For me, activism is made great through those all too few moments of courage and clarity at crucial and tense times.That is how I think of Mario Savio's speech during the Free Speech Movement in 1964. Today marks the anniversary of his speech. I think of his voice rising during this part quite often actually:
"There is 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!"
His short life showed his commitment to the struggle against tyranny of all kinds among free and self-organized people and to direct action, even as far as to step down from leadership when he felt it necessary, since in his own words: “I should do a great disservice to our community if I were to make myself indispensable.”