Stop the Draft, October, 1967

Stop the Draft Protests, Oakland Army Induction Center, October 1967.

Octoer, 1967, Oakland, CA, Stop the Draft.

Octoer, 1967, Oakland, CA, Stop the Draft.

The peace movement tried to stop the draft with non-violent civil disobedience in Oakland, Caifornia, in October and again in December, 1967.  The day began with blocking the entrance to the Oakland Army Induction Center.  Sit-in participants included Joan Baez, whose arrest Harvey recorded in the film No Greater Cause. This YouTube clip from the film shows her getting into the paddy wagon.  Once the doorway was cleared and police lined the streets, the first buses full of draftees arrived and went into the draft center.  After this, more police arrived and the sidewalks were entirely cleared of protesters.  A second wave of buses then arrived surrounded by huge numbers of police and more draftees entered the building.  It was an unprecedented display of public opposition to the war in Vietnam and to the draft itself.  It would be followed two months later with another attempt to stop the draft and more mass arrests.  And it was the beginning of an upsurge of rebellion and resistance by the GI’s themselves who provided leadership for the peace movement from then on.

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All images are copyrighted © Paul Richards 2001-2013.


Stop the Draft, October, 1967 — 8 Comments

  1. hey paul, i remember being there wt my wife early early in the morning. i think we stood in a parking lot structure across the street. i was in law school and sure didnt want to get arrested.

  2. I was there that week. I remember dancing with Joan Baez that morning before the cops showed up in mass. Joan was arrested, but towards the end when people were sitting in the street to block the buses, there came a time when no one else was going out there to sit. I decided to sit in the street. I was all by myself and, I believe, the last one arrested.
    Rick Ryan

  3. Well it seemed like a good idea at the time, but now we have war ad infinitum, no one protests, they are all volunteers. And we have still won no war since the draft ended. Nixon was brilliant in siding with the ‘end the draft’ movement, now the Generals control our wars, the final capitulation being President Trump’s ceding control of troop levels to the Pentagon last week

  4. On 18 SEP 1968 I was one of the guys trying to enter the building to enlist. Iwas 18 and had spent the night in a hotel the night before. It was within walking distance of the center. Don’t recall the name of it. Upon arriving at the center, there was a large protest going on that was blocking the doors to enter. They were pouring buckets of Blood over one protester that was being inducted. I made my way thru the center of the group and got into the building. Later, the guy that had all the blood poured on him was next to me in the physical line. He was so stoned, he had a couple GIs help hold him up.
    I spent 20 yrs 6 months in Airforce and 12 yr’s as a civilian contractor after my retirement in 1989.

  5. I was an anti war soldier stationed at Oakland army base duing that oct 16th-20th protest.I was drafted, but refused to go to nam 2 times prior. faced a certain priso term court marshaLL DISONORABLE DISCHARGE.but got a honorable one,plus full military benefits instead. HOWEVER FATE CHANELED ME INTO LOAS AS A BACKPACKER ADVENTURE LATER.SO A WAS I ENDURED a all out kong attack but escaped to Thailand. unharmed.i writing a book on reads alittle like forest gump but mines true.

  6. I was a little kid in 1967 living on Oakland army base. I remember my folks talking about this going on. I was only 6 yrs old and in first grade at the time so didn’t really understand it until many years later. In 1968 my dad was sent to Vietnam. I guess he was there Sept 68 to Sept of 69. When he came back he was a completely different person and had a whole different outlook on the war. Before; gun-ho army man. After; NOT even sure but I will say my dad was mellowest, most cool dad you could have. I mean I turned into a long haired heavy metal guitar player and always had support from dad. Sadly 23 years after his return agent orange took him out due to exposure. Not cool, NOT good! Ok, that’s all I have on the subject. We’d lived there from 1966 to 68 when dad finally got sent over and remember this stuff going on from the news and mom and dad talking about it.

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