Friday, July 27, 2012

Student protest, pickets and "Stop the War!"

This week's image deals with protests to the Vietnam War, right here in Charlotte, NC. 

The Civil Rights and Anti-Vietnam War movements provided models for the women's movement." Barbara Ferguson, Vietnam Protest Rally, Freedom Park 1969.
Many marginalized movements fed off of each other in the mid to late 1900s, hoping to achieve many rights which groups of people did not originally have. Protests such as these were held, usually with youths and college students, to get the points of equality across to the public. With the start of the Vietnam War in 1965, students, vets, men, women, black, and white started to shout "Stop the War."

Parades and gatherings were valuable tools to protest the war. 
American's did not see why the war was important for the US to be involved, and were tired of sending their men to a fight that was not theirs. Many times this was a chance for women to stand up for what they believed in because they were the mothers, wives, and daughters of the men who were getting sent and killed.

Most Vietnam protest signs would say things like "Stop the War," or some variation of it, but the sign held by the woman on the right says "No V.C. (Viet Cong) Ever Called Me N*gger." This is a quote from a famous speech made by Cassius Clay, who later became known as Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad Ali. 
Ali was a prize-winning US boxer and an opponent of the war. This was directly due to his beliefs with the Nation of Islam, which was also known as The Black Muslims group. Ali said he would not fight in the Vietnam war after being drafted, because his faith doesn't tell members to fight in wars not declared by Allah or The Messenger. Ali said this quote to show that he had no problem with VietCongs, but his problem is with those in the US that call him n*gger.

Needless to say, this time was a hotbed of political action from women, religious, and race leaders alike.

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