Students for a Democratic Society

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Students for a Democratic Society was founded by Aryeh Neier (Director of the socialist League for Industrial Democracy) in 1960. Its principles were elaborated by Tom Hayden in his Port Huron Statement of 1962, which adopted the position of "anti-anti-Communism," refusing to support the West in the Cold War. [1]

  • Many key SDS members were "red-diaper babies," children of parents who were Communist Party members or Communist activists in the 1930s. In 1966, when President Lyndon Johnson abolished student draft deferments, some 300 new SDS chapters were formed. Among the organization's activities were: disrupting ROTC classes, staging draft card burnings, and harassing campus recruiters for the CIA and for firms that conducted research tied in some way to national defense. SDS also occupied buildings at universities such as Columbia and destroyed draft records.
  • At the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, SDS protestors, organized by Tom Hayden, created a riot in order to destroy the electoral chances of the pro-war liberal Hubert Humphrey, and thereby set the stage for a confrontation with the Nixon Administration over the Vietnam War. Hayden and his cohorts -- including Jerry Rubin, Abby Hoffman and Black Panther Bobby Seale -- were arrested and indicted for crossing state lines to incite a riot. They became known as The Chicago Seven. In a celebrated trial (whose guilty verdict was subsequently overturned on a technicality), they were given token sentences.
  • In 1969 SDS began imploding into factions. One of them, a group calling itself Weatherman, was elected to SDS leadership and proclaimed that the time had come to launch a race war on behalf of the Third World and against the United States. The new entity dissolved SDS and formed a terrorist cult in its place, which was given the name Weather Underground. [2]

External links

  • [ Students for a Democratic Society] - by Discover the Networks