Click the image to watch streaming video interviews with antiwar activists from the Northwest, like Steve Ludwig, above.
The Vietnam War sparked a mass antiwar movement in the United States, involving students on campuses, soldiers in the military, and civilians marching in the streets. Employing the civil disobedience tactics and grassroots mobilizations of the civil rights struggles, the early movement was also spurred by networks of student protest already formed during the Berkeley Free Speech Movement in 1964 and the founding of Students for a Democratic Society in 1960.
The Pacific Northwest, with its large array of military bases, universities, and history of radicalism, was a flashpoint for the Vietnam antiwar movement. Antiwar GIs at Fort Lewis and students at the University of Washington were some of the first in the country to organize collectively, and inspired activists in larger cities. Draft resistance organizations formed underground railroads to funnel AWOL soldiers and draft resisters to nearby Canada. Students in Seattle went on strike for Black Studies programs and again to protest the war.
This detailed section on the Vietnam War highlights both the often-told histories of student radicalism and draft resistance in the Northwest, and complements another special section devoted to the more hidden history of soldiers and veterans who organized against the war. Bringing together oral histories, movement biographies, and hundreds of photographs and documents, this section provides a vivid picture of the urgency and vibrancy of the anti-Vietnam War movement in the Northwest.
Jessie Kindig is the coordinator for this special section.