The UW has a long history of protest movements, especially around causes for students who experience prejudice. From the 1960s onward, Badgers of color and their allies have taken to the streets to get attention for the issues most dear to them.
1. The civil rights movement of the 1960s formed a model for many UW protests that followed. Here, in the early 1960s, Black and white UW students marched to demand an end to segregation in America.
2. In 1969, the Black Student Strike raised awareness of the racism that Black UW students experienced in Madison and across Wisconsin. The strike began in Oshkosh but culminated in Madison.
3. The protesters in the Black Student Strike had 13 demands for the UW administration, and though ultimately few were met, the students did win the right to negotiate.
4. In the 1970s, the protests echoed issues that were going on elsewhere in the country, including raising awareness for immigrant and Latinx agricultural workers.
5. In the 1980s, the LGBTQ+ community also marched in protests against policies at the university and national levels that disadvantaged people based on gender identity and sexual orientation.
6. Protesters have also spoken out when economic issues adversely affect people of color, as shown in this tuition protest of the 1990s.
7. Education has always been a leading goal for protesters. On a Columbus Day in 1992, these marchers wanted to gain awareness for how the arrival of Europeans led to five centuries of colonial exploitation of Native Americans.
8. The arrival of the Trump administration in 2017 led to a large wave of protests on a variety of subjects. The Trump campaign leveraged latent racism and sexism, and in January 2017, Madisonians took to the streets.
9. The Black Out March of November 2015 marched up Bascom Hill.
10. National Guard troops march on campus during the Black Peoples Alliance strike of 1969.
11. This Black Power meeting took place during the 1969 Black Students Strike.
12. Black Lives Matter demonstrators march up Park Street, June 2020.
This story originally appeared in the January 2021 issue of Badger Vibes. Learn more about this monthly email newsletter from WAA, and sign up for the mailing list.