Anti-Vietnam War Protests: Late 1960s and early 1970s anti-Vietnam war protests, social and political background notes

by James K. Sayre

Protests against the brutality and stupidity of the war in Vietnam, started slowly in Berkeley, California beginning in 1965. By 1968, there were massive anti-Vietnam war marches, protests, sit-ins and student strikes in major cities and on college and university campuses across the country. A turning point was in on 4 May 1970, when four students at Kent State University in Ohio were murdered by Ohio National Guardsmen duirng a peaceful noon-time campus anti-war demonstration. Nine other students were injured by being shot by Ohio National Guardsmen. After that, things got very nasty across the country as thousands of students took to the streets, outraged at the shedding of blood in America. Protests became increasingly violent in tone; some college campuses became virtual war zones, with arson and bombings as well as low-level vandalism and window-breaking. In 1974, the last American troops were withdrawn from Vietnam and the South Vietnamese puppet regime soon collapsed and the Vietnamese were finally independent of the French colonial forces, followed by the American neo-colonial occupation. The anti-Vietnam war protests also ended that year, naturally, but soon there were other looming national problems to investigate and protest, mainly the continued ravishing of our natural environment. : Background sketch




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