Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 March on the Pentagon, leaders of the Vietnam Anti-War Movement and supporters will gather in Washington DC on Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21 for a series of events commemorating the largest grassroots effort in American history.
“Just as we remember the tragedy of the Vietnam War, we must remember and learn from the massive peace movement that fought a sustained and successful effort to end it,” says John McAuliff of the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee, which is organizing the event (http://www.vietnampeace.org). “The recent Ken Burns/Lynn Novick ten-part PBS series 'The Vietnam War' fell short in doing so. That’s one of the major reasons why we will be gathering in Washington for a series of events we’re calling ‘Episode 11.”
“The lessons of the anti-war movement must be fully presented and preserved, both for their historical importance and as a template for current and future generations of activists,” adds the VPCC’s Terry Provance.
The October 1967 March on the Pentagon was a landmark event in the history of the US peace movement. One of the largest gatherings to oppose the Vietnam War up to that time, it was also notable for its escalation of tactics from protest to mass resistance. Over 600 activists were arrested on October 21 in both planned and spontaneous acts of nonviolent civil disobedience, signaling a new strategy for anti-war organizing.
During twenty-four hours in Washington, DC, the events of “Episode 11” will remember and reflect on the significance of that action and the overall impact of the peace movement on ending the Vietnam War, and the lessons it offers for today‘s resistance.
FRIDAY EVENING, OCTOBER 20 from 5 - 7 PM
Remembrances begin at the Pentagon with a commemorative vigil on US responsibility for the tragic legacies of the war, including land mines, unexploded ordnance, Agent Orange, forced relocation of rural people, and the struggles of Vietnam veterans.
Featured will be Peter Yarrow of the legendary folk group Peter, Paul and Mary.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 from 9 AM – 7 PM
A series of panel discussions with peace activists, veterans, and historians at the Western Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC, including “Understanding the Historical Context,” “Recalling the Event,” “The Impact of the Pentagon March and the Anti-War Movement,” and “The PBS Series and Unlearned Lessons.” Events conclude with a walk to the nearby Vietnam Wall and Lincoln Memorial to pay tribute to the many victims of a tragically unnecessary war.
“Episode 11” is organized by the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (www.vietnampeace.org.)
Event co-sponsors include Partnerships for International Strategies in Asia (PISA) at George Washington University, Historians for Peace and Democracy, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars/Critical Asian Studies, Fund for Reconciliation and Development, Veterans For Peace, and The Norman Mailer Society.
FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO REGISTER, VISIT http://www.vietnampeace.org/oct-21-event