From Moral Witness to Massive Marches

Peace Movement: Escalation

From 1965 until the end of the Vietnam War in 1973, peace movement actions against the war continued to grow in the face of the rapid escalation of violence.

As the war got bigger, more troops were deployed, more bombs dropped, and more body bags returned home, so too the opposition to the war expanded across the country and especially in the San Francisco Bay Area.  In 1965, moral witness demonstrations of pacifist and religious oriented protesters helped break the silence with their pleas aimed directly at the soldiers leaving from places like the Oakland Army Base for the war in Vietnam.  Committee for Non Violent Action (CNVA) protesters led civil disobedience protests at the gates of army bases and napalm factories, chased troop trains down railroad right of ways, calling for soldiers and workers to listen to their consciences and refuse to make war. Harvey Richards photographed these early protests while mainstream media enforced its news blackout.

Comittee for Non Violent Action (CNVA)1965  Protest at the Oakland Army Base

Comittee for Non Violent Action (CNVA)1965 Protest at the Oakland Army Base

Word spread and students in from the University of California joined the protests in increasing numbers. The Vietnam Day Committee, a coalition of left wing political groups, called for a march from the UC campus to the Oakland Army base but was stopped at the Oakland/Berkeley border in a confrontation with a wall of helmeted cops.  A second march, weeks later with permit in hand, made it to Oakland but stopped at Defermery Park, agreeing not to go to the Army Base.  Widespread community involvement followed with ever larger demonstrations filling the street and finally entering the headlines and TV news stories. The Spring Mobilization Against the War in Vietnam on April 15, 1967 put together one of the largest peace protests ever seen on the West Coast .  Marching up Market Street in San Francisco to a rally that filled up Kezar Stadium, protesters demanded “Bring the Troops Home Now!” .  Harvey Richards photographed these powerful demonstrations and marches during the years from 1965 to 1967 in the San Francisco Bay Area and his images are presented in the five gallery posts below and linked with this page on the drop down menu above.

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All images are copyrighted © Paul Richards 2001-2013.

Committee for Non-Violent Action (CNVA): Resist War

 Non-Violent Confrontation at Oakland Army Base In June, 1965, the Committee for Non-Violent Action (CNVA) picketed and sat in at the Oakland Army Base where soldiers were being deployed to Vietnam.  They requested that they be allowed to visit the … Continue reading

Berkeley Women Protest War, 1966

“The government often saw…women as the most dangerous members of the opposition movement” On February 23, 1966, Berkeley women protest war with a march to the Oakland Induction Center to demand an end to the Vietnam war, and to bring … Continue reading

Napalm Protests, 1966

Napalm Protests At Factories and Naval Base U.S. use of napalm bombs in Vietnam created outrage and shame across the country and around the world. “Napalm is a thickening/gelling agent generally mixed with petroleum or a similar fuel for use in an incendiary device, initially against … Continue reading

April 15, 1967 San Francisco March Against the War in Vietnam

April 15 1967 Spring Mobilization On April 15, 1967, the San Francisco Spring Mobilization march against the war in Vietnam announced the emergence of a new era of peace protests. Nation wide, highly organized and widely supported, it changed the … Continue reading

Vietnam Day Committee March, October, 1965

U.C. Berkeley Students Protest the Vietnam War The Berkeley Vietnam Day Committee (VDC) held two marches to protest the Vietnam war in 1965, one in October and the second in November. This post presents photo images gallery from the first march to … Continue reading

Vietnam Day Committee March November, 1965

Vietnam Day Committee Makes It to Oakland The Vietnam Day Committee marched again a month after their first demonstration in October, 1965 was turned back by the Oakland Police.  This time the VDC obtained a permit to march through Oakland. … Continue reading