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  We Will Be Out Talking About the War
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University of Wisconsin student activist (and future Madison mayor) Paul Soglin wrote this column at the start of classes in fall 1967. He highlighted past antiwar protests and promised there would be more to come, especially against chemical munitions manufacturers like Dow Chemical.

His column describes the link between campus activists at Wisconsin and at other institutions, notably Columbia University in New York, where students had staged a headline-grabbing sit-in to protest the draft the previous April.


Thursday's Line
"Hi there, Badger!"

Paul Soglin
(Paul Soglin is a graduate student in history.)

We'd like to welcome back all the students who managed to show up for the 1967-68 academic year. Through the cooperation of university officials, the city of Madison and those pursuing a suicidal course in Southeast Asia, we have scheduled another smashing calendar of events for this year. The 1967-68 year by all indications appears to be the most fun-filled, action-packed school year since university President Twombly suggest that coeds be admitted. (That was the year of the locust.)

There will be more demonstrations, more cops (and bigger, though not necessarily better), higher prices, colder weather, and more [expletive] from both ends of State Street...

...Everyone knows that students have no influence upon city policy, so to alleviate the natural frustrations that will develop, the Placement Office has brought back one of the longest run roadshows, the Dow Chemical Company. We are promised that the October 17-20 shows, back for a second performance, will not simply be a rerun of last spring's spectacle.

To start with, the University has agreed to tell the Left where the show will be held. To give Dow an equal chance, the University will supply more police protection. The four day festival will be highlighted by an obstructive sit-in which will most likely be led by Bob Cohen and Evan Stark, the latter returning from a command performance in The City. Evan while teaching at CCNY managed to run over to Columbia to lead the finest draft sit-in ever held on the east coast.

If Dow isn't successful and doesn't turn up enough arrests, we will have another chance in November when the CIA comes to campus to find little boys who would prefer to poison sugar cane, stage coups, spy on their fellow students, and kiss LBJ's duff rather than end the war in Viet Nam...

...For those dedicated to the pursuit of trivia, dedicated to being spoon-fed, and not interested in an education that is relevant to what's happening, they will find happiness and bliss in the classroom. For those of us who are here to learn we will be out talking about the war...

...When a history professor talks about the effects of chemical and biological warfare on the nation developing the weapons, when a chemistry instructor discusses the moral responsibilities of the profession, and when a university administrator will explain the limits of education in an institution that is dependent upon the federal government and large corporations for financial support, then we can return to the classroom and learn.

The Daily Cardinal, n.d. (late August/early September 1967)



  We Will Be Out Talking About the War
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