The Free Speech Movement: The Student Movement

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In 1954 America thought it to be their duty as “the watchdog of democracy” to enter into the Vietnam War, in order to fight the impending Fall of Communism. Although as the battle continued American society began to separate, as many people started to oppose the war and question the justification behind it. There were many factors, movements and events that helped facilitate the end of the Vietnam War. Though the Student Movement in particular was a very influential opposing force. This was due to many dynamics, such as the magnitude of their support, the method and nature of their protest and the fact that it was their generation that suffered the greatest losses. To a certain extent the Student Movement played a significant role in forcing…show more content…
So in 1962, the SDS formed the program of the New Left portion of society, which highlighted the failures of the government and the need for a more radical approach to protest America’s involvement. In 1964 The Student Movement, as a whole, gained support nationwide, as a result of the “Free Speech Movement” organized by students fighting for Civil Rights, as it was a physical display of the power that students can have on society if organized correctly. Then in February 1965, the movement gained real momentum due to President Johnson’s announcement of the campaign of sustained bombing across Vietnam, known as “Operation Rolling Thunder”. This sparked outrage all over the country; university campuses even held teach-ins to educate society of the senseless destruction and loss of life caused by American interference in Vietnam. The first physical form of protest against the war was a mass march organized by the SDS in which thousands of students marched in protest of the reckless bombings. The march was largely successful due to the exceptional attendance and non-violent nature, gaining worldwide attention. This put internal and external pressure on the government to adhere to the calls of its people. However Johnson opted to continue with the bombings, causing protest to escalate. Although a large portion of Americans contested the war, many still believed it to be a moral and patriotic goal, which divided the nation into two halves, causing additional pressure on the government. The student movement, stimulated by the success of the first march, organized more and more peace protests, gaining support and promoting widespread disillusionment with the government’s justifications of the
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