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Students for a Democratic Society

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), in U.S. history, a radical student organization of the 1960s. In the influential Port Huron (Mich.) Statement (1962), the organization, founded in 1960, presented its vision for post–Vietnam War America and called for students to join in a movement to establish "participatory democracy." It was not until later in the decade, however, with the growth of the anti–Vietnam War movement, that the organization became well known. SDS demonstrations against the war drew thousands of protesters. In 1968, SDS sponsored a protest at Columbia Univ. that was ended by the arrest of more than 700 protesters. In that same year, increasingly divided by factional disputes, the organization collapsed, leaving behind a small faction, known as the Weathermen, that advocated violent revolutionary action.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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