The "60's" Semi-Civil War Conditions In the U.S. (and elsewhere too!) With an Anarchistic Flavor
north america / mexico |
other libertarian press
Thursday July 30, 2015 02:55 by bob mcglynn - Vietnam Veterans Against the War-THIS HAS NOT BEEN APPROVED, I'm "honorary" member only bobnenwogb at aol dot com 914-793-8315
This is by an author who summerized the " 60's civil war in the U.S." in a few short paragraphs.
I add in a long intro slamming the media etc. for reducing the 60's to ONLY the civil rights movement (leaving out the more radical/revolutionary currants like the Black Panthers), and the peace movement (leaving out the equally massive important- to way generalize a complicated mixed scene- anti-war/anti-imperialist movement.
I mention anarchistic tides such as the all over the map student movement that burned down buildings to fight en loco parentis- in the place of parents- fight for personal freedom and to be treated like adults- the effect of which, though modified, can be scene on today's campus's. I mention the hippies/freaks who were everywhere and anarchist if not conciously than in effect.
I go into womens/gay etc movements. The incredible revolution in creative music called "the soundtrack for the revolution" that was picked up in the underground of the Soviet Bloc whose lyrics could'nt be understood but meant "freedom". I mention BIG TIME that guys could be incredibly liberated to grow their hair long...
I give alot of play to the formation of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War which was the only group of vets in U.S. history to oppose a war still in effect that had plenty of effect as U'll see... much more...
Then finally i quote the text mentioned at the beginning by another author.
7-12-15, this is IT unless iraq vets against the war send me something that will be only 2 sentences as I asked-
(editors- I can’t fix the gap where u see MUSIC—I can’t fix jumps in between some paragraghs-)-
The 60's Semi-Civil War in the U.S. (oh elsewhere too!) With an “Anarchistic Flavor”
This is an excerpt from the Nation magazine (yr.?) doing a review (by?) of the same name of the book by Beth Baily America Divided,
The Civil War of the 1960's.
Intro by Bob McGlynn/ firstname.lastname@example.org (Their I go again! With an Intro bigger than the text I'm referring to!)
I believe it's/this is, important for youth especially and those who weren't around as the establishment has reduced the "60's" to the civil rights movement (leaving out the revolutionary Black liberation movement ala Black Panthers etc. I knew ‘em) and the peace movement (leaving out the revolutionary anti-war/anti-imperialist movement and Vietnam Veterans Against the War- see below), plus leaving out the youth movement, the student movement (college students for instance got "en loco parentis" Latin for "in the place of parents" control of personal freedom overthrown), the free schooling movement where kids could get out of jail-like school and learn what they wanted to (to generalize), sexual rebellion, feminist, gay, the back to the land movement (like moving to Vermont, Oregon, communes...), natural foods movement, psychology movement, the fact that guys could grow their hair (EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! that helped later the Punk scene, and then/now Blacks/Latinos males especially to do as they fukin’ please with their hair or lack of it now! 2015), MUSIC, modern/experimental/alternative/LSD influenced etc. rock, jazz, soul, Motown- that was a cross-over music for Blacks and whites-, the introduction of Indian traditional (Ravi Shankar who then influenced George Harrison of the Beatles), "jazz-rock" (Zappa in Hot Rats, Chick Corea in his group Return to Forever's Romantic Warrior, the 2 album Bichtes Brew by Miles Davis that started it) Latino stuff (Santana, Chick Corea ), AND Frank Zappa who was a category of his own!, (Western rock blew the minds of the underground in the X-Soviet-Bloc, a “leader” of whom told me "we couldn' t understand the lyrics but the sound meant "freedom"), and a zillion other scenes questioning anything and everything (the anarchist in spirit like the other scenes the hippies/freaks were a great help in this). Everything was up for grabs. Bombings became an everyday event and riots were commonplace.
There was the massive "underground" press of all sorts: counterculture, revolutionary, both at the same time etc., high school, collage, GI soldier secret samizdat (the Soviet term for handwritten/typewritten distributed hand-to-hand dissident material, except then there were xerox machines in the U.S.- see David Zeiger's film "Sir, No Sir!"). The last remaining of the underground papers was-is the anarchist Fifth Estate, '65 till now. Their were the many coffee-houses run by anti-war sorts near military bases where soldiers for free of all branches could relax and shoot the shit, hear music, view anti-war literature, argue, listen to anti-war speakers...(a couple began again in recent times for the unending U.S. wars).
There weren't just unending strikes and riots by students (often with the military National Guard and the burning down of administration etc. buildings and especially most/all? military training ROTC buildings), but the working class proper got into the act as their ranks were being filled by furious/disillusioned/ PTSD’d etc. Viet-Nam vets and proletarianized rebellious freaks. Wildcat strikes, strong revolutionary Black unions in Detroit, "Those motherfucking workers just won't work!" (paraphrased from a Post Office manager when they went on a strike for the books)...
Viet-Nam vets got into the act big-time with the formation of "Vietnam Veterans Against the War" (VVAW '67). They held hearings in Detroit (most were hard core working class or small farm “boys”) called “The Winter Soldier Investigation” ('71) where they admitted to war crimes etc. The mainstream press paid NO attention to their truth! They had a "siege" ('71) in the U.S. capitol Washington D.C. throwing their medals back at the White House. Some went to the Justice Department to turn themselves in as war criminals- only to meet closed doors. That then disliked by some in VVAW "The Boston Brahmin" John Kerry ala elite (though some in VVAW say he was great in getting VVAW to grow and put it on the map, and some say he was obviously climbing the political ladder- VVAW'rs was/is super democratic with differing opinions/past factions etc.), now a warring pig as the head of the U.S. State Department, gave a very good speech to a Senate hearing about "The American War in Viet-Nam" (really the American Indochinese War [mine] as the U.S. invaded and rained death in unmentionable numbers on Laos and Cambodia and giving Thailand military aid in waging a small guerilla war) with a perfect paragraph in a longer speech (the brass had gave the orders or looked the other way) describing American G.I.'s (don't forget the Navy with aimless shelling of mostly civilians and some Navy guys broke and cried/threw-up [plus mutinies], and of course the Air Force in bombings- more than all of WW2 by the Allies from afar) about committing repeating unspeakable massive war crimes "reminiscent of Genghis Khan"... (That paragraph has been re-played by all sides trying to make their point). The best book about the U.S. war crimes that has for the 1st time it seems also interviewed surviving Viets is Kill Anything That Moves- The Real American War in Vietnam, by Nick Turse, Metropolitan Books.
VVAW worked out a peace agreement called the Peoples Peace Treaty with the National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) that was wondeful but the U.S. government paid no attention.
VVAW members went to Hanoi (as many anti-war activists did) and worked out a soldier to soldier "don't shoot" agreement, such as a U.S. soldier would take his helmut off and hold his M-16 upside down. Here and there it may have saved lives as I've researched. The agreement was spread by active duty soldiers who were members of VVAW, VVAWs paper called Winter Soldier that made the rounds among some U.S. soldiers, and broadcasts from Hanoi for instance.
VVAW had tens of thousands of members, chapters everywhere, photogenic, brave, grew to accept women/gays, were welcomed with open arms by the anti-war movement and the counterculture, were Nixon's biggest enemy- they fit right in- they “took over” the anti-war movement and tried to have a peaceful march/protest at the '72 Republican Party National Convention that nominated Nixon, that of course led to street-fighting (they always insisted they "were not pacifists") with seasoned war veterans not skinny "kids". The VVAW called for a non-violent march-protest but were riddled by FBI agent provocateurs. VVAW got intellegence about how the government was going to shoot someone and blame it on VVAW and had planned an elaborate attack. VVAW'rs weren't fools and some planned an elaborate counter-attack. One, Bill Lemmer, an FBI guy, wrote up and distributed a planned counter-attack. The text constantly repeated the admonition "this will be done for defense purposes only". So in '73, 8 (7 were VVAW and 1 not) got busted on "conspiracy to disrupt the Convention" bla, bla, specifically to arm themselves with automatic weapons etc. They were the Gainesville 8 who got a show trial (their were many such trials in the very repressive "60's" (sound familiar to today?) (that really ended in the 70's) where most of the juries said "not guilty" (but those show trials ate up valuable time and wasted millions of dollars exhausting revolutionaries/radicals etc. and VVAW too) where the jury in less than 4 hours! Said "not guilty" during which time the VVAW'rs played outside with a football! The jury saw that defense text from Lemmer, easily pieced it all together with proven FBI provocateur stuff, and didn't even need to hear the defense! And that was that...
See Oliver Stone's film "Born on the Fourth of July" that's a docu-drama where U'll only see a tidbit of the protest- why he never did a film on the VVAW (he's a Viet vet and maybe in VVAW? Don't quote me!, The show trial etc. I still don't know but I'll try to find out 1 day...
VVAW carries on today with a newspaper called The Veteran. See email@example.com- help them and subscribe and see if you can be a member and help. Also a decade ago was the formation of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) with an Afghan vet group within it.
Reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Oh hell I’ll say it- I was made an “honorary member” of VVAW as I did some stuff with them and they dug me- I don’t throw my weight around and those that vollunteered to help and appove this text before I published it did so- this IS NOT AN OFFICIAL TEXT OF VVAW-INC.)
Following is a small snippet of the truly semi-civil war conditions in the U.S. during the 60's on into the 70's.
(Though I correctly use the term anarchistic by the end of the time the originally cool massive student movement was destroyed by small ML factions, that went on to destroy attempts at attracting reactionary white workers, and the Maoist Revolutionary Union/ who then tapped themselves the Revolutionary Communist Party when they thought they had enuf members and leaders in unions, messed up VVAW.
VVAW survived . . .)
"Though tensions in the area were high, Beth Bailey tells us, the "days of rage" began mildly enough on April 13, 1970: About 100 black students sat in at a local high school to demand black literature courses, black teachers and a black homecoming queen. The next day, fistfights broke out between white and black students. That night, a downtown building was burned to the ground. The following day, the school was closed as rumors of stolen guns circulated. Soon after, the school administration offices and the student union at a nearby university were incinerated. Firemen were met with sniper fire. A curfew was imposed, then defied by bottle-and-brick-throwing counter-culture "freaks" at the Rock Chalk Cafe. A nearby "hippie house" went up in smoke; an elementary school burned down. More sniper fire. The governor dispatched the National Guard.
On May 4, after National Guardsmen at Kent State University in a distant Ohio killed four youths protesting President Nixon's invasion of Cambodia [what’s forgotten is 2 Blacks that the cops murdered at a similar protest at Jackson State in Florida- McGlynn], local university students joined the fray, part of an uproar that led to the closing of more than 500 campuses nationwide. In the following months, the police would kill a black student from the university's Afro House and a white youth near the Rock Chalk Cafe. Rumors of right-wing vigilante gatherings would circulate. A police officer would be wounded, a patrol car riddled by shotgun blasts, a judge's house firebombed. Arson was widespread.
So it went, not in a coastal city but in the town of Lawrence, Kansas, proud home of Kansas University and focus of Bailey's Sex in the Heartland. Hers is a vivid reminder of just how national and chaotic the events we call "the sixties" really were. Surveying the burning and shooting, the dead, wounded and stoned (in both senses of the term), the armed troops in the streets of one Kansas college town, it would be easy enough to imagine that what took place was something like a "civil war."