Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the "Peace Movement"
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”

Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”

Jennifer Conerly - December 7, 2017

The history of protest is a long and complicated one. As long as there have been groups of people who speak the same language and could unite in a common cause, the ability to organize has been an effective tool for political and social change. In the middle of the twentieth century, wide movements of protest were in the air. People began organizing and marching in civil rights movements involving African-Americans, women, and Chicanos, and students on college campuses became more organized.

In the middle of the 1960s, protestors realized that they could use their power of organization to affect foreign policy, and another social movement emerged. The Peace Movement began in the middle of the 1960s opposing the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War, and many members of the civil rights movements supported the end of the war, turning the opposition to the end of the war into a global movement.

The media played a significant role in opposition to the Vietnam War in the United States. Images and video of the devastation and brutality of both sides of the war were readily available to the public, and they were ammunition for the movement. Supporters for the end of the war used signs, most often for shock value. Some protests took place in front of draft offices, where protestors burned their draft cards and the police often had to escort and protect those who were appearing for their conscription or voluntary military service. Despite organizing for peace, some of the protests became violent, ending in the opposite of what they intended. Protesters clashed with police, and in some cases, the police used brutal force. These images tell the story of some of the protests, and they remind us that the peace movement wasn’t always peaceful.

Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Police block protestors from interfering with people arriving at the Oakland Induction Center. San Francisco Chronicle, October 17, 1967. http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/1967-Vietnam-War-protest-photos-show-savagery-by-12338190.php#photo-14111437
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
The Burning Monk, June 11, 1963. One of the most shocking photographs that led to the anti-war movement. A Buddhist monk lit himself on fire to protest the South Vietnamese government’s treatment of Buddhists. Photograph by Malcolm Brown/AP. http://time.com/3791176/malcolm-browne-the-story-behind-the-burning-monk/#1
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
A protestor mails his draft card back to the Selective Service at an anti-war protest on October 20, 1967. Photograph by Bruce Hopkins/Tucson Citizen. http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/photos-vietnam-war-protests-in-tucson/collection_ffb397d4-3547-51b2-ba9e-7894bfef9d52.html#3
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
A protestor puts flowers into the rifles of guns at a protest at the Pentagon, October 21, 1967. Photograph by The Washington Post/Getty Images. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/21/1967-vietnam-war-protest-american-division
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
A protestor holding a sign, “Nixon’s Peace Plan is a Bomb,” 1970. Unknown photographer. http://www.vintag.es/2015/04/30-color-photographs-of-anti-vietnam.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Protester David M. Rehfield burns his draft reclassification card at an anti-war protest in downtown Tucson, AZ. December 5, 1967. Photograph by Dave Acton/Tucson Citizen. http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/photos-vietnam-war-protests-in-tucson/collection_ffb397d4-3547-51b2-ba9e-7894bfef9d52.html#3
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Police respond to a protest against the Vietnam War at George Washington University, 1971. http://www.vintag.es/2015/04/30-color-photographs-of-anti-vietnam.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
A man has to step over protesters at the Selective Service Office as he reports to be sworn into the Army. December 5, 1967. Photograph by Bill Hopkins/Tucson Citizen. http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/photos-vietnam-war-protests-in-tucson/collection_ffb397d4-3547-51b2-ba9e-7894bfef9d52.html#3
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
April 27, 1967: a protestor at the Harlem Peace March to End Racial Oppression. Photograph courtesy of Builder Levy. http://www.amistadresource.org/civil_rights_era/black_opposition_to_vietnam.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
December 5, 1967: protestors sit in front of a bus carrying drafted service members, preventing it from taking off. Photograph by Bill Hopkins/Tucson Citizen. http://tucson.com/news/retrotucson/photos-vietnam-war-protests-in-tucson/collection_ffb397d4-3547-51b2-ba9e-7894bfef9d52.html#3
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Clashes between the police and protesters at an anti-war protest becomes violent, knocking many protesters to the ground. San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 1967. http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/1967-Vietnam-War-protest-photos-show-savagery-by-12338190.php#photo-14111436
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
U.S. Marshals physically remove a protester from the anti-war protest at the Pentagon, October 22, 1967. Wikimedia Commons.
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Protesters and police clash at the Oakland Induction Center protest. San Francisco Chronicle, October 17, 1967. http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/1967-Vietnam-War-protest-photos-show-savagery-by-12338190.php#photo-14111445
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Injured hospital intern John Ibetinis treats another injured war protester at the Oakland Induction Center protest. San Francisco Chronicle, October 17, 1967. http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/1967-Vietnam-War-protest-photos-show-savagery-by-12338190.php#photo-14111451
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
The LAPD removes a demonstrator from a protest at the Century Plaza Hotel, June 23, 1967. Photograph: Frank Q. Brown/Los Angeles Times. http://beta.latimes.com/visuals/photography/la-me-fw-archives-1967-anti-war-protest-turns-violent-20170620-story.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Police attack war protesters with clubs at the Oakland Induction Center protest. San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 1967. http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/1967-Vietnam-War-protest-photos-show-savagery-by-12338190.php#photo-14111457
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
November 11,1971: protesters lay on the ground pretending to be dead to call awareness to the death toll in Vietnam. Washington, D.C. Photographed by Dorothy Mader. https://www.swarthmore.edu/Library/peace/Exhibits/Dorothy%20Marder/MarderExhibit2_files/MarderExhibit2.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
A protester is grabbed by his shirt by a police officer. San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 1967. http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/1967-Vietnam-War-protest-photos-show-savagery-by-12338190.php#photo-14111458
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Demonstrators at an anti-war protest in Wichita, Kansas. U.S. National Archives. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/vietnam-war-protests#9
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Medical professionals treat injured war protesters at the Oakland Induction Center protest. San Francisco Chronicle, October 20, 1967. http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/1967-Vietnam-War-protest-photos-show-savagery-by-12338190.php#photo-14111459

Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
A man burns his draft card at a protest in March 1970. Wikimedia Commons.
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Protesters are arrested at the Oakland Induction Center protest. San Francisco Chronicle, October 18, 1967. Photograph by Christopher Springman. http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/1967-Vietnam-War-protest-photos-show-savagery-by-12338190.php#photo-14117292
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
May 4, 1970: the Kent State Massacre. After days of protests at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, the National Guard responded to the protests. The National Guard shot at the protesters, ending with four dead and eight wounded. Wikimedia Commons.
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Protests at Kent State University turned deadly when the National Guard opened fire on students. Although the National Guard members admitted in court that they feared for their safety, the massacre led to a national outcry. http://www.vintag.es/2015/04/30-color-photographs-of-anti-vietnam.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Police escort buses of inductees to the Oakland Induction Center. San Francisco Chronicle, October 18, 1967. http://www.sfchronicle.com/thetake/article/1967-Vietnam-War-protest-photos-show-savagery-by-12338190.php#photo-14059754
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Black Panthers at a protest against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C. in 1969. Unknown photographer. http://www.vintag.es/2015/04/30-color-photographs-of-anti-vietnam.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
A man wearing his Purple Heart medal observes a peach march in 1967. Wikimedia Commons.
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
April 27, 1967: the Harlem Peace March to End Racial Oppression. Photograph courtesy of Builder Levy. http://www.amistadresource.org/civil_rights_era/black_opposition_to_vietnam.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
A photographer injured at the protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention flashes the peace sign. Photograph by Agence France Presse/Getty Images. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/vietnam-war-protests#25
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Demonstrators at the Century Plaza Hotel are arrested and put in the back of a patrol wagon. June 23, 1967. Photograph by Los Angeles Times/UCLA. http://beta.latimes.com/visuals/photography/la-me-fw-archives-1967-anti-war-protest-turns-violent-20170620-story.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Demonstrators hold a coffin at a protest, November 19, 1969. Photograph by AFP/Getty Images. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/vietnam-war-protests#18
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Police escort a protester in Chicago, 1968. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2386849/Man-went-missing-son-Vietnamese-jungle-40-years.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
Police subdue protesters at the Century Plaza Hotel, June 23, 1967. Photograph by the Los Angeles Times. http://beta.latimes.com/visuals/photography/la-me-fw-archives-1967-anti-war-protest-turns-violent-20170620-story.html
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
At a protest at University of California at Berkeley, a protestor throws tear gas at police. The Kent State Massacre led to campus protests across the country. Governor Ronald Reagan closed the California universities for one week due to the protests. Photograph by Bettman/Getty Images. http://all-that-is-interesting.com/vietnam-war-protests#35
Moving Photographs of Vietnam War Protests That Show the Surprising Side of the “Peace Movement”
A woman holds a sign at a protest against the war. Pinterest.

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