Peace Movement

May 8, 1970 – the Day the Anti-Vietnam War Movement Came to Point Loma

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

Exactly 50 years ago today, May 8, 1970, the anti-Vietnam war was thrust upon the sleepy neighborhood of Point Loma.

4,000 mainly college students showed up in the early hours of that day on Catalina Boulevard and created a passive resistance march and blockade of the gates of NEL, the Naval Electronics Lab (since renamed). NEL was known for its war-related research and the action was seen as a blow against the Vietnam war by thousands of trying to jam up the gears of the war machine.

Nixon had just invaded Cambodia instead of winding down the war, as he had promised. Protests at colleges and universities blew up across the nation. Protests at Kent State in Ohio turned deadly when National Guardsmen fired into crowds of unarmed demonstrators, killing four and wounding eleven others. Fifty years ago this day, the entrance to the military facility was effectively blocked

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UCSD Student George Winne Burned Himself to Death in Protest of the War – May 10, 1970

May 8, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

George Winne, 23, a History major at UC San Diego strolled out to the middle of Revelle Plaza on Sunday, May 10, 1970. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon. A huge anti-war protest had occurred earlier that weekend in downtown San Diego. It’s not known whether Winne attended it, but it’s unlikely.

President Nixon had invaded Cambodia and the campuses across the nation blew up in protests. One protest at Kent State University in Ohio ended in the deaths of four students shot by National Guardsmen.

When Winne came out to the plaza, he carried a sign, which read, “In God’s name, end this war.” It was a simple message. He also carried rags which he had saturated with gasoline.

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The Murders at Jackson State, Mississippi During the May 1970 Student Rebellion

May 6, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The killings at Jackson State occurred 5 minutes after midnight, May 15, 1970
Besides the Kent State Four, there were two other murders during the May 1970 student rebellion fifty years ago. Police opened fire on a Black girls’ dormitory at Jackson State College in Mississippi on May 15, killing two young, African-American men, and wounding another dozen people.

The Jackson State killings, however, never received the media and protesters’ attention as those at Kent State did. There were demonstrations in response, of course, but not as wide-spread as those following the deaths of the 4 white students. From an ingrained media racism, to the privileges of white, middle-class young, to the fatigue and exhaustion of a protest movement nearly spun out – there are a number of factors for this difference.

But – as in the Kent State incident – no one was ever held accountable for the killings.

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May 5, 1970 Was the Most Violent Day Within the Country in American History

May 5, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The day after the Kent State Massacre, Tuesday, May 5, was one of the most violent days in American history. It was the day when college and university students realized that four from their generation were dead because of protests against the Vietnam war. It certainly ranks up there as one of the most turbulent days inside the country.

What follows in our latest installment in the series commemorating the student rebellion and strike of May 1970. We offer it without apology, without recourse but with the knowledge that despite the tedious repetition, it is part of our American experience, an important day in our modern history.

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‘I was in a sit-in at UCSD when we heard about the killings at Kent State.’

May 4, 2020 by Source
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Originally posted May 4, 2009.

By Dr. Anonymouse

May 4th, 1970, is forever etched in my brain and memory cells. I was a student at UCSD, and we had just taken over the 5th floor of Urey Hall – a Science building – in protest of the University’s complicity in the Vietnam War, when we heard the bad news from Kent State. It came over a small radio someone had perched on a chair out on the balcony overlooking the Quad. …

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May 2-3, 1970: The Weekend Before the Storm 50 Years Ago

May 2, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

The weekend of Saturday, May 2 and Sunday, May 3, 1970 – exactly 50 years ago – was the “lull” before the storm of protests that erupted and enveloped the nation in response to President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia.

Thus, we continue our series of installments of a day-by-day recounting of what came down half a century ago, which is actually just a sampling of what happened during that first week of May 1970. From coast to coast and everywhere in between college and university students rebelled – sometimes violently – against Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam War.

Nixon had been elected in 1968 because he had a “peace plan” and had actually begun bringing US troops back to the states – when he announced on April 30 that he was sending American troops into Vietnam’s neighbor Cambodia, a diplomatically neutral country.

Protests began immediately (see the intro to the series here, and Part 1 here) and ultimately involved literally millions of students and faculty members with the closings of hundreds of campuses,

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50 Years Ago Today – May 1, 1970 – the Rebellion Begins

May 1, 2020 by Frank Gormlie

As part of our week-long commemoration of the student rebellion of 50 years ago exactly, we begin with May 1, 1970. (See the intro here.)

On April 30, 1970, then President Richard Milhouse Nixon announced he was sending US troops from Vietnam into Cambodia, a diplomatically-neutral country. His announcement set off a month of intense protests by mainly college and university students across the country, from Maine to Southern California.

What follows here is a sampling of the reaction by students on April 30 and May 1 of that year (raw data for my upcoming book, 1970: The May Rebellion). It was a different time. The only people bringing guns to campuses then were cops and National Guardsmen. And on May 4, National Guardsmen shot and killed four unarmed students, wounding 11 others on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio. Ten days later, two young Black men were murdered by local police at Jackson State in Mississippi.

But first … this, as we cross the country from the northeast to the southwest, the rebellion began:

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The May 1970 National Student Strike

May 4, 2018 by Frank Gormlie

Many of us are aware of the tragic and fatal events that came down 48 years ago at Kent State University in Ohio during protests against the Vietnam war and president Nixon’s expansion of it with his invasion into Cambodia. On May 4, four students were shot dead and eleven wounded by National Guardsmen who had been called in to quell the unruly protests. What many of us don’t know is what came before and what came afterwards.

On April 30, Nixon announced the invasion into Vietnam’s neighbor. In response, campuses nationwide exploded into a national student strike -. And certainly San Diego campuses were no exception.

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Progressive Calendar for San Diego Activists, March 10 – 21, 2017

March 10, 2017 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

Progressive ActivistWow. Here’s another calendar packed full of events for local activists. I’ve made some cosmetic changes this week, including icons to make events more recognizable.

So what will you do? Check out this week’s Progressive Calendar listings below. Following those listings are upcoming events of national importance, along with opportunities for organizational involvement and a few reading suggestions.

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February Events in Ocean Beach and Beyond – from the OB Green Center

February 8, 2017 by Source

The following calendar of events in OB and San Diego is from our good friends at the OB Green Center. All that we did is add a few meetings in Ocean Beach*. The Ocean Beach Green Center is located at 4843 B Voltaire Street, Ocean Beach 92107 (contact them : oceanbeachgreencenter@gmail. com 619.225.1083)

February Events in OB

February 9th Thursday 7:00 p.m. Film Night “Merchants of Doubt”
“Merchants of Doubt” takes audiences on a satirically comedic, yet illuminating ride into the heart of conjuring American spin. Filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the curtain on a secretive group of highly charismatic, silver- tongued pundits-for-hire who present themselves in the media as scientific authorities – yet have the contrary aim of spreading maximum confusion about well-studied public threats ranging from toxic chemicals to pharmaceuticals to climate change. Free of Charge :-)

COME INSIDE FOR MUCH MORE

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Where Do We Go From Here? – Lessons from Martin Luther King Heading Into the Trump Era

January 16, 2017 by Jim Miller

“A nation or a civilization that continues to produce softminded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Strength to Love

By Jim Miller

A few years ago, I made use of this space on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to discuss my favorite speech of his, “Where Do We Go From Here?” and ponder its relevance to the present:

When dealing with the issue of poverty, King notes that, “We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

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Veterans For Peace Statement on Syria

January 2, 2017 by Source

Veterans for Peace logo: dove with olive branch superimposed on army helmetBy Veterans for Peace

The war in Syria has been ongoing for five years, with the situation in Aleppo, once Syria’s most populous city, having deteriorated over the past four years into a multi-proxy war and a humanitarian disaster.

We have seen strong disagreements within the peace movement on the reasons behind this war, and on what our response should be. Those disagreements even exist within our ranks. As we struggle through the complexities of the war, we recognize that most of us are far removed from it, fortunate to be safe in our homes and able to voice these disagreements without fear of reprisal.

However, our mission at Veterans For Peace has not changed. We oppose war.

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Tom Hayden, Courageous Warrior for Peace

October 31, 2016 by Source
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By Marjorie Cohn /Consortium News – truthout

When Tom Hayden died on Oct. 23, we lost a courageous warrior for peace and equality. Hayden was on the front lines of nearly every major progressive struggle for more than 50 years. Vilified by the Right and at times criticized from the Left, Hayden remained steadfast in his commitment to social, economic and racial justice.

An activist, political theorist, organizer, writer, speaker and teacher, Hayden was a Freedom Rider in the South during the 1960s; a founder of Students for a Democratic Society; a leader of the anti-Vietnam War movement; a community organizer; a negotiator of a gang truce in Venice, California; the author of more than 19 books; and an elected official in California for nearly two decades.

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OBcean’s 1972 Anti-War Arrest Is Part of La Jolla Photo Exhibit

October 13, 2016 by Frank Gormlie
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OBcean Bob Edwards joined a handful of other former anti-Vietnam war activists at a commemoration of a photo exhibit at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art on Tuesday, October 11th. An exhibit by photographer Fred Lonidier, entitled, “29 Arrests” was on display – as Fred had taken Edwards’ photo at the time of his arrest on May 4, 1972 in front of the 11th Naval District headquarters.

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Activist-Photographer Fred Lonidier’s Photos of 1972 Anti-War Protest Part of Museum of Contemporary Arts Exhibit

October 10, 2016 by Staff
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Way back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, there were very active social movements stirring in San Diego – and across the country. Here in San Diego, there was always this one guy -the “movement photographer” on the scene – Fred Lonidier, with his long-lens camera dangling from his neck, always there to record it all.

There was one particular and historic event in May of 1972 where 88 students and supporters were arrested for peacefully sitting down in front of the local Naval District HQ in protest of the Vietnam war. Fred Lonidier was also there – but he only had 29 shots remaining in his camera. So, he took 29 photos of those being arrested that day.

And now those 29 photos are part of a larger exhibit, called The Uses of Photography, currently at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla.

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Miramar Air Show Sends the Wrong Message

August 19, 2016 by Source

Editor: The following piece by Dave Patterson ran in the Op-Ed pages of the San Diego Union-Tribune, August 18, 2016.

By Dave Patterson

Given our quagmire in the Middle East it’s high time that we gave some thought to how our politicians and military contractors promote war as the answer to our problems. In San Diego the promotion of war is anchored in the annual Miramar Air Show.

According to the air show Web page, it’s the largest in the world, with as many as 500,000 people attending. What they don’t tell us is that the air show is designed to appeal to our senses, not our intellect, and when we participate we get an adrenaline high and exciting memories to take home. We also take home the potential burden of our military people and civilians being injured or killed just to provide us those thrills. We also forget that the very nature of war is about death and destruction, not fun and games.

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San Diego Veterans to Protest Miramar Air Show

August 18, 2016 by Source

“Bannering” against upcoming airshow on August 18

By San Diego Veterans for Peace

miramarEach year, San Diego hosts the giant Miramar Air Show, which is attended by up to 500,000 people.

This air show is typical of many other air shows around the country in that it attempts to glorify and glamorize war and militarism, as well as being an excellent opportunity for defense contractors and the overall military industrial complex to sell products which lead to the deaths and injuries of so many people on earth.

The San Diego Veterans For Peace, with veteran members of all five services, is opposed to these “war shows” and is asking the public to stay home and to provide more wholesome entertainment to their children and families than the Miramar Air Show provides.

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Honoring “The Greatest!”

June 7, 2016 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

I’ve been thinking about my man, Muhammad Ali, off and on, feeling sad that he’s gone. But as a contemporary of mine (he was four years younger than me) he’ll never be forgotten by me because he has meant the world to me.

When I first heard about him he had just fought his way to a gold medal as the Light Heavy Weight Boxing Champion in 1960 at the Olympic Games in Rome.

I had just graduated from Arizona with a degree in P.E. and all kinds of basketball scoring records. So he and I were two young black men, athletes, standing tall and all. Who knew, though, that he would take being a sports figure to levels that were, up to then, unseen.

He was Cassius Clay in those days, but not a household name yet, …

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May 4th: We Can’t Forget the Massacre of Students at Kent State – 46 Years Ago

May 4, 2016 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, 2016, is the 46th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus.

Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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OB Green Center – Annual Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser- Sat., April 23rd

April 21, 2016 by Staff
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OB Green Center

Annual Anniversary Celebration Fundraiser- Sat., April 23rd

Come help the OB Green Center Celebrate Earth Day
& 27 Years of Environmental, Peace, and Social Justice Activism!

Saturday April 23, 2016
2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

There will be music & speakers, refreshments & raffle. It’s a Great Community Event!
Honoring co-founders: Colleen Dietzel & Kip Krueger;

… for celebration schedule, see inside …

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“No More Protest Marches Through Balboa Park – Please!”

December 18, 2015 by Source
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The Old OB Hippie Speaks Out

Been around long enough to know the “in’s and out’s” of organizing protests and marches here in good, ol’ conservative San Diego. I have been to many, many of them – all over the place. – And yes, I know our city’s demographics and politics have evolved over the years.

Just recently, I was at the Climate Action rally held in Balboa Park with its rally next to the water fountain. Before that – and at the same spot – I attended a support rally for Bernie Sanders. And one year ago exactly, I attended a “die-in” at the fountain when on December 13th, 2014, 200 people participated in a “die-in” – right at the fountain, as San Diego joined protests held nation-wide against police violence.

Going back a ways – I also attended many rallies and marches that were held in and through Balboa Park during both the Iraq Wars I and II.

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A Cry for Ending the Slaughter in the ‘Drone Papers’ Revelations

November 12, 2015 by Source

Drone_papers

By Marjorie Cohn / Truthdig

A new whistleblower has joined the ranks of Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, John Kiriakou and other courageous individuals. The unnamed person, who chose to remain anonymous because of the Obama administration’s vigorous prosecution of whistleblowers, is a member of the intelligence community.

In the belief that the American public has the right to know about the “fundamentally” and “morally” flawed U.S. drone program, this source provided The Intercept with a treasure trove of secret military documents and slides that shine a critical light on the country’s killer drone program.

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Peace Ship Arrives in San Diego Just in Time for Veterans for Peace Convention

August 5, 2015 by Source
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Historic Protest Ship – the Golden Rule – Met By Vets at Shelter Island

From VFP (SD Reader) / August 3, 2015

A group of “pro-peace” activists gathered on Shelter Island Sunday afternoon (Aug.2) to welcome the Golden Rule, a sailboat described as “the very first of the environmental and peace vessels to go to sea,” which came to town in advance of the annual conference of the activist group Veterans for Peace, taking place August 5-9 in San Diego.

“The Golden Rule is our peace ship — it was instrumental in helping develop the first atmospheric test ban treaty back in the early ’60s. This boat has been resurrected from the depths of the sea, and is here to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the 50th anniversary of Vietnam, and the 30th anniversary of Veterans for Peace,”

says Gary Butterfield, local chairman for the convention.

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More Memories of “Red House” of Ocean Beach

July 13, 2015 by Source
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Editor: Since we were alerted to the Centennial of OB’s famous “Red House”, we asked fellow travelers who once lived there or lived in OB during the Seventies who had memories of the political house and its residents. Here is another “memory” of Red House, by Dickie.

By Dickie

I moved into Red House on March 1, 1973, one of 6 activists to take occupancy beginning a long stretch of time when Red House was identified as a center of the OB community movement.

We were community and antiwar activists and we had been living for a month across the street on Cape May in the little 4-in-a-row fourplex we called the “Barracks” because it was all activists living there.

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“My Memories of Red House and Its Surrounding Community”

July 10, 2015 by Source
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Editor: As we approach the Centennial of the Red House, we asked friends who were in OB during the heady days of the Seventies for their memories. Our good friend, Bob, responded with the following:

By Bob

In the early Seventies I lived across the street at 5132 Cape May in the four-plex known as “The Barracks”. Our two bedroom apartment rented for $160 a month. My share was forty bucks to live a half block from the beach!

In those days, Red House, The Barracks, Little Red House (right on the beach at the end of the block) and several other apartments on the block housed probably 50 hardcore activists, progressive hippies, Lefty musicians, and fellow travelers, all dewy-eyed and hopeful at the possibility of changing America from the white bread blandness of the Fifties and early Sixties.

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May 4th – 45th Anniversary of the 1970 Kent State Massacre During Student Strike

May 4, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

Kent State, Ohio, May 4, 1970

 

 

In Response to Nixon’s Invasion of Cambodia, American Campuses Exploded in Protest in May 1970

Today, May 4th, is the 45th anniversary of the infamous Kent State Massacre – where 4 students were shot to death by National Guardsmen during anti-Vietnam war protests on the Ohio campus. Protests at Kent State were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country right after President Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia. Ten days later, 2 Black students were shot to death by police during an anti-war protest at Jackson State.

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The Connection Between the OB Rag and the Vietnam War

April 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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The War in Vietnam Formally Ended 40 Years Ago Today

By Frank Gormlie

There is a direct connection between the OB Rag and the Vietnam War – which formally ended 40 years ago today when the National Liberation Front finally captured Saigon – the then-name of the capital.

Or I should say, there’s a direct connection between the OB Rag and the anti-war movement against the Vietnam War. I was a militant member of the anti-war movement on my campus at UCSD from 1968 to 1970 when I graduated – along with hundreds and even thousands of other students.

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March 28, 1971 – The Most Violent Day in Ocean Beach History

March 27, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Originally published March 27, 2015

44th Anniversary of Collier Park Riot Spurs Comparisons

The hour was getting late at the meeting of the Ocean Beach Town Council Board of Directors. It was January 21st in the year 1971 – 44 years ago. The hour was getting late but the meeting was lively as the topic was hot. The subject was whether the City of San Diego would sell off to developers a large portion of land in northeast Ocean Beach called “Collier West” –

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Witnesses and Photos Sought of Ocean Beach’s ‘Most Violent Day’ in History

March 23, 2015 by Frank Gormlie

OB Collier-Pk-riot-2-edIt’s coming up on the 44th anniversary of the most violent day in the history of Ocean Beach – the March 28, 1971 Collier Park Riot. After San Diego police charged a peaceful gathering of hundreds of OBceans, young people and students, street fighting between cops and civilians broke out – and for hours a riot raged in north OB, from what today is Collier Park, all the way to the beach, about a mile.

It was the day that Ocean Beach was – in a real sense – like Ferguson, Missouri.

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Ocean Beach Not on ’17 Best U.S. Cities for Hippies’

March 20, 2015 by Source
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A few years ago, a home-search website did a survey and came up with :

17 Best U.S. Cities for Hippies

But Ocean Beach – the original hippie town of San Diego – did not make the list. A lot of those places you’d expect, like Boulder, Portland and Berkeley are on the list.

Here’s what they said in their intro:

While some may think all the hippies have burned out or faded away, the truth is they’re still out there, still busily making love, but not war. We here at Estately set out to find communities where they’re heavily concentrated, as well as providing ideal habitat for the next generation of flower children.

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