In April 1968, black and white students rebelled against the university administration, occupying five buildings, including the president's office in one of the first campus revolts of the Civil Rights/Vietnam War era. The revolt began as a protest against university expansion into neighboring communities and its role as a slum lord. After five days of student control, the administrators and trustees ordered the police to clear the buildings. What resulted was an unprecedented display of brutality and repression. Narrated by one of the student rebels, the detailed eyewitness account of this event galvanized other campus revolts around the country.
Third World Newsreel’s historical Newsreel collection provides contemporary audiences with a vast archive of political documentary films chronicling the social movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
"Newsreel... sent in cameras to film the protests from the perspective of the protestors themselves... COLUMBIA REVOLT captured the energy and emotions of the protests perfectly. Part of the accuracy of the film stemmed from the involvement that the filmmakers themselves had in the protests’ causes... The film follows the protests from the beginning to the end. It began by outlining the subjects of the protests, which were a proposed construction of a private Columbia gymnasium on public Morningside Park property and the affiliation between the University and the Institute of Defense Analyses."
- Fonda Shen, Columbia Daily Spectator