Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Anti-War Movement

Topic: The Sixties

The Anti-War Movement

We bled inside each other's wounds
we had caught the same disease
we all sang the songs of peace.
Melanie - Lay Down

Protesters in D.C.
The Vietnam war divided the country into hawks and doves. Thousands of young men fled to Canada rather than allow themselves to be drafted and sent to Vietnam. Those who remained took to the streets to protest in ever growing numbers.

Massive Protest at the Pentagon
"What is the use of physicians like myself trying to help parents to bring up children healthy and happy, to have them killed in such numbers for a cause that is ignoble?"
-Dr. Benjamin Spock, pediatrician, author, antiwar activist

Student places flowers in soldiers rifle
Student places flowers in soldier's rifle
Protesters used many non-violent tactics to get their message across. These included teach-ins which explained what was going on in Vietnam, marches which drew as many as 500,000 people at one time, draft card burnings which indicated non-cooperation with the war machine, protests at induction centers where attempts were made to stop people from signing up for the war. They even went so far as to surround the Pentagon!

Vietnam War Veterans Protested Too!
Soon returning veterans who had experienced the horror of the war first hand, joined the ranks of the protesters, adding to their credibility and influence. Some even threw their medals into the Potomac river in protest.

Student lies dead after National Guard attacked protesters
"The Establishment... has led us into the stupidest and cruelest war in all history. That war is a moral and political disaster -- a terrible cancer eating away at the soul of our nation."
-George McGovern
Protesters were met with police, National Guard, military police and even the army. It wasn't always peaceful. Many, many non-violent protestors were greeted with force and brutality. On May 4th, 1970, four students were shot dead by National Guard troops during an anti-war protest at Kent State University. This galvanized the student community even further, leading many to protest who hadn't before.
"North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that."
- President Nixon
The Vietnam War finally ended thanks to the prolonged struggle of the Vietnamese people to free their homeland from imperialist invaders and the long fight on the streets of America to change the political agenda from war to peace. It proved that we CAN make a difference and stop American militarism/imperialism. Power to the People!

The Anti-War protests were just part of several movements that simultaneously sought to change society and enhance freedom and individual rights....

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