Activism at SF State Percolated Throughout 1960s

Tuesday, June 06, 2017
SF STATE NEWS -- The free speech, the civil rights and the anti-war movements were all present on campus starting in the early 1960s, according to SF State Political Science Professor Robert Smith. The Summer of Love was just one of these movements — the drug use and free love were another way of expressing dissatisfaction with the predominant culture, he said. “There was a lot of cross-fertilization. People were going back and forth from one movement to another,” he said. “There was a confluence of different protest movements and they eventually moved into one mass protest against the Vietnam War.” SF State’s various protests very quickly became a model for other colleges and universities in California and eventually the rest of the country, Smith said. That was particularly true of the five-month student strike for ethnic studies and greater representation of minorities on campus in 1968 to 1969. “I remember coming up here when I was a student at Cal State Los Angeles to see how to organize,” he said. “It had kind of a ripple effect. San Francisco State students went to Brandeis to help them organize there for Black Studies.”