Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Antiwar and Radical History Project – Pacific Northwest
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Soldier Bruce MacLean testifying at the mock "Trial of the Army" in January 1970, which put the army on trial for war crimes and racism. Click here to hear an interview with MacLean. Copyright (c) Bruce MacLean.

Aquatic "invasion" of Fort Lewis by members of the GI-Civilian Alliance for Peace, July 13, 1969. Copyright (c) Steve Ludwig.

Counterpoint, published by the GI-Civilian Alliance for Peace at Fort Lewis, 1968. Click the image to go to a page about GI antiwar papers from Fort Lewis.

GI Movement, 1968-1973: Special Section

The antiwar movement against the war in Vietnam is popularly portrayed as one of student radicals and civilians. Yet there was a wide-scale revolt inside all branches of the American Armed Forces that led, by 1971, to the breakdown of the military’s ability to wage war. The GI movement, as it was known, involved nearly half of all enlisted men at its height, published nearly three hundred antiwar newspapers, and, in concert with mass civilian protest and the resistance of the Vietnamese, worked to force the United States out of Vietnam. Particularly active on the Pacific Northwest’s large military bases, like Fort Lewis, the GI movement is a little-known but central part of the vibrant history of Pacific Northwest social protest.

This special section brings together video oral histories from soldiers and veterans who organized at Fort Lewis and civilian activists who worked closely with them, a history and timeline of the GI movement in the Northwest, and digitized issues of the three underground newspapers published at Fort Lewis. It is our hope that this special section will contribute to a deeper understanding of the antiwar movement in the Northwest and nationally, and serve as a resource for soldiers looking to draw inspiration from this hidden military history.

Tour the GI Movement Special Section

Jessie Kindig is the coordinator of this special section.