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Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium / University of Washington

Aquatic "invasion" of Fort Lewis, July 13, 1969, copyright (c) Steve Ludwig 

Antiwar movements have never been separate from movements for civil rights, union recognition, and social change. In the Pacific Northwest, labor unions and socialists played a large part in the movement against World War I, while civil rights activism paved the way for the growth of the antiwar movement during the Vietnam era. Vietnam veterans and soldiers saw their antiwar struggle as part of a larger one involving black power, anti-racist, and student activism. These Vietnam-era antiwar activists, in turn, helped develop Seattle's women's movement in the 1970s and organized against nuclear weapons in the 1980s.

See our maps and descriptions of 880 major antiwar protests 1963-1975. 
The Pacific Northwest Antiwar and Radical History Project is a multimedia web project that chronicles the social impact of war and the rich history of antiwar activity in the Northwest. With video oral histories, hundreds of photographs and documents, GI underground newspapers, movement biographies, and research reports, the project illuminates this important part of the Northwest’s social and political history. The site is part of the Civil Rights and Labor History Consortium of public history projects based at the University of Washington.

Tour the Project

Northwest Antiwar Activism: A Brief History: The story of antiwar activism in the Northwest, beginning with the anti-preparedness march against World War I, through resistance to Cold War repression and GI organizing during the 1960s, and ending with the anti-nuclear movements of the 1980s.

Oral Histories: Watch streaming video excerpts and read short biographies of activists we've interviewed, including former student organizers, antiwar soldiers, and anti-nuclear protesters.

Vietnam War (special section) : The Vietnam War witnessed the most explosive antiwar movement in American history, and Seattle was a focal point for student and GI organizing. This section brings together interviews, histories, and timelines, and includes material on student activism at the University of Washington and draft resistance in the Northwest.

GI Movement (special section): Soldiers and veterans were at the forefront of antiwar organizing during the Vietnam War, and were particularly active at Washington's Fort Lewis and McChord Bases. Drawing together oral histories, underground newspapers, and movement histories, this section is devoted to uncovering this important but little-known history. Future content will expand to cover soldier and veteran resistance from World War I to the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

Anti-Nuclear Activism (special section) : In the closing years of the Vietnam War, antiwar sentiments blossomed into a renewed struggle against nuclear weapons and a movement in the American left toward non-violenct civil disobedience. Bangor Naval Base in Washington State, with its large arsenal of nuclear submarines, became a flashpoint for the movement from the 1970s and 1980s. This section includes video interviews and two extensive histories of the Bangor Naval Base protests.

Photographs and Documents: Hundreds of photographs and documents from the Vietnam War era, including galleries of underground GI newspapers from Fort Lewis, photographs from Draft Resistance-Seattle and Seattle Students for a Democratic Society, and documents from the May 1970 student strike at the University of Washington.

About the project: The Pacific Northwest Antiwar and Radical History Project is based at the University of Washington in Seattle, and is a collaboration among faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, and community members.