Priscilla Benitez, Audrey Kritch, and Louis Fordham

Reasons for the Movement

Started in 1960, the SDS was initially concerned with equality, economic justice, peace, and participatory democracy. With the escalation of the Vietnam War, the SDS grew as young people protested the destruction brought by the US government and military. Polite protest turned into stronger and more determined resistance as rage and frustration increased all across the country.

Status of the Movement Today

The SDS is still around today, they are now a national movement fighting for multiple issues while empowering young students to stand up in schools and communities. They are entirely student led and contain students from all different high schools, colleges and universities from around the nation.
Vietnam War - Students for a Democratic Society - "To Change the World"

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Important People of the Movement

Tom Hayden was an extremely important part of the SDS, as he wrote their political manifesto, which is called the Port Huron Statement. The objective of this manifesto was to create a radical new political movement which rejected hierarchy as well as bureaucracy. Robert Alan Haber was another crucial figure in the Students for a Democratic Society movement. He was the first president that the organization ever had, as he was elected in 1960. Aryeh Neier was the SDS's first director, and also held the position in 1960.

Three Specific Events Associated with the Movement

SDS tried to organize white unemployed youths through a new program they called the Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP). By the end of summer of 1964, there were ten ERAP programs in place all around campuses, with about 125 student volunteers. A small group of the SDS that was interested in change through conventional electoral politics created a program called the Political Education Project (PEP). On octover 1st at University of California, Berkely, more than three thousand students surrounded a police car where a student was being taken away, arrested for setting up an information table about the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in defiance of the University's ban on politics.

People in the Movement who were Arrested

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), in U.S. history, a radical student organization of the 1960s. In the influential Port Huron (Mich.) Statement (1962), the organization, founded in 1960, presented its vision for post–Vietnam War America and called for students to join in a movement to establish "participatory democracy." It was not until later in the decade, however, with the growth of the anti–Vietnam War movement, that the organization became well known. SDS demonstrations against the war drew thousands of protesters. In 1968, SDS sponsored a protest at Columbia Univ. that was ended by the arrest of more than 700 protesters. In that same year, increasingly divided by factional disputes, the organization collapsed, leaving behind a small faction, known as the Weathermen, that advocated violent revolutionary action.


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