[Marxism] Doug Rawlings/Vietnam Full Disclosure blog on Burns' opus

John Obrien causecollector at msn.com
Sat Sep 30 01:53:36 MDT 2017

This section on the SWP sending people to participate in the

May Day Tribe CD protests in Washington DC in May 1971 -

is totally wrong.

I was in Washington D. C. at that very time working on staff in the

Student Mobilization Committee National Office there and as also

on the board of the National Peace Action Coalition.  I was also a

member of the Young Socialist Alliance then, which was the youth

group of the U. S. SWP that Doug Rawlings claims he was with.

The SWP/YSA/NPAC and SMC did not build or participate in the

May Day Tribe protests.  The SWP worked to assemble the much

larger in numbers April 24, 1971 National Marches on Washington

D. C. and San Francisco protests.  There were serious political

divisions between NPAC/SMC/SWP/YSA and the PCPJ and May

Day Tribe, on building an effective movement against the U. S.

War on Vietnam and other peoples of Southeast Asia.

I traveled through the streets of Washington DC that first

week in May and viewed the various efforts of May Day Tribe

supporters and their harsh treatment by government troops

and police.  But it was made very clear to me and all others

in the SWP and YSA, that we were not to engage in or support

directly the May Day Tribe efforts to shut down traffic or risk

arrest.   My memory has the Boston SWP/YSA/NPAC/SMC

working to fill buses for only the April 24, 1971 mass protests

in Washington D.C.

MAY 1970 TO AUGUST 1973


There is just too much in this episode to go into.  But here are a few
take-away’s for me. First off, finally, the veteran anti-war voice is given
its due place in the movement to stop the war as the VVAW guys are
portrayed as the force they became to confront the flag-wavers. I wish now
that I had joined them in DC.  Instead, I had joined the Socialist Workers
Party in Boston and bussed down to the nation’s capital to participate in
the ill-fated May Day actions. We were to “take and hold a bridge” into the
city.  Instead, we quickly broke ranks and ran through the streets and were
dispersed. Today, I hold my brothers and sisters who were in VVAW in the
highest regard.







More information about the Marxism mailing list