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Vietnam War Protests at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Archives Dept.: ROTC Protests, Moratoria, and Hayakawa Visit, 1968-1970
Overview of protests and rallies held at UWM against the Vietnam conflict during the 1960s and 1970s. Includes photographs and references.
ROTC Protests, Moratoria, and Hayakawa Visit, 1968-1970
October 16-17, 1968: Chancellor J. Martin Klotsche orders the Union offices of the UWM Organizing Committee
(UWMOC) be locked after the group sends copies of an anti-draft letter to members of the Milwaukee Country Draft
Board. In "revenge," the Demilitarized Zone guerrilla theater group places a cardboard lock on Klotsche's office and
performs a short skit, "The Story of Joe and Martin J." comparing the Chancellor to Joe McCarthy. Following an
investigation, UWMOC's office is reopened.
September 25, 1969: Members of the UWM Chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) hold an impromptu
protest in Chapman Hall, where they threaten to firebomb the Chancellor's Office and demand that UWM's ROTC program
be disbanded. A firebomb is actually thrown into the Mitchell Hall ROTC offices. Following a march to Bolton and
disruption of several classes, two student protesters are arrested.
October 15, 1969: Between 30 and 150 student protesters march across campus as part of the National Moratorium on
the Vietnam War, which also included street theater and a teach-in at the Union Fireside Lounge. Despite UWM
Administration concerns of violence, the day's activities are mainly peaceful.
November 12, 1969: SDS members and other protesters, including UWM History Professor James Cockcroft, lay siege
to the ROTC's offices in Mitchell Hall. Following a struggle, Cockcroft, five students, and three non-students are arrested;
Cockcroft and five others are later charged with misconduct on public grounds.
February 14, 1970: Controversial president of San Francisco State College S.I. Hayawaka gives a lecture on campus,
which is protested by over 200 students. Protesters initially attempt to block entry to the Union by ticket, then throw rocks through the windows of the Union and Purin Hall. Three protesters are arrested by the Milwaukee Police.
March 6, 1970: The UW Board of Regents, meeting at UWM, pass new rules imposing harsher penalties against student protesters involved in disruptive activities. Under the new rules, violators may be fined up to $500 and sentenced to 90
days in prison.