1968: An extraordinary year

Issue: 118

1: US opinion polls show support for war and re-election of President Lyndon Johnson.
17: Harold Wilson’s Labour government announces major cuts package. 250 students sit in at Aston University.
22: Illegal assembly by 800 philosophy students in fascist Madrid.
26: 3,000 students from Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol, Keele and Manchester surround Sheffield city hall chanting “Wilson Out” over Vietnam. 24 arrests.
31: “Tet Offensive” by Vietnamese National Liberation Front (NLF) forces. US has to recapture its own embassy. NLF control former capital Hue.

12: Announcement of new curbs on immigration follows media hysteria over East African Asians.
16: 10,000 students demonstrate in Berlin, 3,000 in Rome.
20: NLF still holding Hue and kills half a US battalion.
25: Thousands march in London against immigration curbs.
26: Occupation of Leicester University.
28: Thousands of Rome students clash with police.
29: Immigration bill rushed through depriving Kenyan Asians of citizenship.

1: First independent magazine in Czechoslovakia. Cairo students riot. 4: 10,000 in Belgium Vietnam protest. 9: Nine arrests as students protest in Cambridge. Police attack Warsaw students.
12: Anti-war Democrat Gene McCarthy gets 42 percent in New Hampshire primary.
14: Bobby Kennedy announces he will stand for Democratic nomination.
17: Demonstrators besiege US embassy in Grosvenor Square, 200 arrests. Troops fire on students in Jakarta.
21: Victory for Palestinian guerrillas at Karameh in Jordan. Stalinist Novotny resigns in Czechoslovakia.

1: Johnson loses Wisconsin primary to Gene McCarthy. Decides not to stand for re-election.
2: Strike wave starts in Chile.
4: Martin Luther King assassinated in Memphis; riots in US cities.
9: Spanish workers’ commissions leader Marcelino Camacho jailed.
11: German student leader Rudi Dutschke shot. Students across Germany lay siege to right wing Springer newspapers.
20: Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech in Birmingham.
23: Stoppages by London meat porters and dockers in support of Powell.
26: Columbia University, New York, shut by student strike; anti-war demos in most US cities over next two days.

1: Dockers and students clash outside parliament.
2: Formation of Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement in Detroit.
4: Leeds students “mob” racist MP Patrick Wall. First clashes outside Sorbonne in Paris.
6: Paris students clash with police across the Left Bank.
8: Essex students break up meeting with speaker from Porton Down chemical warfare plant. Labour MP Bob Mellish calls for deportation of Tariq Ali.
10: Night of the barricades in Paris; students drive out police.
13: One-day French general strike and million strong march in Paris.
15: Student protests across Germany against emergency laws.
16: Several Renault car plants occupied in France.
17: Spread of French strikes and occupations, developing into the biggest general strike in world history.
23: French unions accept offer of pay talks. Universities occupied in Brussels, Amsterdam and San Francisco.
27: French strikers reject union leaders’ settlement.
29: President de Gaulle flees to French military base in Germany. Occupation of Hornsey College of Art.
30: De Gaulle returns to Paris and announces general election. French unions pledge not to disrupt it. 200 students sit in at Hull University.

3: Students battle with police in Belgrade.
4: Bobby Kennedy wins California primary and is assassinated.
5: 187 women at Ford Dagenham strike for equal pay.
19: Students clash with police in Venice. Gaullists win the first round of the French elections.
25: Poor People’s March evicted from Washington.
26: 300 occupy Leeds university.
28: Labour deports anti-war activist Ralph Schoenman. 15,000 students march in military-ruled Rio de Janeiro.
30: Hundreds of Berkeley students “throw stones, bottles and firebombs at police”.

22: London anti-war marchers “run riot” outside Hilton Hotel.

9: 18 part time Guildford teachers sacked for supporting students.
16: 1,000 London nurses in their first ever protest march.
20: USSR occupies Czechoslovakia.
21: 3,000, led by Tariq Ali, demonstrate in London against the Russian invasion.

4: London police raid office of Black Dwarf newspaper.
8: Black Panther leader Huey Newton jailed for “voluntary manslaughter”.

2: Massacre of hundreds of student demonstrators in Mexico City.
5: People fight back against police attack in Derry. Beginning of Irish “Troubles”.
18: Tommy Smith and John Carlos make Black Power salute at Mexico Olympics.
27: 100,000 demonstrate in London against war; LSE occupied to provide accommodation.
28: 10,000 demonstrate in Prague against Russian occupation.

7: Nixon narrowly wins US presidency.
9: Hornsey student struggle still ongoing. Protests against racist Tory MPs in York, Cardiff, Leeds and Bath universities.
15: One-day general strike in Italy—colleges and schools occupied
19: Czech students launch strike.