Running from tear gas

Students flee from police officers spreading tear gas outside the Commerce Building (now Ingraham Hall) at UW-Madison during a protest against Dow Chemical in October 1967. 

UW-MADISON ARCHIVES

This State Journal editorial ran on Oct. 20, 1967, two days after the Dow chemical riot at UW-Madison sent 70 people to the hospital and put Madison in the anti-Vietnam War spotlight:

The line was drawn: anarchy or education.

A small but volatile minority of students, along with some outside agitators, drew the line, not the university administration or faculty.

The students crossed their line of confrontation. They had been warned of the consequences. They were asked to cross back. They were asked again.

They were given every opportunity to make a peaceful protest and avoid a certain explosive situation.

They insisted on having an “obstructive sit-in,” what the demonstrators themselves labeled “the predictable explosion.”

It was a horrible, deplorable, stupid confrontation, but ...

The administration of the University of Wisconsin has made a welcome decision. It will run the University of Wisconsin. The students will not run it. William Sewell will be the chancellor. (Protest leader and philosophy teaching assistant) Robert Cohen will not.

This position has the emphatic backing of the faculty, the Board of Regents, and the Wisconsin Legislature. It also has without doubt the support of the majority of the student body and of the public. ...

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