Students Protesting War {Blog 3}

One of the most dramatic photos of children running away from the spray of napalm.

Bob Dylan was not the only one infuriated with America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. Major protests came from university students across the nation. At this that during the Vietnam War, the United States were backing South Vietnam with military and economic support. One of the government’s major war manufacturer was Dow Chemical. August 9, 1996 marked the first student protest at the Dow Chemical’s headquarters in Michigan. These University of Michigan students demanded the halt of napalm production due to it “causing some of the war’s most horrible suffering.” Napalm was a petroleum jelly that ate away anything it touched, including human flesh. As described by one Vietnam-War veteran, “Just one drop is enough; it’ll keep on burning right down to the bone so they [Vietnamese] die from phosphorus poisoning.” Days after the University of Michigan’s protest, students from California-Berkely, Maine, Marquette, California-Los Angeles, Northeastern, Wisconsin-Madison, Chicago, Boston, Illinois, Minnesota, and so many other universities across the nation organized protests against student recruitment by Dow Chemical. One of the memorable sit-ins was October 18, 1967 at the University of Wisconsin. As the protest grew to measures further than school security could handle, the police were summoned resulting in 47 students and 14 police injured and 71 students arrested. Students from all over the United States continued to protest relentlessly against Dow Chemical recruiters at their universities. Students were horrified by the affects of napalm and its continued production by Dow Chemical. The company was furthermore branded as a war-profiteer. In November of 1969, Dow Chemical finally concluded that Napalm was a destructive chemical and they ceased production for the government. However, Dow Chemical offices continued to be vandalized and protests prolonged into early 1972 against their war supplying efforts. The power of protest is a real fear for businesses. It took Dow Chemical over an entire decade to regain its consumers trust and loyalty.​

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