Hotbed of Radicalism Elicits Responses

The story “Fresno, a Hotbed of Radicalism,” written by Mike Rhodes for the May edition of the Community Alliance online sparked lots of commentary on social media. We reproduce some of them herein:

Kevin O’Connor Damn hippies. Get a job.

Cathi Graves Tudman In 1971, the Fresno State Maxi Soul Mini Marching band (with 35 enrolled) led by drum major Carl Beard, a wonderful enthusiastic, funny black man, was accused of being a radical group & the activities of the members were tracked for MANY years. I actually ran into the file when I was in student government.

Carlos Cabrera It wasn’t just a “computer lab”, it was the room that housed the University computer, a gigantic machine that was about six ft wide, six ft. high, and 20 ft. long. It was like a giant brain that could be accessed from remote terminals. It ran a program named FORTRAN and users had to write their own sub program on IBM cards. That’s my recollection and I won’t be offended if anyone corrects me.

Paul Garcia Mpa Nice work. There needs to be a follow-up reunion or article about the Chicano / Ethnic studies struggle that transformed Fresno state from being “incredibly White-centric”

Aline Reed I am very proud of the role Black Fresno played in this event…

Jeremy Jfax I love to see all the original people. O.G’s. I don’t have a clue of what this post is because I was born in 86. You Made this world great and sorry that my generation started the mess of the world and also the newest generation as well. I love all the o.gs in the world. You all rule..peace out

Lupe Gonzalez Activities were still going on through my college days through MEChA❤❤✌🏽

Dan Waterhouse Remember 1970 very well. My mom clobbered a cop in the Tower District who mistook her for a FCC coed. I’d like to get a copy of Ron Thiesen’s book.

Eliu Cornier Please share those memories I like reading things of that time. I was in the military, served with the infantry in Vietnam and Cambodia and returned home to California. l live in Central California, in Madera county. l work in Fresno for 13 years and never heard of this. Very interesting.

Norman Johnson You wouldn’t know this ever happened considering Fresno is listed as “solidly Republican”.

Terril Cross Freno is blue now…the only blue streak on the inland map..

Jim Edmunds I remember this. Moved to Fresno in August to attend Fresno Pacific and started Fresno State in Feb. of 1971

Annette Breazell Great Article

Mike Alcala Remember the times well.

Mary Francis Galloway Wow! Never knew

Jack Herrera I was at shaw ave.

El Mando Heck yeah!

Dean Rosander Is the First/Sierra house still standing?

Tom Laury The only English Department in the USA to get shut down at gunpoint by the administration

Joan Gouveia Tom Laury What’s the story on this?

Tom Laury In the height of this hysterical paranoia the English Department at FSC was raided by armed policemen. At gunpoint, the Department chair, Gene Zumwalt, was forced from his office and locks installed on the door. Dangerous stuff in those file cabinets!

Joan Gouveia Tom Laury So FPD was doing the gun pointing?

Tom Laury Joan Gouveia SOMEBODY had to get things under control!!!

Tom Laury Joan Gouveia the FBI may have been involved but as I recall it was FPD

Mike Rhodes There is a good book about what happened during that time: The Slow Death of Fresno State by Kenneth Seib.,m .,

Joan Gouveia Tom Laury Your comment sounded like the university did it but it was the FPD all along involving themselves

Tom Laury Joan Gouveia at that time I doubt there were any real campus police. All of their actions were at the request or behest of the FSC administration, as I said previously. The president of the college at that time was Dr. Karl Falk.

Doris Bachman Tom Laury , I loved Dr. Lyons ! And Dr. Wilson Strand . Lyons , English/Logic/Philosophy and Strand , Ancient History .

Doris Bachman Also Dr. Bob Bennett , music department , piano and Vern Delaney , voice .

Aline Reed Tom Laury I am proud to have gotten my BA 8n English from Fresno State, Class of 1981

Tim Pashayan I remember the demonstrations very well because my brother and I were there we were in the medium on Shaw Avenue I remember somebody had a mattress and it was on fire there were thousands of people it went on for a couple of days I believe I do believe that the demonstrations by college students during that time with a reason Nixon stopped what he was doing and started to negotiate And military withdrawal. I believe if Nixon had not started this colleges would’ve been burned to the ground

Bill Walker Dr. Mezy?

Tom Laury Robert Mezey, poet. He commented that smoking pot wasn’t so bad and all hell broke loose, at least Fresno style lol

Bill Walker Tom Laury I remember it well. I had just started teaching in Fresno and was a grad student at Fresno State. He also advocated burning draft cards, and the community went bag shit crazy.

Tom Laury Bill Walker He and his wife Ollie had to go hide out in a house on Auberry Rd. which was owned by the Fresno Free College Foundation, a Communist front organization if there ever was one! lol lol;

Bill Walker Tom Laury Those were the days. Are you related to the Dr. Laury who taught (as I remember) in the English department?

Tom Laury Bill Walker My Dad was the perennial chair of the Art Dep’t., Frank B. Laury. You have a good memory

Bill Walker Oh yes. I had a class from your dad. I remember a field trip to the nearly new downtown mall where he pointed out the sculptures and architecture. It stuck with me.

Lisa Lopez Wow and I find it so great that you people can remember this in Fresno…I’m a 85 graduate

Sandy Cropper I remember that day so clearly.

Consuelo S Macedo Kathy Macedo Gulseth. Alan Richard Macedo. We had just returned to Fresno.

Joe Ramirez I remember those uniforms

Olga M. Martinez I wish I could have been there but I was at UC Santa cruz

Cecilia Aranaydo Olga M. Martinez me too! I didn’t start till the next year (Fall 70)

Aline Reed My family moved back to Fresno from SF in Dec 1968..I remember the computer room bombing bc rumor had it that the Black Panthers or at least some black college students were involved.

Will Brueggemann Didn’t know about this thanks for sharing

Charles Brown I thought politics were not allowed in this group. But here it is remembering all the protesters but what about the American heros that went to that water. Just saying

Mike Rhodes I think that the moderators of this Facebook page would be fine if you posted something about the men and women from Fresno who served in Vietnam. Just because you don’t agree with the politics of what Fresno anti-war activists were doing in 1970 does not mean that it didn’t happen. This is a part of Fresno history and this page is called Fresno’s Past.

Bruno Ponzi Plenty of heros were at that protest Charles. They knew exactly what lies they were told.

Charles Brown To each his own

Lori Nakaguchi Mike Rhodes and the bombers were heroes too, like Bill Ayers and his partners in crime? Is he still firm on the 25 million deaths required for a successful communist revolution in the United States? He was evasive in his most recent appearance at CSUF.

Charles Brown Mike Rhodes your right and I’m not trying to change any part of our country’s history. You have the constitutional right to assemble and protest but you don’t have the right to destroy property while you’re doing it

Haun Kelly as a child sometime before this march I recall visiting the widow and children of a soldier killed in Vietnam. Probably members of Sierra Vista Methodist Church. I could not imagine what it would be like for them growing up without a father in such circumstances. Was he an American hero and their property was destroyed?

Doreen Klose Yes, I remember when Americans used to be against war.

Ernestine Avila Hopson I was attending Fresno State and I never heard of either of those things happening.1963 through 1st semester of 1968. Where was i???

Robert Cortez Maybe you forgot.

Ernestine Avila Hopson Robert Cortez no, I would have remembered that for sure. Maybe I was teaching at the time and my classes were later after this happened. But thank you for the response. You made me laugh.

Sue Gratz I remember. I was 17 and politically active. Not involved in any bombing, however.

Robert Keefe My second year at FCC. A friend of mine and got wind of this and drove by to see for ourselves.

Olga M. Martinez The bombing of the computer was the only event mentioned in Bay Area and Santa Cruz and we had a couple of staff admin and counselors who were working at UCSC six months after bombing. There wasn’t much news about Fresno anti war events. They did happen because my counselor Katia Panas told me about it. What was the reason for the bombing and were demonstrators only ones blamed?

Wes Parker Believe it or not I got caught up in that demonstration! My wife and I were driving west on Shaw in front of the college and hundreds of people came pouring off of the campus into the street. We had to stop because we were completely surrounded. Rocks and bottles were being thrown and people were being arrested and handcuffed left and right. My wife was pregnant with our daughter Tracy Parker and it was pretty damn scary. We were relieved when the street cleared enough that we could finally get the hell out of there. Thank goodness we weren’t harmed and our car wasn’t messed up!

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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