Thursday, May 16, 2013

Hard Hats, Hippies, and the Real Antiwar Movement

Hard Hats, Hippies, and the Real Antiwar Movement
Over the months that stretched to years—staffing tables, working on resolutions, and organizing protests, petition campaigns, and other events—I spoke with fellow labor activists about their experiences within the Vietnam antiwar movement. They remembered the college students, the educated and religious pacifists, Eugene McCarthy, and the Weather Underground.

But these colleagues, whose days in labor and/or peace politics spanned the three decades between the wars, remembered more: the high-school kids from Brooklyn and the Bronx, for whom college was a remote dream, who left school by the thousands to protest the war; their working-class communities, which loved their soldier-sons but abhorred the war; the unions that took out advertisements condemning the war, sponsored labor-education programs about Indochina, co-sponsored rallies, and started petition drives; the draft resisters, who were often as concerned with the class inequities of the Selective Service System as they were with the immorality of the war itself; the veterans, most of whom had never protested before, joining and helping to lead the movement when they returned stateside; the working-class GIs who refused to fight; and the deserters who walked away.

via Corey Robin

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