Top of the Morning, May 5, 2014: From the archives

Top of the Morning, May 5, 2014: From the archives

Sunday was the 44th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State.

And to this day, college students turn their impassioned views outward.

From burning draft cards to candlelight vigils, the campus of the University of Illinois has been home to student demonstrations for decades.

From Vietnam to war in the Gulf, from racism to sexism, students have gathered to protest a variety of topics, some of them local, some of them international.

The university is often the target: trustees meetings are disrupted, government or corporate researchers are perceived as enemies. Rallies are held for environmental causes, from energy policy to recycling. International politics plays out: the Middle East. UI holdings in companies doing business in South Africa during apartheid.

They come with hand-drawn signs, sometimes with bullhorns. Over the years, coffins have served as a symbol for a variety of causes. There are outstretched arms and clenched fists and shouting — and arrests, occasionally — but rarely is there violence.

Nearly all of them have been in the heart of campus.

No surprise, really: The Quad, the Illini Union, the Alma Mater are natural gathering places. If you have a message, you want to deliver it where the people are.

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