Notes on Anti Vietnam War Protests.

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  • Topic: Vietnam War, My Lai Massacre, Anti-war
  • Pages : 2 (581 words )
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  • Published : April 1, 2013
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Anti-Vietnam War Protests
Late 1960s and early 1970s were a time that saw the rise of protest movements across Australia. Causes included: Opposition to the Vietnam War, Racial equality, Equal rights for women and Environmental protection Protest was not simply between generations ie the young and the old, it was more complex. First protests were small and non-violent. They were organised by already established anti-war movements. They were made up of middle aged and middle class people and young radicals who favoured extreme change. Church leaders were divided. Reverend Allan Walker of the Methodist Central Mission in Sydney was a leading critic. The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) was divided eg in 1965 it passed a resolution expressing concern rather than taking industrial action. By 1969 anti-war protests were gathering momentum in Australia. Opposition to conscription mounted, as more people came to believe the war could not be won. A "Don't register" campaign to dissuade young men from registering for conscription gained increasing support and some of the protests grew violent. Forms of Protest

• Teach-ins took place from 1965. Speakers holding a variety of opinions debated the issues. Leading speakers against the war included Dr Jim Cairns, a Shadow Minister in the Labor Opposition in Federal Parliament and Morris West, a prominent author and influential Roman Catholic. • The Youth Campaign Against Conscription (YCAC) – university students who organised marches and demonstrations. • Save Our Sons(SOS) movement (1965) largely middle-aged women held silent protest vigils. • Seamen’s Union in 1965 refused to carry war materials to Vietnam. • From 1966 protests became more radical. Young men burned their draft cards and protests saw clashes between the demonstrators and the police. • Some young men decided to go to jail rather than be conscripted. The courts could exempt those who could prove they were pacifists (opposed to all wars on religious or...
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