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Seeds of Fire: A People’s Chronology

Recalling events that happened on this day in history.
Memories of struggle, resistance and persistence.

Compiled by Ulli Diemer

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December 2, 1859
Abolitionist John Brown is executed for leading an unsuccessful raid at Harper’s Ferry aimed at freeing slaves.
He is not forgotten: less than two years later, Union soldiers are marching into battle against the slaveowners’ Confederacy, singing John Brown’s Body, the song which proclaims: “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave, His soul is marching on.”
Related Topics: Anti-SlaveryRebels
December 2, 1914
Marxist Karl Liebknecht stands alone in voting in the German parliament against the war. He is arrested shortly therafter and conscripted into the army.
Related Topics: First World War
December 2, 1923  
Birth of Maurice Brinton (Christopher Agamemnon Pallis) (1923-2005), libertarian socialist, writer, and physician.
Related Topics: Libertarian Socialism
December 2 - 4, 1964  
Protesters at the Berkeley campus of the University of California occupy Sproul Hall to assert their right to free speech after the university administration attempts to prevent students from setting up an information table about the Civil Rights movement in the American South. Police move in two days later and arrest some 800 students.
Ultimately the Free Speech Movement forces the administration to back down, and becomes a pivotal moment in the civil liberties movement of the 1960s.
On December 2, Mario Savio stands on the steps of Sproul Hall and gives a speech which galvanizes the movement. He says: “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious – makes you so sick at heart – that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all.”
Related Topics: Free Speech



January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  
For more information about people and events in Seeds of Fire, explore these pages: