University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

RemINNIScings 5

This is the fifth page in the RemINNIScings photo series, where you get the chance to share the stories behind the scene!

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This is a space to share any stories that may have come up!


Those years were also marked by serious political and social unrest, although mild compared to today’s events. We were kids of the 1950’s: The Ozzie and Harriet generation.

A few of us at Innis began to become involved in political issues of the day. For example, I joined in with a group of several hundred university students who camped out in front of the U.S. Consulate on University Avenue to protest the brutal police beatings of black marchers protesting segregation in Selma Alabama. In March 1965. In rain and sleet and snow, day and night, huddled in sleeping bags under plastic covering for seven or so days. Ten thousand or so came down to walk up and down University Ave. in support of us. Never then seen before in good old Toronto. Restaurant owners routinely dropped off fried chicken etc. to feed us. The support from the people in the city was incredible. And the cops were friendly! It was a part of huge protests across the continent that helped persuade Lyndon Johnson to pass the Civil Rights Act in the U.S. For me, it galvanized a sense of social justice that I had never thought too much about previously.

I was just a brush-cut kid from Scarborough when I started at Innis. I was very different when I left. That experience was a critical part of my growth.

I doubt that many then enrolled at Innis remember this. A few of us will remember it.

~Shared by Bill Barclay

  • This is space for you to share any anecdotes, reflections, and comments that might have come up. We'd love to hear it!
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