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UM Students Protest Move Into Cambodia

AMHERST- Pickets marched in front of most of the buildings on the central part of the UMass campus this morning as students there joined a nationwide student strike protesting extension of U.S. troops into Cambodia.

A university spokesman said the pickets were "non-obstructive" and were talking to the students and faculty members who entered for morning classes, but did not prevent their entrance.

How many students were actually supporting the strike was not known, although a spot check by one source at 8 a.m. indicated that about 20 per cent of the students were attending classes.

Students had originally scheduled Spring Day today, a day traditionally set aside by students to skip classes. Tomorrow is Counselling Day, reserved for pre-registration for the fall semester. Thus one observer said he did not expect to know how many students were supporting the strike until Thursday.

An estimated 5,000 persons packed the Student Union last night to hear the Student Senate vote unanimously to participate in the strike.

A resolution adopted at the meeting, and expected to be presented at a meeting of the Faculty Senate today, declared UMass "a liberated university" with the remaining part of the semester to be used by the school" as they deem fit with regards to the overall context of the strike."

One spokesman said the resolution was in effect asking that final exams be suspended for supporters of the strike and that no student receive less than a "P" mark, allowing him to pass all courses.

Plans are to extend the strike to the end of the semester.

Leaflets handed out by pickets this morning urged students to join the strike and to demand "the end to political repression of political dissidents and freedom for all political prisoners, immediate and unilateral withdrawal from Southeast Asia, and the end of university complicity in war research."

Sources attributed much of the support for the strike at last night's meeting to reports yesterday that four students at Kent State University in Ohio had been shot to death by National Guard troops.

Rumors on campus were that part of the striking students planned to take over the Reserve Officer Training Corps headquarters at Dickinson Hall. "No basis for that rumor were reported from last night's meetings.

Plans are for a rally tonight at 7 on either the Amherst Common or the Cage. Reports are that a representative of the Black Panthers in New Haven has been asked to speak at the rally.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Despite his presidential campaign promise that he had a secret plan to end the Vietnam War, within months of Richard Nixon's 1968 election, the United States had begun to secretly bomb Communist supply routes and depots in the border regions of Cambodia. In May of 1970, U.S. and South Vietnamese invaded the border regions of Cambodia. The United States military entry into Cambodia sparked massive protest among U. S. citizens who were already thoroughly disillusioned with the war. Protests on university campuses intensified with the news that four student protestors were shot and killed by Ohio National guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University. The protests on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, culminating in a student strike, were representative of protest across the country.


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"UM Students Protest Move Into Cambodia" article in The Greenfield Recorder newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Recorder
date   May 5, 1970
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   5.25"
width   4.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Newspaper
accession #   #L06.043

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See Also...

"Students Trying to Convert Congressmen" article in The Greenfield Recorder newspaper

"War Protest Keeps New England College Campuses in Ferment" article in The Greenfield Recorder newspaper

"Communication Trouble" editorial in The Greenfield Recorder-Gazette newspaper

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