The "MIT STRIKE" banner hung in Lobby 7 in May 1970, a month in which more than 900 U.S. colleges and universities were closed or affected by student-organized strikes. At the time, some MIT students, faculty and staff chose to protest "business as usual" following the deaths of four students shot by National Guardsmen at Kent State University in Ohio on May 4, the deaths of four students shot by police at Jackson State University in Mississippi on May 14 and 15, and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia.
On May 9, 1970 more than 150,000 protesters, mostly students, marched in Washington, D.C. The red, raised fist was their icon.
The banner is part of an exhibition at the MIT Museum titled "Telling It Like It Is: Student Activism at MIT during the Vietnam War," which displays a portion of the MIT Museum's collection of protest posters. The exhibition is on view through early December.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 22, 2004 (download PDF).