U MD Antiwar Protests 1972
President Nixon's expanded bombing and mining harbors in Vietnam renewed the University of Maryland student antiwar movement that rallied April 17, 1972 and specifically demanded an end to the school's ROTC program.

The group of 500 later marched through the campus with some students breaking windows at the ROTC offices and throwing rocks at University President Wilson Elkins residence.

The rally had been set to follow a table tennis exhibition between the U.S and the People's Republic of China at Cole Field House that was one of the first events that ultimately led to normalization of relations between the two countries. Many of those at the rally had attended the exhibition.

The following day, a noontime rally drew over 1,000 who marched to the ROTC building where windows were again broken. After about an hour, students occupied US Route 1 for the third consecutive year. Confrontations with state police soon followed where police used gas and clubs to disperse demonstrators who responded with rocks and bottles.

On April 19, demonstrators again blocked US Route 1 and someone attempted to set fire to the Armory which housed the ROTC building. Fighting again broke out between state police and demonstrators. Governor Mandel called in the National Guard for the third year in a row the following day.

On April 20, the largest crowd of the year estimated at 2,500 staged a candlelight march through the campus that ended in front of the Administration Building. They were met by the Guard who ordered them to disperse for violating a 9:00 pm curfew. About 200 students were arrested—most of them staging a peaceful sit-in protesting the curfew and the Vietnam War.

Smaller daytime rallies were held and the Guard was withdrawn from the campus April 26.

On May 4, nearly 1,000 staged an evening march through campus commemorating the deaths of four students at Kent State University the previous year. Once again, some broke windows at the ROTC headquarters and someone lit the curtains afire with a burning American flag.

Shortly after, a number of the protestors again blocked U.S. Route 1. State police again moved in with clubs and gas and were met with rocks by the some of the protestors. This time, however, state police had planted plainclothes officers in the crowd who quickly grabbed and arrested many of the rock throwers.

The National Guard, which had been stationed nearby, returned to campus and enforced another curfew. This marked the end of mass anti-war protests on the campus, although smaller actions continued to be held.

In mid-May, students from U MD confronted the racist presidential candidate George Wallace at Capital Plaza mall in Landover, MD and at Wheaton Plaza in Silver Spring Maryland on May 15 where some threw tomatoes and pennies at the presidential candidate. Wallace was shot and paralyzed later that day by Arthur Bremer at the Laurel Shopping Center in Laurel, MD.

A group of Maryland students also joined protests at the Republican Convention in Miami Beach in August. One of the last anti-Vietnam War events of the year was a march from the campus to the Hyattsville, MD offices of the Republican Party by about 150 students on October 24, 1972.
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