Whether it be the Freedom Rides in 1961, the inseparable black nationalist and black power movements, or the anti-war struggle during Vietnam, social change has historically been heavily rooted in student activism tradition. This tradition, because of these movements, has morphed into one that is uncompromising. As Malcolm X stated; “This is why I say it’s the ballot or the bullet. It’s liberty or it’s death. It’s freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody.” This idea that no one is free until everyone is free is important for student activist movements, especially those that center around American foreign policy. The tradition unifies the common narratives between the oppressed in America and others around the world. Even if all activists do not subscribe to this tradition, its influence on students must still be noted.

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Student Activism is alive and well at the University of Michigan, and on the night of January 8th, 2020, students and members of the Ann Arbor community gathered to protest the threat of war in Iran. Another group of University of Michigan students took to the same methods in order to counter protest. Today, we have representatives from both student-led movements speaking on the event. In an increasingly globalized world, how can we make sense of these two critiques of U.S. foreign policy? How does the legacy of student movements in the 60s and 70s play into both the groups?

This episode was produced by Audio Engineer Gibson Gillett-Behrens, Executive Producer Sonya Vogel, and Content Producers Kareem Rifai and Rachel Fagan.





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