Four Radical Groups

Frustrated by the lack of progress on social and political issues

and reacting to the turmoil that had spread across the land, a number of groups began to advocate radical measures to achieve their goals of justice and equality. Four of the most prominent and successful of these organizations were the Black Panther Party, the Students for a Democratic Society, the Weather Underground Organization, and the Youth International Party, or the Yippies.

The Black Panther Party was founded in 1966 in Oakland, California, by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton. They demanded the right to control the schools, medical centers, welfare programs, and police system in poor black areas, exemption from military service and the right to bear arms for self-protection. They organized chapters throughout the country, initiating 'liberation' schools, breakfast programs for children, and medical clinics in poor areas. The Black Panthers had many confrontations with the police that led to shootings and arrests.

The SDS was founded in Chicago in 1962 and was active throughout the sixties on college campuses across the land. In the mid-sixties, they were active mainly in civil rights causes, but later they became more concerned with ending the United States' involvement in Vietnam. The SDS often coordinated activities with the Black Panthers and espoused radical, though at first, Marxist, means of protest. A splinter group known as the Weathermen believed in violent revolution and acts of terrorism to achieve their goals. This group was implicated in a number of bombings at colleges and federal institutions.

The Youth International Party (the Yippies), was the brain child of sixties activists Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin. They staged guerrilla street theater designed mainly to attract media attention to their causes. They were most successful at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago where they promoted the Yippie candidate for president—a pig named Pigasus. After the ensuing riots that rocked Chicago for days, Hoffman, Rubin, Black Panther Bobby Seale and four others were arrested for conspiring to incite violence and crossing state lines with the intent to riot. The group became known as the Chicago Seven. After a protracted trial, all charges were dismissed.

Shown are various publications promoting the causes of these groups.

Linear Navigation