Mark Rudd, Chairman of the Students for Democratic Society, talks to reporters.
“The Columbia University protests of 1968 were among the many student demonstrations that occurred around the world in that year. The Columbia protests erupted over the spring of that year after students discovered links between the university and the institutional apparatus supporting the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War, as well as their concern over an allegedly segregated gymnasium to be constructed in the nearby Morningside Park. The protests resulted in the student occupation of many university buildings and the eventual violent removal of protesters by the New York City Police Department. In early March 1967, a Columbia University Students for a Democratic Society activist named Bob Feldman discovered documents in the International Law Library detailing Columbia’s institutional affiliation with the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA), a weapons research think-tank affiliated with the U.S. Department of Defense. The nature of the association had not been, to that point, publicly announced by the University. Prior to March 1967, IDA had rarely been mentioned in the U.S. media or in the left, underground or campus press. A few magazine articles on IDA had appeared between 1956 and 1967 and IDA had been mentioned in a few books for academic specialists published by university presses. The RAND Corporation, not the Institute for Defense Analyses, was the military-oriented think-tank that had received most of the publicity prior to March 1967. But after Feldman’s name appeared in some leftist publications in reference to the Columbia-IDA revelation, the FBI opened a file on him and started to investigate, according to Feldman’s declassified FBI files. … Morningside Park gymnasium and discrimination. Columbia’s plan to construct what activists described as a segregated gymnasium in city-owned Morningside Park fueled anger among the nearby Harlem community. Opposition began in 1965 during the mayoral campaign of John Lindsay, who opposed the project. By 1967 community opposition had become more militant. One of the causes for dispute was the gym’s proposed design, which would have included access for residents of Harlem through a so-called “back door” to a dedicated community facility on its lower level. …”
1968: Columbia in Crisis
Columbia University 1968
NY Times: Remembering Columbia, 1968
YouTube: Columbia University protests of 1968
Newsreel: Columbia Revolt (Part I) 24:28, Columbia Revolt (Part II) 24:39