- Jackals, everything, whatever you wanna call 'em
ladies and gentlemen.
The zoo came to me. I didn't go to the zoo.
Paid me 15 cents going to the zoo, but the zoo comes to me.
I'm gonna send you a napalm dinner tonight.
I hope you can enjoy it.
[upbeat folk music plays]
♪ Yeah, come on all you big strong men ♪
♪ Uncle Sam needs your help again ♪
♪ He's got himself in a terrible jam ♪
♪ Way down yonder in Vietnam ♪
♪ Put down your book ♪
♪ Pick up a gun ♪
♪ Gonna have a whole lotta fun ♪
♪ Can I get a 1, 2, 3 ♪
♪ What are we fighting for? ♪
[guns thudding the ground]
[upbeat folk music continues]
- Situation in Vietnam is that,
that there is an old American saying
that when the going gets tough
the tough get going.
So let no one doubt that we are in this battle
as long as South Vietnam wants our support
and needs our assistance to protect its freedom.
- [unison] No draft for Vietnam, no draft for Vietnam.
No draft for Vietnam, no draft for -
- Do you want to fight them over there or here?
- I don't believe we have to fight them.
I'm not gonna get in a fight about it.
- I did come back four days ago.
- Okay, I'm sorry.
- Your sorry? I've seen a thousand marines die
in the last five months, but I'll beat your [indistinct]
- Guys, come on. Guys, come on.
- Hey! Why don't they fight?
- Why fight for peace?
- Why don't they fight?
- [Narrator] In the last eight years,
a movement is grown up in America
to dramatize the key issues of the 1960s,
Vietnam and racism.
In the public mind, these young people were associated
with endless demonstrations, drugs, communism,
and ablate with violence.
These demonstrators reflected a national sense
of unease that was brought to a climax
by the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King.
The black ghettos exploded in many cities
and more than 90,000 troops
and police were deployed to restore order.
The racial violence was preceded by the news
of Johnson's refusal to run again for president
and by the announcement of talks with North Vietnam.
Hundreds of thousands have plotted
the peace moves and publicly mourned the late Dr. King.
Members of anti-war and black power movements
parted to what they call the hypocrisy of America
and promise to continue the struggle for peace
and racial justice that began years before.
- The movement as they call it
began as a protest by middle-class youth who believed
that their moral outrage was enough to force
the integration of Mississippi.
A law was passed, but the activists saw little change
in the quality of Negroes lives.
The Civil Rights Movement collapsed
and the activists turned their energy
to anti-war protests and black power.
They claimed that they were now revolutionaries
challenging the very axioms of American society.
This film is about three veterans of Mississippi
who have become key spokesmen
for the new opposition activity.
It traces their thought and action over the past year.
As they see themselves moving
from demonstrations to political organizing.
Stokely Carmichael speaks for black power.
David Harris for the non-violent draft resistance.
And Mario Savio for the new radical politics.
[melancholic folk music plays]
♪ Who am I? ♪
♪ Stand and wander to wait ♪
♪ For the wheels of fate ♪
♪ Slowly grind my life away ♪
♪ Who am I? ♪
♪ There was something that I loved one time ♪
♪ But the dreams are gone ♪
♪ That I thought were mine ♪
♪ And the hidden tears ♪
♪ That once would fall now ♪
♪ Burn inside at the thought of all ♪
♪ The years of waste, the years of crying ♪
- [Narrator] In 1964, Mario Savio returned
from Mississippi to the Berkeley campus
where he became the nation's most publicized descendant.
As leader of the Free Speech Movement,
Savio articulated student demands to end restrictions
on political activity and for educational reform.
To force the University of California President,
Clark Curry, to accept the demands,
Savio led some 800 students
into the administration building for a sit-in.
- I ask you to consider if this is affirmed
and if the Board of Regents or the Board of Directors
and if President Curry is in fact the manager,
then I'll tell you something, the faculty
are a bunch of employees and we're the raw materials,
but we're a bunch of raw material,
but don't mean to be have any process upon us,
don't mean to be made into any product,
don't mean, don't mean to end up
being bought by some clients of the university
be that of government, be the industry,
be the organized labor be that anyone.
We're human beings!
- Savio and his wife Suzanne were among the 800 arrested.
Mario received the longest sentence.
Four months in prison.
- He felt that we would be [indistinct]
- Well, when I'm involved in some political activity
I really enjoy it and I throw myself into it.
Writing leaflets [indistinct]
It's the job to get done.
But when I contemplate going into some other such activity
I realize that I hate politics in a very deep way.
It really is an intrusion
on other things that I'd like to do.
I'd like to go back very much.
We'd like to have ourselves a little cottage.
We're sort of a little romantic.
And I guess in point maybe we'd like to raise
some flowers and vegetables.
There just isn't time.
But with the oppression of Negroes in America
and with the rest of us in more subtle ways
and of Vietnamese and of the people
in other foreign countries who are the victims
of the American empire.
We really find that our consciences couldn't quite bear
our receding into private life.
Personally, more fulfilling life
and we can only forget the suffering people
on whom we turned our backs.
- We have discussions every day
about the war and about national politics. And -
- It's very difficult not to think of the war.
It's the biggest topic of conversation
that we have every day.
We turn on the radio, there's the war,
the newspapers and there's the war.
And when we see people having fun all around us
having their barbecues, going to the beach,
then maybe it's harder not to think of the war.
It seems to me that it should be impossible
to be a citizen of a country at war
and be able to go to the movies.
[melancholic folk music]
♪ Who am I? ♪
♪ And now my friends ♪
♪ We meet again ♪
- [Narrator] Stokely Carmichael
age 27 has built a large and militant following
among black high school and college youth.
Carmichael born in Trinidad and educated
at Howard University began his political career in 1960.
When he joined SNCC,
the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.
After years of civil rights activity,
Carmichael and the SNCC veterans
concluded that protest changed little,
their new goal was black power.
The phrase that frightened many moderates.
Others dismissed black power as empty rhetoric.
it meant that integration into white society
was neither possible nor desirable.
- I was told all the time that I was an exceptional Negro.
I was an intelligent boy.
I had scholarships to go to all the Ivy league schools.
And that I could get into that society
if I played by their rules.
But that really bothered me because I found myself
becoming less free.
See, I think that the freest people in this society
are the people from Mississippi.
Because they have not been caught up
in the structure of watching your P's and Q's.
Has me worried about that.
So I wanted to go South just to see
how free they really were.
And what the threat was to the whole power structure.
I got caught up in the freedom line
and decided that Mississippi was where
I'd like to stay and work.
I learned from the people in Mississippi.
I learned from the people in Mississippi
what I never learned from the most brilliant professors
I've sat under.
They taught me how not to be ashamed.
They taught me how to say what you want to say
whenever you want to say it.
[melancholic folk music]
♪ Who am I? ♪
- We've been so littered and inculcated
with that American Dream nonsense
which we were never a part of
and can never hope to be a part of.
I think that's what the problem that America
is now facing with their youth
both Black and White, but we're all beginning to question,
why is it that she's the richest country in the world?
Is it that she exploits other countries?
Is it that she steals, murders, and plunders,
or is it that she's so smart that she can live
off her resources to yield the amount
of productivity that it does?
And I think that most of the youth are beginning to see
that the United States has been exploiting other countries
and that we have been enjoying that good life
at the expense of other countries.
That, when you match that with the American Dream,
which talks about honesty and equality in a fair shift
everybody to recognize that you talk that nonsense
at the expense of somebody
in Vietnam or South Africa or Latin America,
Asia or Japan just makes you sick to the stomach.
You want to puke.
- When we looked at all the acts of racist exploitation,
which this nation has committed,
whether in the name of Manifest Destiny
we saw it America with genocide.
- Our next speaker is David Harris
former Student Body President of Stanford University.
- The brutality in Vietnam is simply a reflection
of the brutality of American life.
If you want to make a statement against that way of life
then it's only when those draft cards that you all carry,
that pledge that you've made do America,
that you will do her murder when
and where she chooses
are floating in the sewers of America with this war.
It's only when those forces that seek
to make every young man in this country a murderer
are confronted with young men who will not murder,
that we can talk about building a world of peace
on the rubble of the American Dream.
[crowd cheering and clapping]
- [Narrator] David Harris was elected
Stanford's Student Body President on an anti-war platform
that also included student rights
and legalization of marijuana.
He resigned his post after deciding
that he could be more effective
by organizing draft resistance.
He now spends his time as a full-time organizer
to the resistance
a long way from his father,
a Republican attorney in Fresno, California.
[melancholic folk music plays]
♪ Reminds me over and over of life ♪
♪ And promises ♪
- When you grow up in Fresno, California
and there's one place to go, if you can make it,
and that's Stanford.
- I came to Stanford right out of Fresno
with no conception of what radicalism even was.
I don't even know that I'd heard the word before.
I was kind of liberal Republican-Democrat
or something like that.
Well, you know, you got to Stanford
and it kind of threw off all your,
all your past and said,
well now, now I want to build myself a life.
And then Mississippi happened
and I went to Mississippi and there was American society
laid open on its back there and it sure was ugly.
You know, you decide what kind of life
do you want to lead in relation to that
and the initial feeling one gets is
wow whatever kind of life I lead,
I don't want to be part of it.
- No society that, that allowed Mississippi
to exist can really be trusted anymore.
I just see American society eating itself.
Like for 200 years, we've worked and worked and worked
to produce enough garbage to fill the country.
Now we've filled the country, the entire country
is going to devour its garbage,
which happens to also be itself.
It's frightening to go out
into downtown Palo Alto and watch America roll by.
And it seems to me we're really on the path
of complete self-destruction.
[ominous psychedelic rock music plays]
- All those forces in the society that control
and use people's lives for purposes
other than their own come together
in a very symbolic point, military conscription.
And we choose something like non-cooperation with the draft
because it's with the system like military conscription
that the lives of young people in this country are tied up.
We simply see it as making America pay a larger price.
If America continues to do this kind of thing,
which I'm sure they will
what they're going to have to do is
do it over the bodies of a lot of young people,
they're going to have to put them in jail,
they're going to have to keep them in jail,
they're going to have to realize
that they've got all these people in jail
because they're going to go along with that.
And I think when we get out
we're in a kind of position
that we can really start building a new society from.
- I don't relish living without women
for two to five years, or relish being locked up.
The act of going to prison is
it can be done for no other reason
than simply wanting to preserve one's own honesty.
[ominous psychedelic rock music continues]
- We don't think of non-cooperation as going to jail.
We think of it as non-cooperation with the draft.
One of the results of that,
one of the prices you're going to pay for that
is you're going to be sent to jail.
But the important thing is not worrying or lamenting
the fact that you're going to be sent to jail,
it's how you go to jail and how you worked
before you're in jail that really matters.
We've got one rule, which is that before you go to jail
you'll leave two people to do your work.
And that constantly you understand you know, yourself
and what you're doing in terms of that larger thing,
that thing that exists so much beyond us.
- Once you're in prison -
- [Narrator] The war led to an increase
in the number of conscientious objectors.
Now more than 20,000, who regularly meet for advice
from older draft projectors
on the law and on life in prison.
Conscientious objectors and drafts resistors
are a growing minority of those called to serve.
In 1966 and '67 almost 1,200 draft evaders were convicted.
Thousands have cases pending.
- I'll tell you as somebody who was in prison
for a little while the other day
because of the poor Chicago incident,
and he said, you could see a difference
between the older prisoners and the younger prisoners.
The older prisoners thought you could beat the system.
And the younger prisoners just wanted to blow their mind.
- Just looking at the vast numbers of people each day,
and wondering exactly what they think,
I do feel somewhat alone in my convictions.
- What's been bothering me is,
isn't the loneliness, in itself.
I mean, it's lonely, but it's not too serious,
but I really need someone to come across to
some older person I think mainly.
- I think one of the things that you have
to watch out for with something like this is
you start feeling that you were so much better
than the guy in the street, because you're going to jail.
The problem is not people proving their moral superiority
over other people.
I mean, the problem is people finding answers
to the conditions of their lives.
I don't know that, that jail
is the only option for those conditions.
I just know from my life, you know,
the whole fall and splitting when things get hot,
really it is not my line.
I just see it as a much more healthy way to live
to take whatever it is you got in jail
and to the cross border watching
the world go down a large drain.
[melancholic music playing]
- I just don't see going to Canada as an answer.
If I in fact really wanted to quit America,
then I'd have really no qualms about going to Canada
but this looks more and more
that there's no place to run to.
The rest of the world is becoming
more like America every day.
So if you're going to have to fight a dragon
you might as well fight them where they live.
- [Narrator] The number of draft dodgers in Canada
is estimated at anywhere from four to 15,000.
Canada is a safe refuge since Canadians
do not extradite men for draft evasion.
If the young men returned to the United States voluntarily
they would face trial and long prison terms.
- Well, as soon as you step across that border's
perspective just [indistinct]
everybody seems to get this.
- It's like tons of pressure just released
walking right out of the United States
and coming across the border.
[melancholic music playing]
- And I've become rather extremely bothered
by comparisons between World War II Germany
and in the present U.S. situation.
And I sit and think of parallels
and these upset me no end.
And finally it got to the point where
I had three choices,
coming to Canada,
go to jail
or go out and fight for something
that I've been protesting against for,
you know, the better part of two years.
And I just couldn't see myself doing the latter.
And Canada seems like an awfully nice jail.
- Well, I think it took more guts to come here,
you knew it was a decision
are you going to chicken out
between going out and getting drafted.
That was the whole thing.
Cause I mean, I was, I knew
that's why I didn't, that's why I'd be a murderer.
If I went out there and did those kinds of things.
No question about it.
- As far as making up my mind
the main reason was general dislike
of the racism in the States, which is tremendous.
I'm from Texas. So I'm in a lot of it.
I had quite a religious hangup.
The country's equality with God and patriotism
and I thought I was patriotic and moral, but I wasn't godly.
And when the draft came by, it was mainly just,
are you going to sell out?
And go and kill and be a part of insanity?
Or are you going to stick by what you know is right?
Though which is harder than hell to do
and go to jail or cut out.
And I had to really work myself up emotionally.
I didn't want to fight it at all.
So I said to hell with it, I'll go to jail.
So by my report date,
I think the day after my report date
I accidentally spotted a piece
in the paper about Canadian draft dodgers.
It just gave me the idea that I might come up here
and be free.
And my father didn't want to fight.
He says, you can't beat city hall.
You're not going to beat the U.S. government.
They're going to get you.
He's an informant for the military in Dallas.
He makes good money and it's all of his individual effort
but he's had to sell out a lot,
compromise a lot to get there.
And he's life's based on that
and he doesn't see fighting it.
He thinks that you just get in and just get what you can.
I think it's gotta be better than that
or it's not worth living at all.
- I was thinking very seriously about going to prison.
And then I just thought you're going to be squashed
like a damn bug and you're not going to,
you're not going to be a damn thing,
once you get out you're going to have also a prison record.
It's going to be hard to get a job.
- I want my friends out
and that's what I'm going to try to do
two or three good friends.
I'm going to try and get them out.
- [Narrator] In several Canadian cities
groups were formed to aid
the American draft dodgers
to adjust to life in exile.
Sociology Professor Lewis Feltheimer
of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver
is a Canadian member of one of the committees
that has assisted the young Americans.
- What I'm trying to point out
is that the people who are coming up here
to evade the draft
superficially, would appear to be
people who are rejecting American culture.
What I am trying to suggest is
that these people are not rejecting American culture,
these people are the final, absurd product
of American culture.
Now I'm not condemning them as a particular group.
These are typical Americans,
typical in a sociological general sense.
They have absolutely no conception
that freedom is a social construct.
That the kinds of things that they want
involve their behavior every day
in a very direct way with the society.
These people are looking, what are they looking for?
They'll tell you again and again
they're looking for direction.
They're looking for self.
They want to get out of a thing called the rat race.
They've got all the words right.
They've got all the word right
but they don't have a clue to what it means.
- These people were not politically motivated.
These people had no conception of political action.
They are members of American society.
And all they do is get up and say, well
I believe in the American ideals
of individualism of brotherly love of moral tolerance.
And I see a lot of things about me that contradict that.
So I quit.
- I think people coming to Canada creates
an environment of doubt
on the part of the older generation in America.
I don't see how it could be any other way.
- This is the final, final protest we have
- The numbers are increasing all the time.
There isn't much you can do by carrying a plaque,
or people kind of ignore you now.
- Well the political scene in the United States
And it's a waste of time.
Radical politics is playing silly games.
They're not going to change anything
because it's going to take a social revolution to do that.
And the United States just isn't going to go that far.
[upbeat folk music plays]
- [Narrator] In April of 1967,
and again in 1968, hundreds of thousands
of Americans demonstrated in New York, San Francisco,
and elsewhere, in the spring mobilization for peace.
These were the largest American demonstrations
of anti-war feeling.
The organizers hoped the government would notice
the numbers who publicly showed their anti-war stand,
listened to their pleas and change its policies.
[folk music continues]
♪ And it's 1, 2, 3 ♪
♪ What are we fighting for? ♪
♪ Don't ask I don't give a damn ♪
♪ Next stop is Vietnam ♪
♪ And it's 5, 6, 7 ♪
♪ Open up the pearly gates ♪
♪ Well there ain't no time ♪
♪ To wonder why ♪
♪ We're all going to die ♪
[upbeat folk music continues]
♪ Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba, ba ♪
♪ Ba, ba, ba, ba, ba ♪
♪ Ba, ba, ba, ba ♪
♪ La, la, la, la, la, la ♪
♪ La, la, la, la, la, la ♪
♪ Well come on to Wall Street ♪
♪ Don't move more, I ran to the war ♪
♪ Go, go, go ♪
♪ There's plenty good money to be made ♪
♪ By a slimy army with its rules of prey ♪
♪ Let's hope and pray that if they drop the bomb ♪
♪ Drop it on the Viet Cong ♪
♪ Yeah, 1, 2, 3 ♪
♪ What are we fighting for? ♪
- [Narrator] In San Francisco in 1967
the parade ended at Kezar Stadium.
The long list of speakers included
Georgia State Representative Julian Bond,
Actor Robert Vaughn,
and California publisher,
and unsuccessful candidate for Congress,
- America's militarism is the world's spreading cancer cell
and we have to work to eradicate it.
The disease of racism infects our bodies
and we, Black and White, together must wipe it out.
- We talk so fervently of fading faith
without realizing that faith already has been lost.
It has been lost irrevocably step-by-step
as we had been talking peace while escalating wars.
- The answer lies with you the people of this country.
And peace depends upon the people.
- It is preposterous having to walk
four and a half miles and sit for four hours
listening to a lot of speakers
that have absolutely nothing to say to them,
which means not going through all the garbage of
trying to make some kind of big political show
to show how many people you've got recognizing
that the people who really understand this war
aren't that large in this country and that you can't get
to them by having that kind of thing.
- Although I was one of the sponsors
in the call for the conference that resulted
in the spring mobilization,
when it finally came time for the mobilization.
At one point, I didn't want to go.
I'm tired of being mobilized.
- A lot of us expecting to go together easily.
There were clear injustices we could see,
and if only we would protest them,
other people would be drawn to see the injustices
and they would just set them right.
That's the idea of a protest.
Walk a picket line, and there will be moral recognition
on the part of the people who see you going
and well, it didn't take long
for us to learn that that was a lot of nonsense.
Those people who went South
to take part of the Negro struggle down there,
they learned it very quickly if they didn't know it
before they went down.
We learned that at the University of California,
even for people who just
lately have joined the peace movement
in the United States, the proof was
in the recent mobilization.
So, people march, we went to a stadium
and a lot of us got around and talked to one another.
And some people said some more angry things
and then there it was all over.
And the war goes on and we'll drop some more bombs.
Protest doesn't work.
And that's something which is very clear now.
- There is no long tradition of leadership -
- [Narrator] History Professor William Appleman Williams
at the University of Wisconsin
is one of the intellectual mentors of the new radicals.
He is the author of several books,
including The Tragedy of American Diplomacy.
- Is proof positive.
See, they're looking for a tradition now
in the middle of the protest
rather than having come to the protest out of the tradition.
To me, it'd become more and more apparent
that there isn't any tradition
of radical politics in America.
There isn't any tradition of how you stand outside
the accepted framework of the consensus
and still stay in the society
as an equal member and exert pressure.
- So once you sort of get sucked into full-time opposition
really, you have a very empty sort of life
because you don't see your actions bearing fruit.
It's very difficult to advance
from one action to a more sophisticated one
because you seem to be unable to get beyond protests.
And you're always living in the awareness
that it all may be over tomorrow.
I mean, you're not part of this society
because there are no opposition institutions.
You're not building anything.
You're really not building anything.
- If some kind the viable political alternative
if some alternatives for rational reasoned
deliberate political action to change the system
do not develop I really think that
the new radicalism which has begun so promisingly
may become excessive, self-indulgent, self-destructive,
resentful and hateful.
The thing that maybe is most fearful about
it is that in our society
where economic lines are also racial lines
we might find that what began naively
as a movement to change the heart of White America
might end up in very grim race war.
I used to think that there was a clear dividing line
between rage and outrage,
and I've come to feel
that distinction doesn't exist in me,
but I have to watch carefully my reactions
to events to be sure that my reaction is not excessive
That I'm not letting that part
of all anger, which is hatred,
get the better of me.
A case in point
on the occasion of Parker's firing,
I responded much more, much more
of by an expression of hatred
than in any sober reasoned way.
I was under great stress at the time.
But that helped reveal to me that
we've all been affected by the plague
and that even those who are trying to do good
have a great deal of evil in them.
I am suggesting that the politics
of White middle-class radicals
often does have morbid origins,
or at least in part.
I think that the bad effects of those morbid origins
would be reduced if there were more real possibilities
for serious political action.
But in the absence of those
it's altogether too easy to be pushed back
into yourself and to act out the absurdity
of your own personal situation and your politics.
I suppose it's true of me anyway.
If my life, over a long period of years,
became built around crisis-oriented politics,
I would become not just once in a while hysterical
the way I am now, but chronically hysterical.
And I think it would have a bad effect on my politics
while I might start organizing guerilla bands
in the United States.
But sometime in the future that might be appropriate.
But if we did it now, I think it would just be a way
of acting out deep resentment against society,
that deny us the chance to lead full lives.
This is really a great danger
when your whole life becomes bound up in combat
against a beast so much more powerful than you are.
[crowd chanting in unison]
- Stop the draft now, Stop the draft now.
Stop the draft now, stop the draft now.
Stop the draft now, stop the draft now.
- [Narrator] Oakland, California, October 16th, 1967,
Stop the Draft Week.
The object, to prevent the orderly induction of recruits.
Thousands of young people from all over
the San Francisco area came.
They knew that this would mark the end
of the nonviolent demonstrations.
They came to confront the police, to tie up intersections,
to show that they were powerful.
After a week of demonstrations in October,
including a violent clash at the Pentagon,
many in the movement began to think about
where they were going.
- It really hurt them. They beat up this poor man
who was standing there on the sidewalk.
He was just standing there.
He didn't think it was his thing.
So he didn't move and they just beat him up.
- I believe that now it's time for new tactics
in the anti-war movement.
To mobilize all the support we can against the war.
- It's come to this.
There's nothing else to do.
The picketing and all of that it just,
wasn't working, it's time for confrontation
and the whole thing and it's working now.
- The violence in these demonstrations
didn't spring out of any consciousness of the society
they were dealing with it all, but rather the fact
that they all felt impotent
and they had to act all that impotence out
I don't think those demonstrations have a future
except as a repetition of themselves.
They'll probably be more demonstrations like them.
I don't think they'll build anything more
than they've built thus far.
I think what they'll be is the continual kind
of repetition with the same theme,
the theme we are powerful, we are in the streets
when in fact they are in the streets,
but they aren't at all powerful
and have no conception of political power at all.
And it's not a revolution unless you can
liberate the police also.
And all the people that identify with the police
which is most of this country.
[crowd chanting in unison]
- Hell no, we won't go!
Hell no, we won't go!
- I think that there's room for disruptive demonstrations
but where that becomes one of the key points,
so maybe the center of one's political program,
then, at best,
one succeeds in frightening the population
and giving an excuse for further repression.
And since for the majority of Americans
it's very hard to see what's wrong with the country,
it's very easy for the majority of Americans to be convinced
that we're the enemy.
- Personally, I think it's terrible.
While my husband's over in Vietnam right now
and he's fighting for his country
and I don't see why they can't fight for theirs.
- Well, I think if they want to do this
I think they should just ship them on a bus
and take them over there.
'Cause they're not getting nothing done this way.
- You're absolutely right.
And I think if they'd all go home and take a nice clean bath
and clean themselves up they'd have a different outlook
on this whole thing.
- They're not men as far as I'm concerned.
- Well, I don't like the war, but I think
there's really nothing that we can do about it
except go over there and fight.
Because we have to win against the Communists.
- Are you standing here to block the car?
- Can you tell me why?
- Move, I got to go to work.
- Hey, there's a war!
- I don't care-
- Because I believe in -
the anti-draft movement.
I was up all night.
- Sorry about that,
just some of my people don't understand either.
- I support the bombing in Vietnam.
- What for? Then go up there and [indistinct]
- As an intelligent American I support it.
- It's absurd for people to have to go to a war
that they think is morally wrong.
And boys are being drafted.
- It may be a little thing to do,
but I mean what can people do to protest the war?
- They're very confused
and their leadership is really groping
and they don't know where to go
and they advocate one hand, big demonstrations
and they didn't openly advocate violence,
but they call for massive defensive measures.
And all they did was they succeeded in provoking the cops,
through massive display of force.
- I think what we're doing is wrong.
I think killing is wrong.
For any reason.
For any reason.
- In the Oakland demonstrations,
the people who began saying
we've been non-violent long enough
and now we have to be prepared at least to protect ourselves
and to defend ourselves is a personal stand also,
it has the stand of the doctrine of pacifists.
It's another reaction a person can have to a perception
of the violence that he has within himself.
Concerning pacifism, pacifism embarrasses me,
I think in part,
because I'm a bit of a pacifist myself.
I think as a pacifist,
represent themselves very much as something they're not.
As often as not
a doctrinaire pacifism my friend
masks a fear of one's own violence.
When we see a policeman beating someone over the head
it's a quite natural reaction
to want to beat up on the cop.
There's something wrong
with the pacifism politically as well,
it gives the illusion of being a political program
when it isn't.
Nothing that they're doing really affects the war
in any way at all.
The net result of sitting in that way
calmly and being carried off is that
it costs you money and time.
You have to get a lawyer
you're going to go to jail.
It may be that you'll be in jail for a long time.
And then what effect will you have had?
Well, by allowing yourself to be taken out of the society
in that way, you may be leaving the society worse
than it was before you left it.
Those points of view are a little bit hung up on violence.
That's not the issue.
The issue is political power.
They're not exactly the same thing.
[soft psychedelic rock music plays]
- We may as well be in Germany in 1940.
We cannot allow that to happen.
- [Narrator] The year of nonviolence
that began with the late Dr. Martin Luther King
and carried over into the anti-war demonstrations
had come to an end for many of the young activists.
Some began to talk about the late Che Guevara
and guerrilla tactics,
but ideas about how to change America
and what kind of society they wanted for the future,
remained a disturbing and confusing subject.
At the University of California,
after the Oakland confrontation with the police,
most of the students felt bitter and angry.
Moral protests, they concluded it was no longer
a sufficient reason to be arrested or clubbed.
Many began to think about an ideology
that would build a political organization.
The University of California Philosophy Professor
Herbert Marcuse, author of One Dimensional Man
has been one of the movement's theorists.
- Dare you to take a strong stand
on what enables the whole country to continue as it is.
- The main enemy today [indistinct]
the main enemy isn't the [indistinct]
it isn't the Pentagon.
No that's not true!
- A function of the radicalism
is to make that position untenable.
- But radicals start choosing issues
that completely alienate their potential constituents.
- They are good people.
- No! - You're saying that
you're better off having them
than having somebody worse.
- To what extent can the system afford
to do without those people.
- If we were in a pre-revolutionary situation
you may be right in fighting the liberals
but damn it we are not in this country
in any pre-revolutionary situation whatsoever.
- I think the frustration leaves the activism
without any particular organization or direction.
There are many different groups
and they tend to be off doing their thing
and to get them coordinated and to get a consensus in,
in the resistance or the protest is very difficult.
It's kind of eerie.
There's a group of people who sincerely
are concerned to change the society for the better.
And in many ways they're acting as individuals
and they're defining the problem as individuals.
So I think there's one important exception at this point.
I think that's the black problem.
The black problem has more sense of community,
more sense of cohesion, solidarity
whatever you want to call it,
than the white students in particular.
I think that is very striking.
- Individualism is a luxury that we can no longer afford.
Definition for black power is the coming together
of black people to fight
for their liberation by any means necessary.
- You are so simple and idiotic!
You sit down and you let White people
tell you what to do.
You use your mouth for two things,
to eat and to say "Yessir".
It's time that you used your mouth to say "No".
And begin to use your knowledge for the good
of Black people who surround your campus.
- For once they get someone who's speaking
directly to them, who's beginning to challenge
what has been defined as such and such program
in their current campus.
Deep down they've always felt this,
but they haven't been really sure how to express it,
because they're afraid they might be called racist,
or Black Nationalists.
They finally begin to see that they have that release
for the [indistinct] the catharsis there,
that there's an awakening and they're beginning to rethink
what success is all about.
- To bring one who has been involved in the struggle
for quite a long time.
- [Narrator] Black power emerged from
the collapse of the integration movement.
The Whites who had supported SNCC were repelled
by the new separatism that Carmichael advocated.
That he claimed that he was no longer talking with Whites.
Many young Blacks, North and South, paid close attention
to the new philosophy of race.
Black power has become a new organizing theme
that has spread fear in many White circles
and pride, excitement, and violence
into the Black ghettos of large cities.
- In this country you were to think that
White people were God, that they had the right
to give us our freedom and so what we had to do
was to beg them or to act the way they want us to act
before they gave us our freedom.
We must stop seeking to imitate White society.
We must create for ourselves to save our very humanity.
Because the fight for black power in this country
is indeed a fight to civilize a barbaric country,
the United States.
We have to be able to gather the strength,
you must be able to get the guts as the intellectuals
of the black society to say, we are black.
Our noses are broad, our lips are thick,
our hair is nappy and we are beautiful!
And we are beautiful!
And we are beautiful!
And we are beautiful!
[crowd continues cheering]
- I think that Black students never heard anyone
tell them that they're black and beautiful.
- White people like Negros, but they have a role for them
they like them like maybe they like their pet dogs.
But they like them to that extent.
Now they have that role,
now when they break out of that role
there's a threat, I guess the sociologist
would call that a threat to status
or what have you, but there is that threat
and then they have to react to that.
But that isn't just in the South
I mean it's in the whole country,
it's in the whole country.
You ought to tell them, Claire!
If you don't want any trouble,
keep your filthy White hands off our beautiful black skin.
Keep them off, keep them off.
- We want to talk about this thing called violence
that everybody is so afraid about.
Here you are talking about you afraid of violence
and the hunky drafted you out of school
to go fight the Vietnam.
You go sit in front of your television sets
and this is the LBJ tell you that violence
never accomplishes anything my fellow Americans.
This is the most violent society there is.
I think that the society is just,
is just headed towards suicide.
And I really don't think that,
that America could ever,
that America could share in the guilt.
I don't think we could ever see ourselves a country
and that people have to see themselves as individuals.
And that's particularly true I think for White America.
That you must see yourselves as individuals.
That's the death trap for most liberals.
You know, the first thing they say to you is that
well I'm not like the rest of them,
that's their first phrase to you
because they recognize for them to share
in the collective guilt,
they would just have to drink themselves to death.
And I think that, that people who even just touch
on the collective guilt of White America
must drink themselves to death.
They have to.
Because what if you just woke up one morning
and said, you know, for any reason at all
you were burning babies
and you had anything to do with it, man
for any reason at all, you know, burning babies
even to stop Communism, burning babies, man, you go crazy.
You go on and blow your mind.
- What happens if maybe you don't come back from Vietnam?
- I wish you the best of luck, I hope you come back
but as far as I'm concerned,
I hope you fight that war and it fails,
you know what I'm saying?
- We are not only opposed to the war in Vietnam,
we are opposed to compulsory conscription,
we are against the draft.
Now we're against the draft for anybody.
Black or White.
When you are called to serve, you have a choice.
Either you say no and face the possibility
of going to jail,
or you become a hired killer,
you inflict suffering on somebody.
It is more honorable to suffer.
We must save our humanity.
We cannot allow ourselves to be used
as the black mercenaries in that war.
You should join the greatest Mohammed Ali and tell them
Hell no! I ain't going!
Hell no! We ain't going!
- Hell no, hell no, hell no, hell no, hell no.
- We ain't going, we ain't going, we ain't going.
- [Narrator] Stokely Carmichael and other
black power leaders provided the slogan
for a resistance against the draft.
But one of the most active anti-draft groups
retained pacifist principles.
David Harris was one of the leading spokesman
for the non-violent resistance.
In October, 1967, he called for a mass turning in
of draft cards at the San Francisco federal building.
Several hundred people attended.
- What's come about here is a basic understanding
people have gained about their own lives.
And that is that the assumptions
that selective servants make about us
and the the assumptions that the American States makes
about the young people of this country
and that those young people will be the bricks upon
which they'll continue to build an empire,
is an assumption that comes into a fundamental contradiction
with the way we understand our own lives.
And that the choice we've all made
is a choice for life in America, rather than death.
And that the struggle that we've all jumped into today
continues until there is no instrument
of military conscription in this country.
And there is no such thing as an American empire.
- Well, you plant seeds is what you do.
And I look upon the whole last year
of my life as going to various places in the country
you know tossing the seeds out like that.
And they'll grow. Some will grow.
There's no such thing as success and failure.
In a certain kind of sense.
People have to understand their success
is in doing it and then you think that,
you say, what is it that got us in, you know,
into the kind of mess that America is in now?
You can't use the same mode of thinking
that got America to this position
to get it out of this position.
That it is really called for a transfer
to a whole new concept of a way of living.
- I see the political goals of the resistance
as being those of beginning a whole new kind of politics,
which means it's going to develop
a whole new route for power.
I mean, if the power that exists in the society today
is based off certain kinds of assumptions about people
and those assumptions about how people can live together
are exactly the things that we're trying to destroy.
The conception of man as essentially an animal,
as essentially as base.
Calling upon those as the worst its instincts
and calling upon a society with power
to control the worst of those instincts and rather
what we want to build as a society based on the best
of those instincts.
I mean, a society built on man's capacity
to love other men.
If you talk about why someone like myself
is non-violent or would be described as non-violent
is that I see that as the only hope
of building a new kind of power in this society.
And we're engaged in two kinds of tasks
and the first task, I think is the destruction
of the American state as it now exists and the destruction
of the mechanisms that have maintained that state.
And at the same time through that way of life
that we establish in our attack upon American militarism
in all the forms of American society
we build that new society.
We establish commune, communal living situations,
and in that situation attempt to develop
new forms for the society.
And that's just the first step.
People are just as interested in the fact
that I live in a commune as they are in the draft.
Perhaps if you can give people that assurance
that there is hope for life outside the context
of American society.
It's a question of forming community,
which really has to begin
in the individual sense of oneself.
It can't begin talking about community in the situation
of a large number of emasculated people.
The first thing people have to be given
as a sense of their own strength in the particular.
And from that has to I think build
a sense of, you know, a sense of movement,
a sense of revolution of people,
of people merging together
in some kind of common understanding to build
for some kind of common cause of humanity.
- Basically what we've done is broken a certain kind
of paralysis of fear and uncertainty
out of a political situation where everyone
was feeling very, very impotent and very unsure
about where to go
and very cautious in the face of large risks.
The group of people just stepped out and said, well
we're doing it, I mean, we're going to go off and do it.
- And what we say to a society of murder and racism
is a very simple no.
No, with the complete context of our lives.
And what we say to our brothers around this country
and around the world is a very simple word.
That word is resist.
- One thing we've learned is that there were
a lot more people at risk of non-cooperation
than we originally ever thought.
And then in a very bumbling completely unput together way
we made it that much more difficult
for that great institution of war to continue going.
Or I don't know if it was lucky, but we coincidentally are
in a point of history where American society
is breaking up with or without the Vietnam war.
- The fact that large numbers
of among the most privileged youth in this society
White college students are engaging in acts
of disruption against the society
is a clear sign of considerable instability.
Also, it's becoming clear that
we can't have such a war abroad
and have a continuous expansion of affluence at home.
The Vietnam War has made clear
to many people who hadn't seen this before
that the government lies to us.
Many important decisions
concerning life and death,
concerning a studying of economic priorities,
are not made at all with,
regard to the needs of the bulk of the population.
We have the task, not of allowing people
to carry us off to jail, nor of fighting the cops
we have the harder task of beginning to organize millions
of Americans who have no political power.
- [Narrator] Many in the movement began to think in terms
of winning political power, rather than simply protest.
New politics became the phrase and in California
a Peace and Freedom Party arose and won a place
in the 1968 ballot by registering
more than 100,000 voters in two months.
Inside the Peace and Freedom Party
an uneasy alliance developed
between the Black power advocates and the Whites.
The party chose Bobby Seal of the Oakland Black Panthers
as one of its candidates for Congress.
- But meanwhile, back in the ghetto,
we get down to nitty gritty
and I don't jive myself with Black people.
I don't go down the block talking to Black people
a bunch of,
due to the stimulating processes
of basic socio-economic structure in the political
socio-economic industrial complex
with all that, the brother don't want to hear that
man, how can I get some bread.
Maybe you can expect me with many poor Whites.
- [Narrator] Mario Savio became one of the new party's
candidates for State Senate.
- And I'm sure familiar to many of you,
a well-known inarticulate student
at the University of California,
a commanding voice at a very crucial time
a couple of years ago
and who is candidate for the nomination
for state Senator from the 11th district. Mario.
- The day of reckoning has come,
Dean Russ tries to frighten America with the prospect
of one billion Chinese armored nuclear weapons.
He should try and he should be frightened.
For on the ground in Vietnam we are losing
against the brave people with a history of throwing out
foreign thieves and murders.
I'd say, I'd like to see us get out
but that can't be arranged so quickly,
I want to see them win, that's the point.
We must proceed in two ways.
First, we must work to break up the present majority
of White people and White interests.
Second, we must teach the people
that something better is workable and sound.
- You've got to find ways of convincing people
that they would like to make the decisions
that affect their lives.
There's the very real likelihood
that when the war is over, so will the White movement.
We right now have an alliance developing
in the country between movements for Negro liberation
and the anti-war movement.
But until we have a movement for White liberation
in this country,
we will have at best, only very transitory
and unstable basis for taking power in United States.
- Most of the people of the Earth already accept
that in any conflict between the rights of property
and the demands of human dignity,
property must give way.
Today the United States is the single greatest obstacle
to fulfillment of the deepest desires
of the world's wretched and oppressed people.
We've stand at a great watershed
in the history of the human race.
Our people are productive and intelligent.
Our land is rich.
America has the unique opportunity
to help usher in a golden age of peace and freedom.
On the other hand, America can insist
on the rights of her empire.
In this election year
we can help the American people
to begin making this choice.
We can begin in this election year
the great turning of America and the whole world.
Away from empire and disaster and toward peace.
- [Narrator] The movement is a long way
from political power.
The entrance of McCarthy and Kennedy
into the presidential race.
Johnson's refusal to run again and the beginning
of talks with North Vietnam have caused confusion
in the anti-war movement.
And some of the peace activists have rejoined
the liberal wing in the Democratic Party.
Movement leaders believe that none
of the major party candidates can solve the problems
of U.S. involvement abroad and racism at home.
But the movement thus far remains as a descending minority.
It has not yet developed positive ideas
and political actions
that serve as alternatives to the major party.
It is groping toward program and organization
but its future will depend not only
on the movement's quality of ideas and action,
its future will also rest upon the ability
of the American system to deal successfully
with the war, racism, and the other issues
which gave birth to and continue
to feed this opposition movement.
- [Narrator] This has been N.E.T. Journal,
a weekly look at the events, issues, and people
of the world today.
- This is N.E.T.
The National Educational Television network.