [01:01:00] which was very helpful for our sound engineer cause he didn't have to show up all the time. But not helpful for us who have to hustle to get our content together.
Arnold: So, Nicole, let's bring this epically long podcast to an end by you telling us what is our preview for next week.
Nicole: I kinda already told you, but tune in for part three of this super-duper podcast. David Friedlander will be joining us again cause he's really the expert here.
Arnold: And the best part of David's story is coming up.
Nicole: Yeah, he keeps getting delayed, but like his time to shine will be next week. So, show up for that. Thank you again David.
David: Thank you.
Nicole: And Arnold, great to be back with you in 2023.
Arnold: Lovely to be back with you, Nicole. So long podcast listeners.
Ian: Outside Lands San Francisco is recorded by Ian Hadley. Content creation and media production at ihadley.com.
Nicole: To learn more about the Western Neighborhoods Project and more on San Francisco history, go to Outsidelands.org. You can also find us on social media at Facebook, which is outsidelands with an S, at Twitter, which is outsidelandz with a Z, and on Instagram, which is outsidelandz, also with a Z. And check out our historic San Francisco images website at OpenSFHistory.org.
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