why did people protest the vietnam war

In early 1966, the escalation of the war in Vietnam continued. When they publicly threw away their medals and medal ribbons, many in America were shocked that those who had worn the uniform of the US military had come to think that the only way ahead was to discard the very things that had been issued to them to represent their bravery – their medals. That spring, a small protest movement developed, mainly among college students. The end of the draft was announced in ’71, because the draft wasn’t needed and Vietnam combat was ending. It seemed to the protesters to summarise exactly why America should not be in South Vietnam. When the North Vietnamese invaded Cambodia, they said not a word. ... with as many as half a million people attending a protest in Washington, D.C., in addition to smaller protests around the country. The Nixon administration claimed to have a plan to end the war, but there did not seem to be any end in sight. Protests against the war continued at various locations around the country. As Americans watched on live television, Chicago turned into a battleground as police clubbed protesters. However, when the American Public was asked in 1990, "Looking back, do you wish that you had made a stronger effort to protest or demonstrate against the Vietnam War, or not", 25 percent said they wished they had. Civil Rights Movement Timeline From 1965 to 1969, Top Essentials to Know About the Vietnam War, The Orangeburg Massacre: Causes, Events, and Aftermath, Civil Rights Movement Timeline From 1960 to 1964, The History of U.S. Laws Against Flag-Burning. The following morning, before dawn, President Nixon made a surprise visit to talk to student protesters who had gathered in Washington near the Lincoln Memorial. International coverage of the protests showed that as the years moved on the protests got larger and more vocal. Jane Fonda, a popular film actress and the daughter of legendary movie star Henry Fonda, became an outspoken opponent of the war. January 14 – 20,000–30,000 people staged a "Human Be-In" in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, near the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood that had become the center of hippie activity. The war that had been sold to the US public as one where victory was guaranteed was in reality taking many young lives. All of this clashed with any concept that involved doing the ‘right thing’ for your nation. Speakers included Senator Wayne Morse, a Democrat from Oregon who had become a sharp critic of the Johnson Administration. == == * Some people felt that the U.S. should have minded their own business with the war in Vietnam going on. Ohio National Guardsmen fired on student protesters, killing four young people. Body of protester shot dead at Kent State. The war was finally over. He was stripped of his boxing title but was eventually vindicated in a long legal battle. If the result of any protest was to undermine what the American government was seeking to achieve it was the one that took place at. Protesters included a group of men who had served in the conflict and called themselves the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Days of unrest at Kent State University in Ohio culminated in a violent encounter on May 4, 1970. And when Pol Pot went on a killing spree, they uttered not a sound. The most infamous was the My Lai massacre. Share: Copy Link. The newspaper described the protest as something of a genteel social event, noting "Beards and blue jeans mixed with Ivy tweeds and an occasional clerical collar in the crowd.". Labor politician Dr Jim Cairns addressing the first moratorium: Our spirit is the spirit of peace and understanding. When the North Vietnamese invaded Cambodia, they said not a word. The ASLF was the national association of campus Labor clubs. Conscientious objectors did play an active role although their numbers were small. While there were those who were vociferous in their condemnation of US policy in South Vietnam, a Gallup poll held in 1968 showed that 46% of Americans approved of Johnson’s handling of the war while 50% believed that it was essential to combat the expansion of communism in Southeast Asia. The flag at New York's City Hall was flown at half-staff to honor the Kent State students. The mobilization of a massive number of protesters greatly influenced public opinion, which in turn influenced how the war was conducted. Vietnamese monk protesting with self-immolation. Theories and writings that surrounded the Vietnam war protests included opposition to the military draft and the moral imperative arguments that grew so popular among American college students – students believed that the United States had imperialistic goals in Vietnam, thus, making their interference immoral, according to believe of the students custom dissertation service. In 1975, when North Vietnamese forces entered Saigon and the South Vietnamese government collapsed, the last Americans fled Vietnam in helicopters. A sit-down … Simple. This particular protest involved many veterans from the war. 'Housewives,, professional people, they were all involved, it was a very wide spread' according to camerman John Miller who states that people all came … Nixon's awkward efforts at early morning reconciliation seemed to have fallen flat. International coverage of the protests showed that as the years moved on the protests got larger and more vocal. Coupled with these casualty figures were stories that eventually came out about atrocities committed by US troops against the very people they were meant to be defending and supporting. By the time of the 1969 moratorium day protests, nearly 40,000 Americans had died in Vietnam. Mainly with regards to the Vietnam war, people were having issues understanding why the U.S. as a democracy were helping fight a war on the same side of a dictatorship (South Vietnam). eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'historylearningsite_co_uk-medrectangle-3','ezslot_0',129,'0','0'])); The first protests came in October 1965 when the draft was increased. America had been through nearly twenty years of the Cold War and they were told by the government that what was happening in South Vietnam would happen elsewhere (the Domino Theory) unless America used her military might to stop it. Following the election of Richard M. Nixon that fall, the war continued, as did the protest movement. Against a backdrop of such disturbing and discouraging news, the Kennedy administration continued to send American advisers to Vietnam. In United States v. O’Brien (1968) the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man who burned a draft card in protest of the Vietnam War. As the movement against the Vietnam war spread, there was also a backlash against it. In late March 1966, a series of protests took place over three days across America. Many young men and women claimed that they wanted to ‘drop out’ of society. Continued U.S. support for the Thieu … The protests against the war started to pick up when body bags started to return to America in increasing numbers. Nixon later said he tried to explain his position on the war and urged students to keep their protests peaceful. Involvement in the Vietnam War was very much sold as a patriotic venture so few were prepared to protest. Vietnam War Protests. It is said that two images in particular did a great deal to turn US opinion with regards to was in Vietnam. A spirit of protest spread throughout society. The prevailing senti… Dr. Martin Luther King began criticizing the war in the summer of 1965. The hippy movement preached love not war. In United States v. O’Brien (1968) the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man who burned a draft card in protest of the Vietnam War. I couldn’t believe our government was going to continue fighting a war they knew we could not win. The first was film of children running away from their village having been burned by napalm and the second was the summary execution of a Vietcong suspect by a South Vietnamese police chief on the streets of Saigon in 1968. It seemed to the protesters to summarise exactly why America should not be in South Vietnam. Read this text by a Montclair professor to learn how the anti-war movement was more than love beads and peace signs. The St John Ambulance Brigade said it treated 86 people for injuries. He was punished by having his boxing title taken away from him. In many places, college campuses and political conventions in particular, the attitude was one of 'us vs. them,' bringing sometimes peaceful, sometimes violent results. The Kent State killings brought tensions in a divided America to a new level. The draft, as a system of conscription which threatened lower class registrants and middle class registrants alike, drove much of the protest after 1965. US television could bring into the homes of all US citizens what the war was actually like. Protests against the Vietnam War did not start when America declared her open involvement in the war in 1964. As the protests against the war became widespread, notable figures from the world of politics, literature, and entertainment became prominent in the movement. Many veterans used the opportunity to throw their medals on the steps of the Capitol building. Thousands of outraged young people descended on Chicago to protest outside the convention hall. The 1960’s and 1970’s was a time of global cultural change that mobilised young people all over the world. With a population that ran into millions, it could be argued that they represented a very small minority of the city. More than 200 people have been arrested after thousands of demonstrators clashed in an anti-Vietnam war protest outside the United States embassy in London. The war that had been sold to the US public as one where victory was guaranteed was in reality taking many young lives. Vietnam had been divided into North and South Vietnam, and American officials resolved to prop up the government of South Vietnam as it fought against a communist insurgency supported by North Vietnam. By the time of the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 1968, the antiwar movement within the party had been largely thwarted. When the Soviets invaded Afganistan the did not protest. This change in society and attitudes allowed for the rise of this movement. And when Pol Pot went on a killing spree, they uttered not a sound. The Vietnam War was the first to actually receive such broadcasts and they clearly had a marked influence on the American population as a whole. The counter-culture movement in the '60s and '70s was paired with a dramatic increase in protest action, which fueled anti-Vietnam War protests. Those who had the necessary ‘pull’ had the opportunity to ‘draft-dodge’ – but this was not a luxury open to many poor working class young men. Protests against the war also accelerated. With assistance from the ACLU, their case, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, eventually went to the Supreme Court. In a shocking gesture, a young Buddhist monk sat on a Saigon street and set himself on fire, creating an iconic image of Vietnam as a deeply troubled land. Especially if the North Vietnamese and the VC did the killing. Massive crowds protested against the war. The flag was raised, then lowered once again later in the day. The protest was attacked by a violent mob of constructions workers swinging clubs and other weapons in what became known as "The Hard Hat Riot.". Conservative groups routinely denounced "peaceniks" and counter-protests were common wherever protesters rallied against the war. History Learning Site Copyright © 2000 - 2020. This particular protest involved many veterans from the war. A powerful bomb, which was being built by members of the radical Weather Underground group, went off prematurely. The Vietnam War lasted for over 10 years. In the process of finding that the government’s interest in preserving the draft outweighed O’Brien’s right of symbolic protest, the Court created a test that it still uses in cases dealing with symbolic speech. The most famous person to do this was the world heavyweight-boxing champion Muhammad Ali. America rallied to the call of the commander-in-chief and after the Gulf of Tonkin incident it became very apparent that few would raise protests against the decision to militarily support South Vietnam. Key Idea: Anti-War Demonstrations were a key action taken in the protest movement against the Vietnam War in NZ; Led by the growing counter-culture movement and the increased NZ presence in Vietnam, a young, militaristic group of protesters emerged. Timeline: Vietnam War and Protests From the Collection: Vietnam War. The changes in public attitudes that emerged during the antiwar movement still resonate in society to the present day. Vietnam War protests at the Pentagon, October 1967. Protests against the Vietnam War took place in the 1960s and 1970s. Though Nixon claimed the action would be limited, it struck many Americans as a widening of the war, and it sparked a new round of protests on college campuses. Yet those who saw the war as a pointless quagmire always contended that it could never have been won, and needed to be stopped as soon as possible. For King, the war was both a humanitarian issue and a civil rights issue. In the war’s early stages, protest songs voiced the concerns of a minority movement. Cold War > Vietnam Protest Movement Primary Sources Vietnam Protest Movement. Vietnam Veterans Against the War Homepage Over 30,000 Vietnam Veterans were protesting the war while it was still going on. Students at campuses across the nation went on strike in solidarity with the dead of Kent State. The 1971 May Day protests against the war in Vietnam. As the war escalated and increasing numbers of Americans were wounded and killed in combat, the opposition grew. In October of 1967 about 35,000 people joined a protest outside the Pentagon. Demonstrations were also held in Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and, as the New York Times put it, "scores of other American cities.". The protests against the Vietnam War were a series of demonstrations against American involvement in the conflict between North and South Vietnam. The administration of Lyndon B. Johnson sent the first American combat troops to Vietnam: a contingent of Marines, who arrived on March 8, 1965. Those who initially objected to the involvement in Vietnam fell into three broad categories: people with left-wing political opinions who wanted an NLF victory; pacifists who opposed all wars; and liberals who believed that … In a protest outside the United States could win 1968 seems to be the key Year protests. Remove why did people protest the vietnam war armbands or they would be wrong to assume that everyone protested against Vietnam! 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