Protests at the Democratic Convention

SDS Call to Action 1972

A call to action at the Democratic Convention from 1972 from the Students For a Democratic Society.

Watching the deeply felt protests of  Bernie Sander’s supporters with their visceral frustration with the Democratic party establishment and their disappointment with the  party not adopting a more progressive platform, the internal divisiveness is palpable.

On Twitter Sanders tweeted “Young people are the future of America and they want a role in shaping that future.”

Over 45 years ago there was another political revolution, of activists voicing their protests, challenging Democratic leaders and their delegates to break with the past, create changes and remake the battered US political system.

Whether in Chicago in 1968 or Miami in 1972 youthful protestors like the Students for a Democratic society voiced their discontent with a failed Democratic system.

 Among my collectables is this 1972 call for action printed in New Left Notes the Students For a Democratic Society (SDS)  newspaper
SDS New Left Notes Call to Action at Miami Democratic Convention 1972

SDS New Left Notes Call to Action at Miami Democratic Convention 1972

The SDS  who by 1972 had aligned with Workers Student Alliance,  focused on fighting racism and supporting workers struggles and strikes. Reading their manifesto it’s hard not to hear future echoes of contemporary concerns from  Black Lives Matters, to immigration.

SDS New Left Notes Call to Action Anti Racism Bill 1972

SDS New Left Notes Call to Action Anti Racism Bill 1972

Like the protestors in Chicago 1968, young protesters in 1972 were united behind an encompassing cause: ending the long war in Vietnam and challenging Democratic Party leaders.

The democratic party torn by dissension and disunity from the 1968 convention  had been left shell-shocked after the violence. The nomination of Hubert Humphrey, perceived heir to Johnson’s war policies, compounded the sense of betrayal among those who opposed the war.

The bosses, not the people who voted in the primaries, had won.

George McGovern for President Brochure 1972

George McGovern for President Brochure 1972

In 1972 the SDS demonstrated at the Democratic National Convention in Miami against Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern retreating from his original stronger campaign positions against the Vietnam War. Several  hundred SDS members staged  a sit in at the Doral Hotel as McGovern and his staff met upstairs with protesting members of grassroots McGovern volunteers and sympathizers who were angry over the same issue.

 

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