Posted by: helenrobertsbradford | July 19, 2010

Rolling Thunder

Stop the War in Vietnam leaflet

Part of a leaflet for a rally against the Vietnam War

The threat of nuclear war and the need for nuclear disarmament had seemed so urgent to those in the peace movement in the late 1950s.  As the 1960s progressed, this was overshadowed by the brutality of a conventional war in South East Asia, the Vietnam War.  Many anti nuclear and peace groups shifted their campaigning to focus on ending the war in Vietnam.  New groups sprang up alongside, creating a specifically anti Vietnam War movement in Britain, the United States and across the world.  Not all of these were committed to non violence; indeed many were militant and explicit in their support for North Vietnam and the Viet Cong.

US Committee to Aid the National Liberation Front

Part of a leaflet appealing for support for the National Liberation Front in South Vietnam

These developments are reflected in the Peace News archive and in the rise and fall of the Committee of 100.  Just a snapshot of the many anti war groups can be found in the Peace News subject files.   These files contain sources used for news items and articles, as well as representing the network of organisations which Peace News was in contact with.  From the British Campaign for Peace in Vietnam and the Medical Aid Committee for Vietnam, to the Stop It Committee and Another Mother for Peace.  These files contain the kind of ephemeral material that is so often lost or discarded, leaflets, circulars, press releases and newsletters, produced and distributed in haste.

Medical Aid for Vietnam compliments slip

Medical Aid for Vietnam compliments slip

The Peace News photograph collection is a wonderful source of images of anti war marches and protests, not only in Britain and America, but also Denmark, Japan, West Germany and Vietnam itself.  There are also editorial correspondence files with those who were regular contributors to Peace News during this period, including Peter Cadogan, Malcolm Caldwell, Ted Roszak, Bill Wingell and William Worthy.  These files contain articles on Vietnam submitted for publication, as well as letters discussing the movement against the war.


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