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Soon after student protests against Dow Chemical, manufacturers of napalm, turned violent, University of Wisconsin officials were called on the carpet at the state house. Legislators suspected their state university of housing communists, inciting treasonous behavior, and importing activists from other parts of the nation to stir things up.

Madison's liberal afternoon newspaper, The Capital Times, was losing readership, partly due to its antiwar position. It covered the legislature's reactions in this article.


Legislators Demand Stiff Penalties for Protesters

By Robert Meloon (Of The Capital Times Staff)

Strict disciplining of campus demonstrators was demanded Wednesday by state legislators after they received a report on the violence from Lt. Gov. Jack Olson.

The Assembly adopted 94 to 5 a resolution calling for stiff penalties for the students and expulsion "whenever necessary."

The resolution called the protests "a flagrant abuse and perversion of the treasured traditions of academic freedoms..."

In his talk to the legislators, Lt. Gov. Olson also called for a get-tough policy at the University.

"Anyone who has taken part in this type of riot has no place in the University," he said.

In the Senate, Sen. Leland McParland (D-Cudahy) said he was "sick of students running the University."

"We should shoot them if necessary," McParland said. "I would, I would, because it's insurrection," he added...

"Communism is on that University campus and it's operating today," [Sen. Gordon] Roseleip [(R-Darlington)] said. He called for a legislative investigation of the demonstrations.

Sen. Ernest Keppler (R-Sheboygan) cautioned the senators that "we are dealing with only a small percentage of the student body."

"But we should deal with them severely," he added...

Assemblyman Edward Mertz (D-Milwaukee) called the students "long-haired, greasy pigs" and insisted the Legislature should take over running the University...

[Assemblyman Harvey] Dueholm [(D-Luck)] called the Assembly's action "mass hysteria."

"Let the law take its course but we shouldn't sit here and tell them what to do," he said. "I think the Regents can run the University."

Source: The Capital Times, n.d. (late October 1967)



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