Vietnam War Opposition

1140 Words 5 Pages
1. How did US citizens express their opposition to the US invasion of Vietnam?

US citizens expressed their outrage and opposition of the invasion of Vietnam fervently and loudly. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the earliest protesters were civil rights activists, who, having witnessed the oppression of blacks within the US, responded to Lyndon Johnson’s announcement of the invasion of Vietnam with wary suspicion. Other early protesters were students, hundreds of thousands of whom rallied in protest—and because of which nearly 1,000 were expelled or suspended. Yet, civil rights activists and students were not the only vocal objectors. Working-class men and women bore strong anti-war sentiments. In contrast to what many have believed to be the case,
…show more content…
Demonstrators marched on Washington, participated in peace rallies, created traffic jams, and did everything within their power to protest the war. On one occasion, some 14,000 protested were arrested as a result—the largest number in US history. Singers, poets, authors, publishers and artists employed their talents in decrying the war. Many appealed to the Supreme Court’s fealty to the Constitution, citing the fact that the Constitution stipulated that war should not be initiated without a Congress issuing a declaration of war, which had not been the case with the Vietnam war. Rather, the US government had found a way to make it happen. President Johnson, in the wake of the contrived “Tonkin” attack, sought and was granted authorization from the Senate to pursue any actions he deemed necessary. Many US citizens, appalled by this flagrant disregard for Constitutional safeguards, appealed to the Supreme Court, requesting that the war be ruled unconstitutional. However, their pleas went unheard and the war effort …show more content…
Some expressed their outrage by writing home and relating horrific instances of civilian massacres, the burning of Vietnamese huts, food and livelihoods; the mass murders of innocent civilians. It was tales such as these relating shame and a sense of disillusionment in the US government’s handling of the situation that strengthened the anti-war sentiment and sent waves of young men into refusal to comply with the military draft. Organized events ensued, during which draftees unitedly burned their draft cards. Some sent letters stating their refusal to comply with the draft or report for duty; others refused to board aircrafts that would take them to join the war

Related Documents