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|Laborfest: Free Speech Struggle at CCNY 1931-42|
|Date||Tuesday July 24|
|Time||7:00 PM - 9:00 PM|
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|Berkeley City College Auditorium - 2050 Center St., Berkeley|
The Struggle for Free Speech at the City College of New York 1931-42
By Carol Smith
This slide/lecture of press and police surveillance photographs, political cartoons, graphics, and flyers highlights student and faculty activism at CCNY spawned by the Great Depression and the rise of fascism in Europe. Students played a major role in creating a national student movement against militarism and fascism and for free speech on campus. Faculty organized into a powerful union, and won major victories for its members. This activism brought repeated crackdowns by the CCNY college administration.
In 1940 New York State established the Rapp-Coudert Committee to investigate “subversion” in New York City’s public schools and colleges, This investigation resulted in the dismissal of 50 CCNY faculty and staff, the largest academic purge in US history. The techniques of interrogation developed by this committee become the model for the anti-communist investigations of the 1950s.
This presentation is based on a travelling exhibit, The Struggle for Free Speech at CCNY, 1931-42,” and can be viewed online at
Co-sponsored by the Berkeley City College Social Science Department, Professional Staff Congress (Faculty and Staff Union of the City University of New York)