Peace Movement

Sometimes it can be hard to look at Vietnam without looking at what people had to say about the war. This approaches off topic but I feel still has alot to do with the war in the bigger picture.

There were movements all across the world in protest of the war in Vietnam. Just to start with one of the more popular figures from the US…Abbie Hoffman. He was portrayed briefly in the movie Forrest Gump.

Here is a good starter movie if you dont know much about the guy. The more you learn about him I would say it probably doesnt do him complete justice.
Its called Steal This Movie! Titled is based off a book Abbie wrote called Steal This Book.
Free google movie…just click and watch.

Here is another short clip about the Yippies! (Youth International Party) of which Hoffman was a founding member.

Love him or Hate him…I think you have to admired the guy for getting out there taking action and speaking his mind. JMO

Please post leaders or movements from your country if you wish.

For my money, one of the best ever expressions on how it was all going awry, was Jimmie Hendrix’s rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ at Woodstock - just about said it all.

Here it is:

Many movements here, but I like the mothers who ran Save our Sons.

To my discredit, I thought they were a bunch of stupid commo or deluded bitches until the last year or two of our involvement in Vietnam, by which time I’d swung around to be against the war.

Draft Resisters
Broadcast 6.30pm on 26/07/2004

Irene Miller was an unlikely campaigner, a mother of ten and also a grandmother, she was one of the many women who formed ‘Save our Sons’ during the Vietnam War. Irene formed a network of suburban safe houses that helped draft resisters evade police. Michael Hamel-Green was a draft resister who used the network, and became well known for popping up at anti-war rallies.

GEORGE NEGUS: Finally, another bunch of Australians who spent some time in the old clink, but for a quite different reason. Back in the '60s and '70s during the Vietnam War anticonscription protesters in this country broke the law constantly and consciously. Their claim then was that this was the only way to get their message across.

IRENE MILLER, ‘SAVE OUR SONS’: In the '60s, I was just an average housewife. I had 10 children. For seven years I was an anticonscription campaigner with Save Our Sons.

MICHAEL HAMEL-GREEN, DRAFT RESISTER: We were saying that we were not prepared to be a part of any system that was causing that amount of suffering and death and destruction for no good reason in Vietnam.

IRENE MILLER: During the Second World War I was an ambulance driver in Britain and I just thought that the Vietnam War, we didn’t want to get involved in anything like that. I didn’t want to see other cities destroyed like, you know, London.

REPORTER ON ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE: This barrel held the immediate future for 40,300 young Australians who have registered for national service.

IRENE MILLER: It was putting your marbles in a barrel. It was like sort of making a game of it.

MICHAEL HAMEL-GREEN: When the Menzies Government sought to introduce conscription in 1964 they realised that it was going to be controversial to send Australian troops to Vietnam.

IRENE MILLER: When I saw a little note about Save Our Sons, I really sort of thought I wanted to do something. We did become known as the ‘hats and gloves ladies’. We would be handing out leaflets to all the young men that turned up, sort of saying, “You don’t have to go through these gates. You don’t have to do this. There are alternatives.” Sometimes we’d get jeered at and we’d be told to, sort of, “Go home and get your husband’s dinner.”

MICHAEL HAMEL-GREEN: I was conscripted in the very first ballot. Um, that was 1965. As a university student, you were entitled to a deferment till the end of your studies. I read a lot and came to the conclusion it was a totally unjustified and abhorrent war. I took the step in early ‘68 of burning my notice to attend a medical. This was one of about three occasions that I was in Pentridge. Initially we were extremely anxious about what might happen inside and how other prisoners inside might regard us, but actually we found an incredible amount of support. We formed the Draft Resisters’ Union. We then developed a whole campaign urging young people not to register.

YOUNG MAN ON ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE: I’ve been thinking of not registering. What are my chances of getting into trouble, getting called up?

MICHAEL HAMEL-GREEN: I think possibly there were a number of servicemen who thought that we were traitors or something like that. Save Our Sons played a key role in developing a network of safe houses that we could go to. And there was one occasion when I was staying in a rented house and the estate agent rang up to say the Commonwealth Police thought there were draft resisters in the house. So he tipped us off. Everywhere in the community there was a tremendous amount of support.

The Vietnam moratorium was in May 1970 and I appeared in the middle of a demonstration of 100,000 people in the moratorium, and the Government was afraid to arrest us.

IRENE MILLER: There was something different about the city on that day. People were coming from all parts of the city. We’d been told, you know, there were going to be riots in the streets, but it seemed that everybody was bent on keeping this a peaceful protest, a peaceful moratorium, to end the war. Normally, we handed out our leaflets outside the building but this time we decided we would go inside and, um, were given 14 days for trespass and sent to Fairlea Prison. When we first went through the gates, I mean, it was scary. I was 50 years old at the time and I had 10 children and several grandchildren.

MICHAEL HAMEL-GREEN: The maritime unions came out in support of the Fairlea Five and actually brought the port of Melbourne to a standstill.

IRENE MILLER: It was wonderful, you know, to come out and and the family was all there to greet us. It was wonderful.

MICHAEL HAMEL-GREEN: I think it was a major moment in the whole campaign against conscription when that happened. '71, they withdrew troops but they retained conscription. When Whitlam came in, he immediately suspended conscription. He released the draft resisters the next day. And we were absolutely ecstatic about that.

IRENE MILLER: It was just euphoric…to think that we’d got, sort of, somebody in who was going to really stop it all.

MICHAEL HAMEL-GREEN: The incredible mushrooming of groups throughout the community, suburbs and professions and workplaces, it was just wonderful to see. In some ways, some of that has never been repeated.

IRENE MILLER: It was a successful campaign in its time. But it needs reviving again, I feel.

GEORGE NEGUS: How about those ‘hats and gloves ladies’? “Go home and get your husband’s dinner.” That’s a deep and philosophical response if ever I’ve heard one.

I think there’s an important distinction to be made between people who opposed their country’s involvement in Vietnam and those, who like various organisations in Australia, donated funds to North Vietnam or others who gave other forms of aid and comfort to the enemy as did Jane Fonda, which are the elements of treason.

Lord Haw Haw got hanged for similar, if rather more sustained and hostile, activities

Yea I agree with that…opposed to the war is fine but making things worse for the ppl that are there is awful. Especially with Vietnam because alot of those men were drafted. I was always appalled at the stories of ppl spiting on soldiers that had returned from the conflict.

The platoon sergeant in the film ‘Hamburger Hill’ makes a fine point, in that he says that all should be there. They don’t have to shoot the enemy but they should get their feet wet, or words to that affect (will look it up later and let you know).

Here is a good website about the Chicago 8(7). The court transcript can be quite an interesting read if you into that.

Excellent thread, and it is not at all off-topic…

I’ve read somewhat extensively, and have to say that I do admire Hoffman, if not totally agree with him. But I think another figure that often gets ignored is David Dellinger (one of the Chicago 8 - later to become the Chicago 7 after Black Panther member Bobby Seale was removed from the trial). Again, I do not agree with all of his beliefs, but I admire his absolute convictions to them (a proto/non-hypocritical vision of Christianity, pacifism and “forceful nonviolence” [not the same thing], and participatory democracy…) The man suffered greatly in his life for his beliefs and was genuinely a great human being regardless of one’s political views.

I bought Hendrix’s Woodstock performance on DVD not-too-long-ago…

That part makes me well-up a bit…

I particularly like where Hendrix steps on stage, it’s as if ‘God has entered the building’. Have to say, as much I recognize the message behind his playing of the Star Spangled Banner, I prefer Purple Haze. :slight_smile:

Not many people I speak with about him, realize that Hendrix had served in the Airborne.

They should have.

He was floating most of the time. :smiley:

What about Father Daniel Berrigan?

A lot of courage there.

One we did silently withdraw from Vietnam. In the best military manner we could. Nixon (whom im not a big fan of at all) did his best to save face.

Chevan the US was founded by radicals and protesters. People that would have an odd yet parallel connection to Hoffman et al.

As far as Israel there occupation of lands there are unjust why the hell do you think so many Arabs are pissed off. There are many protesters in regards to the US involvement with them.

The number of protesters to the current war with Iraq grows all the time. Just watched a documentary about the growing number of young people getting out there and speaking their minds and taking action.

Just want to add that personally im still for the war in Afghanistan.

One thing ive noticed about alot of other countries compared to the US is that many governments fear their people where in the US we fear the government. And we even have guns. (not saying we should have violent protests) Point is that in the US it takes alot of guts to stand up to “The Man”. Thats what Hoffman and others did. And many times they got the shit kicked out of them. You dont like the guy…fine I can understand. Yet I admire him for turning off the TV, getting off the couch and trying to change things.

Chevan lets take a look at some of the things the Youth International Party was fighting for. Comes from

An immediate end to the war in Vietnam and a restructuring of our foreign policy which totally eliminates aspects of military, economic and cultural imperialism; the withdrawal of all foreign based troops and the abolition of military draft.
Hell thats the same thing most people are saying today. Dont ever see the US closing down all their foreign military bases. The Yippies helped stop the war. Today there is no military draft. And most Americans I feel would be opposed to its reinstatement unless is was a major emergency. I think most on this forum agrees that the US needs to change its foreign policy.

An immediate freedom for Huey Newton of the Black Panthers and all other black people; adoption of the community control concept in our ghetto areas; an end to the cultural and economic domination of minority groups.
Later Heuy Newton was freed of the bullshit charges against him. Things are better for African-Americans today. Alot of problems still exist but they arent getting their asses kicked in record numbers

The legalization of marijuana and all other psychedelic drugs; the freeing of all prisoners currently imprisoned on narcotics charges.
Okay well dont think this is going to happen anytime soon. However during the last election there was a referendum in Alaska about he legalization of marijuana. There is a new movement of former police officers for its legalization as well. Most Americans will admit that alcohol prohibition was a major mistake and hence why the amendment was repealed. Now regardless of ones feelings about drugs can any one honestly say we will win the so called War on Drugs. Not going to happen. There will always be drugs in the US.

A prison system based on the concept of rehabilitation rather than punishment.
The modern prison system has changed alot. Some aspect still need work but is more focused on rehabilitation.

A judicial system which works towards the abolition of all laws related to crimes without victims; that is, retention only of laws relating to crimes in which there is an unwilling injured party: i.e. murder, rape, or assault.
Uhhh…no comment on that one.

The total disarmament of all the people beginning with the police. This includes not only guns but such brutal vices as tear gas, Mace, electric prods, blackjacks, billy clubs, and the like.
Well there would be a hell of alot less deaths if we did away with guns but im a bit neutral on this one.

The abolition of money, the abolition of pay housing, pay media, pay transportation, pay food, pay education. pay clothing, pay medical health, and pay toilets.
I will say that sometimes I feel guilty living here in Norway because I know I have it alot better than my family back home. They have free education and next to free health care here. Just like to add nothing pisses me off in this world more than pay toilets.

A society which works towards and actively promotes the concept of full unemployment, a society in which people are free from the drudgery of work, adoption of the concept ‘Let the machines do it.’
Alot of people are machines and they dont even know it. Have alot of friends in debt up to their eyeballs. Yea they have alot but they better never get sick or quit working.

A program of ecological development that would provide incentives for the decentralization of crowded cities and encourage rural living.
Dont think that one is going to happen.

A program which provides not only free birth control information and devices, but also abortions when desired.
We pretty much have that. You can grab a condom from just about any uni student health center. Abortions are legal…although highly debated.

A restructured educational system which provides a student power to determine his course of study, student participation in over-all policy planning; an educational system which breaks down its barriers between school and community; a system which uses the surrounding community as a classroom so that students may learn directly the problems of the people.
I would say we are pretty close on this one as well.

The open and free use of the media; a program which actively supports and promotes cable television as a method of increasing the selection of channels available to the viewer.
Depends how you look at it. We have more channels than a TV can handle. Although the major news stations have become more politically controlled I feel. Which is okay because I get my news from John Stewart. :smiley:

An end to all censorship. We are sick of a society that has no hesitation about showing people committing violence and refuses to show a couple fucking.
I would much rather watch a couple fuck than see a person blown to bits.

We believe that people should fuck all the time, any time, wherever they wish. This is not a programmed demand but a simple recognition of the reality around its.
Have a bit of a problem with anywhere they wish.

A political system which is more streamlined and responsive to the needs of all the people regardless of age. sex, or race; perhaps a national referendum system conducted via television or a telephone voting system; perhaps a decentralization of -power and authority with many varied tribal groups, groups in which people exist in a state of basic trust and are free to choose their tribe.
I strongly believe that we need more strong political parties. I also like the idea of national referendums.

A program that encourages and promotes the arts. However, we feel that if the free society we envision were to be sought for and achieved, all of us would actualize the creativity within us; in a very real sense we would have a society in which every man would be an artist.’
All societies should have more programs to encourage creativity.

 And eighteen was left blank for anybody to fill in what they wanted.  "It was for these reasons that we had come to Chicago, it was for these reasons that many of us may fight and die here.  We recognize this as the vision of the founders of this nation.  We recognize that we are America; we recognize that we are free men.  The present-day politicians and their armies of automatons have selfishly robbed us of our birthright.  The evilness they stand for will go unchallenged no longer.  Political pigs, your days are numbered.  We are the second American Revolution.  We shall win.

I hope some day we will! :wink:

Wow I did really expect this thread to take off like this! :smiley:

Well, as we all keep saying in various threads according to our lights:

As ye sow, so shall ye reap. :smiley:

Enough of that nonsense…

Speaking of the gov’t, I think what must be stated that there were certainly radical Marxist-Leninist/Maoist groups seeking to commit, or committing, violent acts such as the Symbionese Liberation Army as well as radical groups that expressed ideological adoration of the National Liberation Front or North Vietnamese regimes. However, I think there were those in the Federal gov’t, as well as some city governments (especially in Chicago where the police dept. was out of control) that were also breaking laws and even committing what amounted to acts of state terror, though these acts were relatively infrequent.

One example would be the use of “Agent Provocateurs,” or infiltrators into anti-war demonstrations that openly advocated the commission of violent acts in order to justify a violent and unlawful crackdown by the security forces. Here’s one of the instances where it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. The Gainsville Eight, in which Vietnam Veterans Against the War sought to protect themselves against unlawful gov’t reaction and merely express their constitutional rights to protest against the War, were put on trial, then acquitted of all charges because the jury’s recognition of what amounted to a government conspiracy to affect a crack-down…

From down here, the two incidents which stick in my mind were the '68 Democratic Convention and especially the '70 Kent State shootings by the National Guard. They seemed to me at the time to be a case of “Christ, the American government has turned on its own people.”.

I realise that the Chicago police and Ohio National Guard weren’t under Federal executive control, but they were nonetheless part of the overall U.S. apparatus resisting the anti-war movement.

The other thing Chicago is memorable for is the befuddled Mayor Daley saying "The policeman isn’t there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder.”

We had violent demonstrations here, but nothing on the scale of the Democratic convention and nothing like Kent State. Nobody got shot here. I don’t think anybody even got hospitalised.

We didn’t have the same tumultuous and violent underground as in the U.S., with organisations like the Symbionese Liberation Army which you mentioned and other organisations such as the SDS, Weathermen, and the Black Panthers with people like Huey Newton and Angela Davis who merged race issues with the Vietnam war and social revolution to scare the pants off people in authority. We had things like the SDS who did the usual sit ins in universities etc and ran around with their Little Red School Books and Che Guevara berets, but nothing like the Weathermen or SLA.

Although Vietnam was just as hot an issue here as in the US, we didn’t have some of the other factors, notably race, that merged with Vietnam in that revolutionary era and there wasn’t the same widespread intensity in those movements here as there was in America. Also, we didn’t have armed police (in most states, anyway) or call out the equivalent of the National Guard (just as well, because I was in it at the time) in response to demonstrations. It kept things at a more manageable, if unpleasant, level.

I seem to recall issues about agents provacateur infiltrating movements here or being the agitators at demonstrations, but I can’t pin down any details.

Three images that helped lose the Vietnam war in America.

Saigon, February1968

Chicago, August 1968

Kent State University, Ohio, May 1970

Bloody peaceniks…

Another person (from my neck of the woods) that helped make a difference and damn near ruined his career doing so.

Muhammad Ali, 1966:
“I ain’t got no quarrel with the Viet Cong. No Vietnamese ever called me nigger… No, I am not going 10,000 miles to help murder, kill and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slavemasters over dark people the world over.”