Winter 1968:San Francisco State occupied by cops to brutally smash student strike

Lee Heidhues – December 3, 2022.
54 years ago today San Francisco Police instigated a Police Riot at San Francisco State University.
Beating, clubbing and arresting faculty and student protestors who were On Strike advocating for the creation of a Black Studies Department.
It was the most violent day in the history of San Francisco State University.
Over a month later in late January 1969 the SFPD engaged in a Mass Arrest which found 450 protestors arrested and  taken to San Francisco County Jail. Most of those arrested had their charges tossed out of Court.
I was a journalism major and witnessed the nearly five month Strike. The longest student protest in American history.
My views about law enforcement were shaped during The Strike and have remained the same to this day.
Law Enforcement’s main objective is to act as Guardians of the State.

Lee's Perspective

Lee Heidhues 12.4.2021

I was a Senior in the Journalism Department at San Francisco State in fall 1968.

1968 was a violent tumultuous  year in American history. The Vietnam war dragged on with no end in sight. Martin Luther King and Democrat presidential candidate Robert Kennedy were assassinated.

The Democrat convention in Chicago turned into what was later described as  “The Chicago Police Riot” by a Commission appointed to investigate the events of August 1968.

In early November 1968 Republican Richard Nixon was elected President.

The next day the Strike began at San Francisco State. The reasons for the Strike were many but the main goal of the strikers was creation of an Ethnic Studies Department. The Strike was spearheaded by a combination of black and white student activists. 

The Strike turned into the biggest student strike in American history. I was on campus during the entire nearly five month…

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