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Students for a Democratic Society

Defunct since the early 1970s, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was an organization of more than 100,000 members, with chapters on more than 350 college campuses. Founded in 1960 as an offshoot of other organizations, SDS was originally dedicated to the causes of civil rights and social justice.

In 1962, SDS issued its manifesto, the Port Huron Statement. Here, concerns such as racism, poverty, and nuclear proliferation are addressed. Participatory democracy was heralded as a key way to address these problems. Action on the part of college students was advocated, and the role of America's universities in the process of social change was stressed. It was not until the escalation of the Vietnam War by the administration of President Lyndon Johnson that the central focus ...

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