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Student Demonstrations at IU in 1970

Cambodia Strikes: Afterword, May 12

Growing Frustrations

Prompted by continuously limited responses from the I.U. administration regarding U.S. involvement in Cambodia, Keith Parker reached his own limits and finally let go of the reins of peaceful activism.

The following is a statement made by Parker at the Indiana University Bloomington Faculty Council Meeting, May 12, 1970 (http://purl.dlib.indiana.edu/iudl/archives/bfc/1970-05-12. Click here for exact location of the statement.):

"To the peoples In our capacities as official student body representatives, we have spent the past two weeks in almost constant efforts to establish communication lines between students and the administration, especially concerning the issues raised in student rallies and the Student Senate.

"The response from the administration has been generally none at all—what has occurred has been characterized by deception, manipulation, bureaucratic pettiness, and outright lies.

"The height of this behavior occurred the night before the Kent State memorial service, when members of the administration, including Chancellor Carter and Dean of Students Schreck, attempted to ensure that no representatives of Kent State be allowed to speak—this, at a memorial for the Kent State students.

"University officials are overjoyed that no 'violence' or disruption has occurred since the beginning of the crisis. They have congratulated student government for keeping dissent 'orderly’ when they themselves have done nothing to attack the local problems raised by the dissent.

"They are glad that students have refrained from open violence, and have protected themselves—protected their defenseless selves from the ever-present threat of police repression and military violence.

"The absurdity of the administration blindness reached a second high point when, last week, they requested that student government provide marshals to 'protect' the orderliness of the Little 500 bicycle race. To believe that students engaged in a struggle against war, racism, and genocide would consent to co-optation into frivolity, is an illustration of the extent of administration insensitivity and bureaucratic vulgarity.

"Such behavior deserves all the names the students keep calling the officials. We can no longer be responsible for any righteous outrage expressed by students against the rules of this institution. We can no longer be held responsible for events rising out of justified student bitterness and anger. We can no longer play policeman for an institution that is so insensitive to the people's needs that they want to strike back in bitter and terrible rage.

"Let the administration, politicians and bureaucrats of Indiana University protect themselves.

"We hold them completely responsible for their actions and inaction, their lies and cowardice, their petty arrogance and dull tyranny.

"Let them continue to ridicule and dismiss the wants and needs of the people—let the people make them pay for it.

"We stand with the people. All power to the people." The statement, he said, was signed by Keith Parker, Student Body President, and Mike King, Student Body Vice President. He wanted to make it clear that they were not policemen any longer, unless he and Mike moved into Bryan Hall.*

*The last paragraph, including the unquoted portion, is part of the meeting minutes.