Dow Day, Every Day

Fifty years ago today, about a hundred yards from my office, police beat & gassed students protesting on-campus recruiting efforts by a company supplying napalm used in the war in Vietnam.

This month the leaders of UW System adopted an anti-protest policy clearly designed to suppress free speech on all UW campuses.

That moment fifty years ago galvanized anti-war protests and decades of student-led political dissent at the University of Wisconsin. There are many admirable chapters in that legacy, with one infamous exception.

UW-Madison’s students were among the first to stand up to Scott Walker’s agenda of evisceration of Wisconsin’s public institutions and civil society. I suspect UW students will continue to demonstrate their understanding that the value of sifting & winnowing is highly dependent on the rigor of the second half of that process.

In the coming fifty years, I hope their actions underscore for history the myopic, reactionary, & contemptible anti-speech position of the UW Board of Regents in 2017.

civil-society UW

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