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Woodstock West: "Build, Not Burn"

In May 1970, University of Denver (DU) students banded together to express dismay and frustration about the May 4 Kent State University shootings, and more broadly about the Vietnam War, imperialism, and the current American political establishment. Over the course of a week, May 5 – 13, students constructed what came to be known as “Woodstock West,” an encampment of tents and shanties housing 1,500 students on the site of what is now the Anderson Academic Commons.

This exhibit reenacts the day-to-day events including student protests, police and National Guard intervention, and the students’ desire to “Build, Not Burn,” the slogan that would become a rallying cry for the encampment. It also reflects on the significance of student activism and its impact on campus policies and practices.

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Katherine Crowe, Curator of Special Collections and Archives, University of Denver Libraries