By Michael Stewart Foley
Laying off mild on a misunderstood kind of competition to the Vietnam struggle, Michael Foley tells the tale of draft resistance, the innovative of the antiwar circulation on the peak of the war's escalation. in contrast to so-called draft dodgers, who left the rustic or manipulated deferments, draft resisters overtly defied draft legislation through burning or delivering their draft playing cards. Like civil rights activists sooner than them, draft resisters invited prosecution and imprisonment. concentrating on Boston, one of many movement's such a lot sought after facilities, Foley finds the an important position of draft resisters in moving antiwar sentiment from the margins of society to the guts of yankee politics. Their activities encouraged different draft-age males against the war--especially collage students--to think again their position of privilege in a draft method that provided them protections and despatched disproportionate numbers of working-class and minority males to Vietnam. This attractiveness sparked the switch of strategies from criminal protest to mass civil disobedience, drawing the Johnson management right into a disagreement with activists who have been mostly suburban, liberal, younger, and heart class--the center of Johnson's Democratic constituency. reading the day by day fight of antiwar organizing conducted through usual americans on the neighborhood point, Foley argues for a extra advanced view of citizenship and patriotism in the course of a time of battle.
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Extra resources for Confronting the war machine: draft resistance during the Vietnam War
Clearly, he had missed Miller’s point. As evidenced by his easy submission to arrest, trial, and imprisonment, Miller did not try to ‘‘avoid’’ anything; rather, he intended to set an example for others who viewed the war as immoral and who believed it was their duty as citizens to disobey any laws that perpetuated that immorality. S. policy. S. ’’ Governor Volpe said, ‘‘Let those misguided individuals who protest our actions in South Vietnam know that the frontiers of freedom do not stop at the territorial limits of the United States of America.
The placard urging that draft ‘‘dodgers’’ be sent to Vietnam must have seemed incongruous to many protesters in attendance because, at that point, very few people had dared to challenge the draft as a method of protesting the war. Indeed, after Life magazine published a photograph of Catholic Worker Chris Kearns burning his draft card on July 29, 1965, Congress quickly passed a law making draft card destruction punishable by up to ﬁve years in prison and a $10,000 ﬁne. After that, antiwar activism had been largely limited to marches and rallies.
In 1947, the War Resisters League sponsored the ﬁrst public draft card burning and turn-in in New York City. More than 400 people participated, including social critic and essayist Dwight MacDonald, who spoke against conscription under any circumstances: ‘‘When the State . . tells me that I must ‘defend’ it against foreign enemies—that is, must be prepared to kill people who have done me no injury in defense of a social system which has done me considerable injury—then I say that I cannot go along.