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List of protests against the Vietnam War

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Protest against the Vietnam War in Amsterdam in April 1968

Protests against the Vietnam War took place in the 1960s and 1970s. The protests were part of a movement in opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War. The majority of the protests were in the United States, but some took place around the world.

List of protests[edit]



  • American Quakers began protesting via the media. For example, in May, "just after the defeat of the French at Dien Bien Phu, the Service Committee bought a page in The New York Times to protest what seemed to be the tendency of the USA to step into Indo-China as France stepped out. We expressed our fear that in so doing, America would back into a war."[2]


  • November. Amid rising U.S. involvement in Vietnam, 1,100 Quakers undertook a silent protest vigil—the group "ringed the Pentagon for parts of two days".[2]




  • February 2 –March. Protests at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas organized by the RA Student Peace Union.[9]
  • February 12–16. Anti-U.S. demonstrations in various cities in the world, "including a break-in at the U.S. embassy in Budapest, Hungary, by some 200 Asian and African students."[10]
  • March 15. A debate organized by the Inter-University Committee for a Public Hearing on Vietnam is held in Washington, D.C. Radio and television coverage.
  • March 16. An 82-year-old Detroit woman named Alice Herz self-immolated to make a statement against the horrors of the war. She died ten days later.[11]
  • March 24. First SDS organized teach-in, at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. 3,000 students attend and the idea spreads fast.
  • March. Berkeley, California: Jerry Rubin and Stephen Smale's Vietnam Day Committee (VDC) organize a huge protest of 35,000.[citation needed]
  • April. Oklahoma college students sent out hundreds of thousands of pamphlets with pictures of dead babies in a combat zone on them to portray a message about battles taking place in Vietnam.
  • April 17. The SDS-organized March Against the Vietnam War onto Washington, D.C. was the largest anti-war demonstration in the U.S. to date with 15,000 to 20,000 people attending. Paul Potter demands a radical change of society.
  • May 5. Several hundred people carrying a black coffin marched to the Berkeley, California draft board, and 40 men burned their draft cards.[12]
  • May 21–23. Vietnam Day Committee organized large teach-in at UC Berkeley. 10–30,000 attend.
  • May 22. The Berkeley draft board was visited again, with 19 men burning their cards. President Lyndon B. Johnson was hung in effigy.[12]
  • Summer. Young Black-Americans in McComb, Mississippi learn one of their classmates was killed in Vietnam and distribute a leaflet saying "No Mississippi Negroes should be fighting in Vietnam for the White man's freedom".[7]
  • June. Richard Steinke, a West Point graduate in Vietnam, refused to board an aircraft taking him to a remote Vietnamese village, stating the war "is not worth a single American life".[7]
  • June 27. End Your Silence, an open letter in the New York Times by the group Artists and Writers Protest against the War in Vietnam.[13]
  • July. The Vietnam Day Committee organized militant protest in Oakland, California ends in inglorious debacle, when the organizers end the march from Oakland to Berkeley to avoid a confrontation with police.
  • July. A Women Strike for Peace- delegation led by Cora Weiss meets its North Vietnamese and Vietcong counterpart in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • July 30. A man from the Catholic Worker Movement is photographed burning his draft card on Whitehall Street in Manhattan in front of the Armed Forces Induction Center. His photograph appears in Life magazine in August.[14]
  • October 15. David J. Miller burned his draft card at a rally again held near the Armed Forces Induction Center on Whitehall Street. The 24-year-old pacifist, member of the Catholic Worker Movement, became the first man arrested and convicted under the 1965 amendment to the Selective Service Act of 1948.[15]
  • Europe, October 15–16. First "International Days of Protest". Anti-U.S. demonstrations in London, Rome, Brussels, Copenhagen and Stockholm.
  • October 16. Tens of thousands march down New York’s Fifth Avenue to protest the war, in a parade organized by the NY Fifth Avenue Peace Parade Committee.
  • October 20. Stephen Lynn Smith, a student at the University of Iowa, spoke to a rally at the Memorial Union in Iowa City, Iowa, and burned his draft card. He was arrested, found guilty and put on three years probation.[16]
  • October 30. Pro-Vietnam War march in New York City brings 25,000.
  • November 2. In front of the Pentagon in Washington, as thousands of employees were streaming out of the building in the late afternoon, Norman Morrison, a thirty-two-year-old pacifist, father of three, stood below the third-floor windows of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, doused himself with kerosene, and set himself afire, giving up his life in protest against the war.[7]
  • November 6. Thomas C. Cornell, Marc Paul Edelman, Roy Lisker, David McReynolds and James Wilson burned their draft cards at a public rally organized by the Committee for Non-Violent Action in Union Square, New York City.[17]
  • November 27. SANE-sponsored March on Washington in 1965. 15,000 to 20,000 demonstrators.
  • December 16–17. High school students in Des Moines, Iowa, are suspended for wearing black armbands to "mourn the deaths on both sides" and in support of Robert F. Kennedy's call for a Christmas truce. The students sued the Des Moines School District, resulting in the 1969 U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of the students, Tinker v. Des Moines.



Martin Luther King Jr. speaking to an anti-Vietnam war rally at the University of Minnesota in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on April 27, 1967
A protest against the Vietnam War in Helsinki in December 1967


West German students protest against the Vietnam War in 1968



  • January 30. The Danish artist Bjørn Nørgaard protested against the war by publicly slaughtering a horse. The slaughter was supposed to take place at an art museum, but was instead held on a field as the museum cancelled the arrangement.[40]
  • February, March. Wave of bombings across the U.S.
  • March. Anti-draft protests across the U.S.
  • March 14. SS Columbia Eagle incident: Two American merchant marine sailors, Clyde McKay and Alvin Glatkowski, seized the SS Columbia Eagle and force the master to sail in to Cambodia as opposed to Thailand, where it was on its way to deliver napalm bombs to be used by the US Air Force in Vietnam.
  • March 30: About 100 people protest in Albany, New York against the draft.[41]
  • April. New Mobe, Moratorium, and SMC protests across the country.
  • April 15, 1970: Nationwide marches and rallies across the country.
  • April 19: Moratorium announces disbanding.
  • May 2: violent anti-war rallies at many universities.
A student protests before the Ohio National Guard at Kent State University shortly before the Kent State Shootings. May 4, 1970.




Common slogans and chants[edit]

There are many pro- and anti-war slogans and chants. Those who used the anti-war slogans were commonly called "doves"; those who supported the war were known as "hawks"[citation needed]


  • "Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" was chanted during Lyndon B. Johnson's tenure as president and almost anytime he appeared publicly.[7][54]


  • "Love our country", "America, love it or leave it", and "No glory like old glory" are examples of pro-war slogans.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Franklin, Bruce H. (20 October 2000). "The Antiwar Movement We Are Supposed to Forget". chronicle.com. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Archived from the original on 10 February 2009. Retrieved 31 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b Colin W. Bell (1973). Where Service Begins. Wider Quaker Fellowship, 152-A North 15th Street, Philadelphia 19102. p. 12 and 14.
  3. ^ WRL News, Nov-Dec 1963, p. 1.
  4. ^ The Power of the People (1987), Robert Cooney & Helen Michaelowski, New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, PA, p. 182.
  5. ^ Flynn, George Q. (1993). The Draft, 1940–1973. Modern war studies. University Press of Kansas. p. 175. ISBN 0-7006-0586-X.
  6. ^ Gottlieb, Sherry Gershon (1991). Hell no, we won't go!: resisting the draft during the Vietnam War. Viking. p. xix. ISBN 0-670-83935-3. 1964: May 12 – Twelve students at a New York rally burn their draft cards...
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Zinn, Howard (2003). A People's History of the United States. HarperCollins Publishers. pp. 483–501. ISBN 0061965588.
  8. ^ The Power of the People (1987), Robert Cooney & Helen Michaelowski, New Society Publishers, Philadelphia, PA, p. 183.
  9. ^ Robbie Lieberman: Prairie Power. University of Missouri Press, 2004.
  10. ^ James H. Willbanks: Vietnam War Almanac, p. 106
  11. ^ Coburn, Jon (January 2018). ""I Have Chosen the Flaming Death": The Forgotten Self-Immolation of Alice Herz". Peace and Change. 43 (1): 32–60. doi:10.1111/pech.12273.
  12. ^ a b c "Anti-War Political Activism". Pacifica Radio. UC Berkeley. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
  13. ^ Julie Ault: Alternative Art, New York, 1965–1985. P. 17ff. University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
  14. ^ Bailey, Beth L. (2009). America's Army: making the all-volunteer force. Harvard University Press. pp. 18–21. ISBN 978-0-674-03536-2.
  15. ^ Perlstein, Rick (2008). Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America. Simon and Schuster. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-7432-4302-5.
  16. ^ "368 F.2d 529 – Stephen Lynn Smith v. United States". Public Resource. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  17. ^ "384 F. 2d 115 – United States v. Edelman". Open Jurist. 1967. p. 115. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  18. ^ "Muhammad Ali". www.aavw.org.
  19. ^ "1966: Arrests in London after Vietnam rally". 3 July 1966 – via news.bbc.co.uk.
  20. ^ Maier, Thomas (2003). Dr. Spock. Basic Books. pp. 278–279. ISBN 0-465-04315-1.
  21. ^ Jezer, Martin (May 1967). "In Response To: We Won't Go". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  22. ^ "Vietnam Veterans Against the War: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)". www.vvaw.org. Retrieved 2023-11-06.
  23. ^ Martin Luther King at the UN for an Anti-Vietnam War Demonstration (15 April 1967), retrieved 2023-11-09
  24. ^ "Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement -- Address by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr". www.crmvet.org. Retrieved 2023-11-09.
  25. ^ "Many Draft Cards Burned - Eggs Tossed at Parade." New York Times, April 16, 1967, pp. 1, 38
  26. ^ Art Goldberg, "Vietnam Vets: The Anti-War Army," Ramparts, vol. 10, no. 1 (July 1971), p. 14.
  27. ^ James Lewes: Protest and Survive: Underground G.I. Newspapers during the Vietnam War. Greenwood Publ., 2003, p. 154.
  28. ^ a b Elmer, Jerry (2005). Felon for peace: the memoir of a Vietnam-era draft resister. Vanderbilt University Press. pp. 61–62. ISBN 0-8265-1495-2.
  29. ^ University of Wisconsin–Madison (2017). "A Turning Point". Retrieved 26 Oct 2017.
  30. ^ Worland, Gayle (8 Oct 2017). "50 years ago, 'Dow Day' left its mark on Madison". Wisconsin State Journal. Madison, WI: John Humenik. Retrieved 26 Oct 2017.
  31. ^ Miller, Danny (27 December 2008). "Eartha Kitt, CIA Target". HuffPost.
  32. ^ "3rd Rome Riot Over Viet". The San Francisco Examiner. April 28, 1968. p. 18. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  33. ^ "Thousands In Antiwar S.F. Rally". The San Francisco Examiner. 1968-04-28. p. 1. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  34. ^ "Thousands In Antiwar S.F. Rally". The San Francisco Examiner. 1968-04-28. p. 19. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  35. ^ "51 Jailed, 15 Hurt in Chicago". The San Francisco Examiner. April 28, 1968. p. 18. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  36. ^ "Marches Vie in New York, April 27, 1968". The San Francisco Examiner. 1968-04-27. p. 1. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  37. ^ "Marches Vie in New York, April 27, 1968". The San Francisco Examiner. 1968-04-27. p. 3. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  38. ^ Blackwell, Thomas (Oct 4, 2008). "What happened at SIUC's Old Main?". The Southern.
  39. ^ a b Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam
  40. ^ "For 50 år siden parterede han en hest og puttede den i glas: 'Det har opnået kultstatus'". DR (in Danish). 2020-01-30. Retrieved 2022-09-15.
  41. ^ "Draft Resistance 1965–1972 – Mapping American Social Movements". depts.washington.edu. Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  42. ^ Bozeman, Barry (May 30, 2010). "Protest & Activism at UT – 40 Years On". Knoxville 22 blog. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  43. ^ Chávez, John R. (1998). "The Chicano Movement on the Eastside". Eastside Landmark: A History of the East Los Angeles Community Union, 1968–1993. Stanford University Press. pp. 71–76. ISBN 0804733333. Retrieved 14 Sep 2013.
  44. ^ Scates, Bob (2022-10-10). "Draftmen Go Free: A History of the Anti-Conscription Movement in Australia". The Commons Social Change Library. Retrieved 2022-11-02.
  45. ^ a b "Vietnam Veterans Against the War demonstrate – History.com This Day in History – 4/19/1971". History.com. Retrieved 10 May 2014.
  46. ^ Washington Area Spark, Largest Anti-Viet War Protest: 1971, https://www.flickr.com/photos/washington_area_spark/albums/72157655257718310
  47. ^ Zinn Education Project, April 24, 1971: Anti-War Protests in D.C. and San Francisco, https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/tdih/anti-war-protests-dc-sf/
  48. ^ Los Angeles Times, Sunday, April 23, 1972, page 1, https://www.newspapers.com/image/385547617/
  49. ^ "1972 Vietnam War protest – Framework". 6 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  50. ^ The Militant, May 5, 1972, pp. 12–015, https://www.themilitant.com/1972/3617/MIL3617.pdf
  51. ^ Aust, Stefan (2017). Der Baader-Meinhof-Komplex (1. Auflage der Neuausgabe, erweiterte und aktualisierte Ausgabe ed.). Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe Verlag. pp. 383–385. ISBN 978-3-455-00033-7.
  52. ^ Aust, p. 388-390
  53. ^ "October 14, 1972, San Francisco Peace March – Estuary Press". Estuary Press.
  54. ^ Britannica Online, Ronald H. Spector, "Vietnam War", retrieved 18/05/14. "Vietnam War | Facts, Summary, Years, Timeline, Casualties, Combatants, & Facts". Archived from the original on 2014-05-18. Retrieved 2014-05-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

Archival collections[edit]