UM climate activists hark back to ’65 ‘teach-in’

The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Students and faculty members at the University of Michigan turned out Friday in hopes of igniting a new movement for environmental causes, seeking inspiration from anti-war protests that began there a half-century ago.

Tom Hayden, a former UM student who rose to fame leading a left-wing protest movement in the 1960s, addressed a rally at the Diag that kicked off Teach-In + 50, a series of weekend workshops marking the 50th anniversary of the 1965 “teach-in” that launched campus protests at UM against the Vietnam War.

That year, a group of UM professors declared they would strike and cancel classes for a day to protest President Lyndon Johnson’s expansion of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Faced with a backlash, the professors changed course and held a series of lectures and talks about Vietnam the night of March 24-25. 1965, a “teach-in” that drew more than 3,000 people to Angell Hall.

Activists at UM aim to start a new movement to end what they call “the war against the planet.”

“We believe climate change is one of today’s most pressing issues,” said Theresa Ong, a graduate student in ecology and evolutionary biology.

For a schedule of events, go to