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At Berkeley, Vietnam Redux?

On the Berkeley campus of the University of California, the reaction seemed typical when President Bush declared a new war on Terrorism: anti-war protests. John Blackstone reports.

Although the students here today weren't born in the 1960's, Berkeley remains synonymous with protest. But recruiting for the anti-war movement here is harder than it once was.

"The entire nation looks to Berkeley to see how we are reacting," say student Daniel Frankenstein.

Today, Berkeley students may indeed be much different than those of the Vietnam era. Still it remains hard to shake the reputation forged in the anti-war activism of the 1960's, when this campus was the center of the peace movement.

Among the student activists then was Michael Nagler, who is a now professor at Berkeley teaching a course on peace and conflict.

“I don't think Berkeley is the hub that it was in the 60s. We were really the spark plug back then but now there is 105 campuses that had demonstrations on the 20th and we were only one of them."

Still the anti war movement always has a jump-start at Berkeley.

"Those people who were opposed to a war were able to assemble more quickly because there was a precedent here at berkeley and there's a legacy and there's a history," says student Mike Henders.

But Berkeley now is both a more racially and more politically diverse campus, and these days particularly, many students are uncomfortable with the legacy of protest.

"We are not talking about Vietnam here this is a lot different this is on American soil," says Sean Wycliffe, another student. Wycliffe and his friends want to rally students round the flag. They outnumber the anti-war protesters.

"They are the vocal minority," says Wycliffe. "There's a few of them and they make a lot of noise. The majority of the campus here at Berkeley is pro-America we do support America."

In that, Wycliffe and his friends remain part of a Berkeley tradition: An insistence that the voices of the young be heard.

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