Bodies Upon The Gears – Mario Savio


Before watching Rachel last night, I had never heard of Mario Savio.  I listened to the clips she had and felt he had a timeless message.  Below is an excerpt I found at Wikipedia.  Sproul Hall steps are at University of California, Berkeley.

“Bodies upon the gears” speech

“”…But we’re a bunch of raw materials that don’t mean to be – have any process upon us. Don’t mean to be made into any product! Don’t mean – Don’t mean to end up being bought by some clients of the University, be they the government, be they industry, be they organized labor, be they anyone! We’re human beings!…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.” Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964.

The above picture was found here.

The above picture used with the permission of the photographer, Ms. Susan Druding.

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One Comment on “Bodies Upon The Gears – Mario Savio”


  1. Hi,)
    You must have put up the photo as I was looking since it appeared! I took that photo at the dedication of the plaque back in 1997.
    Mario gave many wonderful speeches, but this was his finest.
    It was just before a couple thousand of us (I was a grad student in Marine Ecology at the time) marched into Sproul Hall and 700 of us were arrested in the early morning hours the next day. I spent time in jail – a very educational experience. The police roughed us up then too, not as badly as they did in the past few days though in Oakland and on campus in Berkeley. I never saw a police man through the same eyes again! Our FSM archives web site has lots more photos and information: http://www.fsm-a.org

    Susan Druding (who also loves Rachel Maddow’s show


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