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Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen

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    1. Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen

    2. Students for a Democratic Society: Port Huron Statement (1962) The Port Huron Statement represented several months of writing and discussion among SDS membership, a draft paper, and revision by the Students for a Democratic Society national convention meeting in Port Huron, Michigan in 1962. SDS laments the fact that American culture does not evaluate individuals based upon the strength of their character, but relies on superficial means of assessment such as possessions and test scores. Note the concerns relating to disengagement from societya common theme in 1960s cultural discourse.

    3. From the Port Huron Statement

    4. The SDS Vietnam Protest (1965) The first anti-Vietnam War demonstration to gain front-page coverage from The New York Times was organized by an obscure little organization called Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). At the time, it was the largest antiwar protest in American history, with 25,000 marching on Washington. They were a diverse group of students and adults of various universities and political affiliations. 10% were African-American and many had attended the civil rights demonstrations in Washington D.C. years earlier.

    5. The SDS Vietnam Protest (1965) The demonstrators constructed a petition to end the war and refused to disperse until the declaration was accepted by a police officer. The petition offered many schemes to end the war, including reconvening the Geneva Conference, negotiating with the NLF and North Vietnam, immediate withdrawal, and UN-supervised elections. The non-violent demonstration drew neither police action nor altercations between protestors and counter protestors.

    6. The SDS and the Weathermen By the late 1960s, the SDS had splintered. One of its resultant movements, Weather Underground, supported violent action as a necessary means to destroy capitalism and, in their opinion, the oppression that arose from such a system. This photo is from one of the first Weather Underground protests, the "Day of Rage" in Chicago which led to over 70 arrests.

    7. The Violent Weather Underground As the 1960s yielded to the 1970s, the Weather Underground became increasingly violent and radical. This photograph shows a bombing attributed to the Weathermen during that time.

    8. FBI: Files on the Weather Underground (1976)