Vermont Town Hall The People Make the Peace: Lessons from the Vietnam Antiwar Movement

2019 is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. It also marks another milestone: the 50th anniversary of the height of the Vietnam War and the popular movement that arose to confront it. By 1969, more than 14,500 young American soldiers had been killed and a half million had served in combat. Antiwar protest raged in the streets, on campuses and in capitols across the country. One of the unusual features of the Vietnam era was the emergence of citizen diplomacy — Americans who traveled to Vietnam and return to tell what they saw. In 2013, one group returned to Vietnam to participate in observances of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords that ended the war. Out of that trip came a book, The People Make the Peace: Lessons From the Vietnam Antiwar Movementedited by Karín Aguilar-San Juan and Frank Joyce. A number of the contributors recently returned from Vietnam where they launched a Vietnamese language edition of the book. Three of those contributors discuss their history with the Vietnam War, their trips to Vietnam during the war and lessons that the antiwar movement holds for today’s activists. Judy Gumbo is an original member of the Yippies who visited the former North Vietnam and helped organize a Women’s March on the Pentagon; she spent most of her professional career as a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. Jay Craven is a Vermonter, award-winning producer, independent film writer/director, impresario, and community arts activist. He traveled to Vietnam in 1970 as part of a delegation of college newspaper editors and student body presidents and returned to help lead the 1971 May Day demonstrations in Washington that resulted in the largest mass arrest for non-violent civil disobedience in U.S. history. Frank Joyce has been in involved in many labor, antiracist, human rights and antiwar campaigns. He was a member of the UAW International Union staff for eighteen years. (July 17, 2019 broadcast)

Judy Gumbo, Jay Craven, Frank Joyce, Member of the Yippies, Filmmaker, Labor Activist