"Citadel of Apathy"?: Student Activism at UNL, September 1968-May 1969

Project Editor:Jillian Gotfredson, History 470: Digital History, Spring 2008

Active or Apathetic?

Lincoln, Nebraska: A Reflection of the Movement on a Different Scale
Public Displays of Activism: from protests to talk-ins
Hyde Park Forum
Students Unite: committees, groups, and unions
Who Protests?
What is Apathy?
National Context: a timeline of student activism on campuses
International Context: a timeline of student activism on campuses
Works Cited

International Context: a timeline of student activism on campuses.

From Argentina to Germany, student activism appeared on the world's campuses. However, compared with the United States, international protests seemed to be far more violent and on much larger scales, often over a longer period of time. This may lead some to believe that environment and the many variables associated with it play an important role in determining the scale and frequency of student activism. The first part of the timeline (1968) emphasizes how widespread, large, and affecting student protests in other countries were while the latter part (1969) shows more of the wide range and locally based issues students protested against.

BEFORE and DURING the 1968-1969 school year:


Spring — — ITALY, protest center moves to Rome University where 400 are arrested, hundreds injured, University is forced to close down twice (Katsiaficas, 53-54).

March 28-May 6 — — SPAIN, Madrid University closes due to violent protest (Katsiaficas, 54-55).

March 29 — — BRAZIL, a student killed by police sparks 2 weeks of riots resulting in 3 deaths, schools closing, and occupation of the city by the army (Katsiaficas, 49).

May — — ITALY, Strikes and sit-ins spread from Rome to Florence, Turin, Pisa, Venice, Milan, Naples, Padua, Palermo, Bologna, and Bari forcing Prime Minister Aldo Moro and his cabinet to resign (Katsiaficas, 53-54).

May 20 — — WEST GERMANY, hundreds of students occupy the Free University (Katsiaficas, 49-51).

June 12 — — ARGENTINA, 400 students occupy the University of La Plata in Buenos Aires to protest government repression (Katsiaficas, 49).

June 21 — — BRAZIL, 800 students are arrested while demonstrating at Federal University for more aid to Brazilian universities (Katsiaficas, 49).

July 23 — — MEXICO, student groups are attacked by riot police in Mexico City (Katsiaficas, 47-48).

July 26 — — MEXICO, thousands of students protest against police brutality. Riot squads kill 7, wound 500, and arrest several hundred (Katsiaficas, 47-48).

Jul 29 — — MEXICO, all schools are ordered to close down as 150,000 students go on a general strike (Katsiaficas,47-48).

September 22 — — URUGUAY, after continued fighting between students and police in July results in Martial Law, the governmen t orders all universities and high schools closed for a month (Katsiaficas, 49).

October — — BRAZIL, Demonstrations are banned and 1240 students are arrested near Sao Paolo (Katsiaficas, 49).

October 2 — — MEXICO, The Night of Sorrow: after police take over the National University and Polytechnic Institute, violating the university's autonomy, students call for a rally at the Plaza of Three Cultures in the Ttatelolco housing project in Mexico City on October 2nd. That night soldiers and police attack protesters. The government estimates 100 deaths but common knowledge places the toll above 400 (Katsiaficas, 47-48).

November 6 — — PAKISTAN, riots erupt in West Pakistan's major cities, all schools are ordered closed and the former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is executed for inciting students (Katsiaficas, 55-56).


January 5 — — NORTHERN IRELAND, Queens University students on a four-day march for Roman Catholic civil rights are attacked by Protestant extremists, 136 injured (Lees).

January 10 — — JAPAN, students riot at Tokyo University after months of protest over the current government and educational reforms (Shabecoffs).

January 14 — — ITALY, students take over the Hotel Commercio to set up headquarters as they protest for disadvantaged students and low-cost dormitory accommodations (Friendly).

January 15 — — CZECHOSLOVAKIA, 2,000 students rally to condemn the Soviet occupation and create a "Prague Manifesto" (Shuster).

January 16 — — ISRAEL, thousands of students protest at the French Embassy against De Gaulle's arms embargo ("Protest held...," 6).

January 19 — — PAKISTAN, 1,000 students from Dacca University demonstrate against the government ("Clash at...").

February 3 — — ENGLAND, 6,000 demonstrators march to the Soviet embassy protesting the Russians treatment of Jews ("Students protest Russ...," 7).

February 12 — — CANADA, students at George Williams University set fire to the computer center and police car in protest of the racial makeup of a committee in charge of hearing charges of racism against a professor, students have been protesting since January 29th ("Canada students...," A5).

March 6 — — PUERTO RICO, students of the University of Puerto Rico peacefully protest for curriculum reform ("Hundreds Protest at...," 17).

March 28 — — BELGIUM, 400 engineering students protest outdated courses and invalid diplomas ("Belgian students...," 4).

March 30 — — GERMANY, students protest in "Easter March" against imperialism and disarmament ("Frankfurt...," 8).

March 30 — — RUSSIA, 30 Ethiopian students protest the Ethiopian educational system in Moscow ("Ethiopian...," 28).

April 10 — — ITALY, students and workers protest and riot against police brutality, 140 are injured, 2 killed ("Two killed...," 11).

April 12 — — AUSTRALIA, 600 students from three of Sydney's universities protest against the draft, 103 are arrested ("103 are arrested...," 4).

April 24 — — PORTUGAL, 5000 students and faculty boycott classes to protest the suspension of student association leaders ("5,000 at...," 12).

May 8 — — BRAZIL, thousands of students boycott classes forcing 23 professors to resign ("Students Boycott Classes...," 10).

May 16 — — HONDURAS, more than 1,000 students protest the visit Nelson A. Rockefeller by ripping the U.S. flag after a student died during earlier demonstrations ("Rioting flares...," C17).