Here are 10 Easy Ways that you can get involved in the student anti-war movement with SDS!
1. Contact an organizer!
Talking to an organizer is a wonderful way to learn more about this movement and how you can be a part of it. The organizer can give you further instructions as to how to get involved with your local SDS chapter, how to hold a protest at your college/university, or, if being on the front lines isn’t quite your cup of tea, how you can get involved by supporting other activists. A list of organizers can be found here: http://www.studentsforademocraticsociety.org/regional_organizer.cgi Find one that is in your region! For those near Kent State University, we have a specific list of members that you can contact.
2. Find your local SDS chapter!
At the following site you can find a working list of current SDS chapters: http://newsds.org/wiki/index.php?title=List_of_SDS_chapters
3. Join SDS!
This is something that you can do from the comfort of your home. Download the attached Membership Card, fill it out, and drop it in the mail! Being a member ensures you will be kept up to date on all of the latest news and all of our upcoming events. It’s as easy as that! Fill out this card and you are on your way to creating the kind of revolutionary change that SDS is aiming for!
4. Join SDS’ mailing list!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know that you want to be on the mailing list. We will send you weekly updates about our upcoming events, and you will also receive our newsletter, New Left Notes.
5. Organize a draft burning!
Draft burnings are an important SDS tradition, and they represent a valuable kind of civil disobedience. They do not require much organization but can really bring people together and inspire people to work for change.
6. Disrupt a ROTC class!
This is something that many SDS members have done as an act of protest. It is a valuable way to make a statement.
7. Have a protest at your college/university!
Though holding a protest or demonstration seems a huge undertaking, it can in fact be small scale, depending on how much interest you can rouse. In order to hold a successful demonstration (or occupation of administrative offices on your campus, etc), you may want to get in touch with one of our organizers to get further advice and assistance (see #1)). This is perhaps the most important and valuable way to demonstrate your solidarity with SDS and your commitment to the anti-war movement!
8. Follow the great Steve Weissman’s Advice for Civil Disobedience!
Steve Weissman offers his suggestions for how to be effectively civilly disobedient:
“To be effective C.D. should:
A. Focus as closely as possible on the issue — sit-in at Pennsylvania Avenue if you want a traffic light installed, not if you’re pissed-off over Selma. Of course, the more people you have, the more you can afford a loss of focus. Nonetheless, the action should be clear enough to add to the dialogue even after newspaper distortion. Also, in using disruption to focus attention on the responsibility of an official, a slumlord, a public agency, make sure that your selection of targets is “politically motivated.” For instance, don’t sit-in on the University President if your criticism is of the system, not of individuals.
B. In the case of Vietnam, I’d like to focus on (a) the moral horror of the war and (b) the responsibility of individual moral choice. Beyond draft-card burning and espionage, we might have a mother’s march for all victims of American policy in Vietnam, a mothers’ sit-in at the draft board or recruiting center (“Don’t make my son a paid killer.”), an invasion of naval depots with medical supplies, a vigil at Walden with intellectual administers, new torture posters without “free elections,” pray-ins in mourning clothes at the President’s church, maybe a focus on American Revolution shrines.
C. Effective C.D. should be creative, both to enlarge participation and to gain news coverage.
D. Protest of a particular condition should be posited as a defence of long-standing moral principles — the right to vote, free speech, Thou Shalt Not Kill, the Hessians were paid mercenaries Eichmann was wrong, etc.
E. A case must be made that no effective alternatives to civil disobedience existed — “we went through channels,” we’re unrepresented, etc.”
9. Organize a teach-in about Vietnam at your college or university!
At the following site, you can find SDS produced instructions for how to educate about Vietnam. Read this pamphlet both to educate yourself, and to learn how to educate others! Awareness is the first step to creating change.
10. Keep looking at this site for important updates!