The Real AntiWar Movement

Michael Pugliese debsian at
Sun Nov 28 16:40:17 MST 1999

    I'll defer to Ken's life experiences, since I've long heard of his
organizing acumen and bravery esp. since I've spent all my life in safe
suburbs and PC university mileaus even if my current crib is in the dreaded
Tenderloin. He's  paid more than his dues,his cred isn't the issue.
     The GI movement, natch was w/c, my cite of a book on anti-war movement
at non-elite campuses was meant to show that I'm aware not all movement
activists, indeed few were rich, snot nosed brats. However my understanding
of the move of some ethnic working class Democrats (not just upper class
academic neo-con policy wonks) to Republican columns during the Nixon and
Reagan era was due to reaction against the "acid, amnesty, and abortion"( to
PJB's phrase, jeez think of Buchanan on acid?)
McGovernite New Politics which shifted the balance of forces in the
Democratic party away from the old party regulars of the Meanyite AFL-CIO
towards neo-liberals like Gary Hart and the DLC(Democrats for the Leisure
Class in Jesse Jacksons phrase) (Before anyone says I'm full of illusions
about the Dems, yes I've read Mike Davis'es first book on the Am. Working
Class and this former believing in Schactmanite/Harrin- gtonian
"realignment" couldn't agree more with Davis on the Democrats fundamentally
pro-capitalist nature.)
   On Pedro del Valle, don't know but from a couple of viewings of "The
Battle of Chile," I remember a bunch of fascist, Catholic goons called,
"Tradition, Family and Property." Doing some research on Chrustian Right
wacko, Paul Weyrich, a while ago I see he supports these folks. Maybe Nixon called on TFP to help in the famous Teamster/building trades
walloping of
anti-warriors in NYC?
     Lastly, from reading on Marcuse, I see his life was threatened in the
late 60's by the Secret Army Organization. Any details available on these
    To recap, maybe I should have specified the more reactionary sectors of
the white working class viz. the George Wallace bloc, rather than the class
as a whole. Growing up in a lower middle class suburban neigborhood in
Maryland, my neighbors had some Wallaceites, some Nixon supporters, and my
folks and the German Jews next door were the only McGovern supporters. The
whole county (Montgomery) went for McGovern though in '72 and Jerry Brown in
    Oh, as a final aside. Carl Rowan wrote a notorious column telling Martin
Luther King, Jr.
to keep his nose out the war question after King's speech at Riverside
Church in '66 or '67.
Don't see that Rowan, who worked at U.S.I.A. at the time ever apologized.
                                       Michael Pugliese
                                  Michael Pugliese
----- Original Message -----
From: <Apsken at>
To: <marxism at>
Cc: <debsian at>
Sent: Sunday, November 28, 1999 2:16 PM
Subject: The Real AntiWar Movement

> Michael Pugliese wrote,
> >      Being born in 1961, I'd venture that I'm younger than most of the
> >  posters here but from reading and knowing vets from previous
> g-g-generations
> >  my sense is that working class people by the end of the sixties hated
> >  war, but hated the anti-war movement more.
>     This is nonsense. The strongest segment of the anti-war movement was
> the armed forces, mainly African American GIs, who were as proletarian as
> anyone, and more so than most.
>     I worked on the paper Vietnam GI, and with hundreds of resisters and
> deserters. Although it was strictly illegal to possess, VGI was extremely
> popular with the grunts in Nam. They provided us with the atrocity photos
> published, and with witnesses who testified at the Russell war crimes
> tribunal.
>     When I refused induction, I had no possibility of a deferment. The
> way I avoided prison was that a group of peaceniks burned all the files at
> draft board, which never managed to reconstruct them. Many of my comrades
> were not so fortunate, and served the traditional 22-month sentences in
> federal prisons.
>     My then spouse headed an organization called National Black Draft
> Counselors. One of the principal struggles we waged was against the
> Service System's plan to build camps for black conscientious objectors,
> they proposed precisely because the numbers of black resisters were so
> enormous that they could not be processed as traditional mainly white
> pacifists were. See my 1970-71 pamphlet, 30 Years of Selective Service
> Racism, which her organization published.
>     The fiercest repression was directed against military organizers. The
> gave the Secret Army Organization, a California Nazi group that had spun
> from the Minutemen, dynamite to blow up Pete Bohmer's anti-war coffeehouse
> for sailors at San Diego, as one example.
>     When Martin Luther King spoke out against the war, the New York Times
> told him to stick to civil rights; shortly afterward, he was murdered,
> leading a strike of garbage workers in Memphis.
>     Sure, bourgeois kids avoided service (or if in the service, avoided
> combat), but the caricature of the anti-war movement as a million Bill
> Clintons is an outrageous lie. And even millionaire resisters were
> Muhammad Ali was stripped of his heavyweight boxing championship title.
>     I don't know why you are so smug about a generation of dedicated,
> selfless people who rose to the occasion that challenged them more than
> subsequent generation has. (Given your screen name, I wonder if you would
> write the same about the World War I anti-war movement.)
>     In New York, the Teamsters who attacked anti-war marchers were hired
> the Nixon administration. In Los Angeles, the so-called "Hell's Angels" (a
> decption by the LA Times; they were really Nazi motocycle storm troopers
> by Mike Brown) who beat up anti-war marchers were hired by Gen. Pedro del
> Valle, fascist and corporate executive (ITT or IBM? I don't recall now.).
>     If actual workers hated the movement so much, why did the government
> the bourgeoisie resort to hired goons? Lyndon Johnson voiced his fear that
> the masses would storm the White House and burn it down in protest of the
>     Why do some leftists have such difficulty grasping the reality? One
> problem for youngsters is that liberals and ex-radicals write memoirs,
> the rest of us move on to the next struggle that beckons, so the
> published histories are biased against us.
> Ken Lawrence

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