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The Protest Movement

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  1. The Protest Movement As it relates to the Vietnam War

  2. An Era of Protest • The idea of civil disobedience as a form of protest emerges as successful tactic of African American Civil Rights Movement • Mario Savio leads the first college sit-in at UC Berkeley 12/64 protesting campus policies – 800 demonstrators were arrested

  3. Vietnam War mobilizes youth • -Draft 1965: 5000 a month -> 1967: 50,000 a month • -deferments: college students • -conscientious objectors • -draft dodgers: burning draft cards

  4. Drafts & Deferments • The Draft made all 18+ males eligible • Men could defer based on education or profession • This led to the working-class, poor, and minorities to be more heavily drafted

  5. Ineligible classifications • 1-A –O Conscientious objector for noncombatant service only • 2-S Service deferred – enrolled in college • 2-A Service deferred – civilian occupation • 3-A Service deferred – has children • 4-A Exempt – completed military duty • 4-F Disqualified – physical or mental reasons

  6. RESISTANCE • Some became conscientious objectors • Some refused to register for the draft • Protesters harassed campus ROTC recruiters • As draft went from 5000/mo to 50,000/mo, the draft resisters swelled

  7. SDS: Students for a Democratic Society April 1965: 20,000 protests in DC Teachers start protest at Univ. of Mich. 1967: 100s of thousands protest in NYC + San Fran. (Doves) April 1968: Columbia Univ. students seize 5 buildings

  8. Who are the protesters? • An amalgam • University students • Free speech movement at Berkeley and other schools • Rooted in Civil Rights Movement • 60’s Youth • Reject parents’ culture • Leave it to Beaver-culture is viewed as: sexist, racist, conformist, restrictive • Poor • Draft rules call up disproportionate numbers of black, Latino, poor white and Native American boys – high school dropouts by far the most likely to serve and die in Vietnam • Vietnam Veterans

  9. -70% of American believe protests are “acts of disloyalty” -Jan 1968: Hawks: 62%, Doves: 22% -March 1968: Hawks: 41%, Doves: 42%

  10. Democratic Convention - 1968 A series of battles between protestors and Chicago police 598 arrests, 119 police injured, 100 police injured

  11. Kent State 1970 -- protests erupt at Kent State: Burn down ROTC building Governor calls in National Guard, students ordered to disperse Protestors throw stones, sticks at soldiers Soldiers open fire -- 4 students killed

  12. Generation gap Their parents: WWII, Great Depression, trust in govt., New Deal Them: nuclear war, Vietnam, affluence, comfortable, rock music, energetic

  13. -Hippies: rejection of conservative values -drug use (LSD) -chaste v. free love, hardworking v. unemployed materialistic v. inward looking, sober v. drugs, homes v. crash pads, sedate v. vibrant

  14. Media’s impact on attitudes • Media becomes increasingly critical after Tet Offensive • Cronkite in ’68: “not closer to victory” • June 1968: Life publishes photos of 242 Americans killed in Vietnam in one week

  15. Implications? • Increased uneasiness in the U.S. • Greater division between “Hawks” and “Doves” • Increasing numbers consider themselves “Doves” • Also fueled growing Conservatism as a reaction to the New Left • Greater political pressure to get out of Vietnam