War and Resistance
Campus protests against the Vietnam War sparked denunciations by conservative politicians, who characterized student activists as traitors. Ohio Governor James Rhodes announced on 3 May 1970: “They’re the worst type of people that we harbor in America. I think we’re up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America.”
The following day, Ohio National Guard troops fired 67 rounds of live ammunition into an antiwar protest at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine. Ten days later, police fired into a demonstration at Jackson State, a predominantly black college in Mississippi, killing two and injuring twelve. War related deaths on college campuses ignited public outrage and intensified anti-war efforts.
At UC Berkeley, Chancellor Roger Heyns pledged support for “activities directly related to the protest against the war” by making campus facilities available “for meetings, discussions and workshops on the war and related issues.” In Wurster Hall, student action committees held teach-ins; enlisted local residents in anti-war resistance; and established a silkscreen printing workshop that produced an estimated 50,000 copies of hundreds of original designs, most by anonymous student artists. The works showcased here, selected from the Environmental Design Archives and Docs Populi, a private collection, reflect the outpouring of creativity and protest triggered by Nixon’s Cambodian Intervention of 1970 and its electrifying aftermath.