What Anti-Trump Protesters Can Learn from the Anti-Vietnam War Movement

2/7/2017

David Kieran, author of Forever Vietnam:How a Divisive War Changed American Public Memory, writes about anti-war protests in the 1960s and their relationship to recent marches for Slate.

Kieran examines the importance in both movements of a diverse, multi-pronged activism that is not enacted only in marches, but has grown out of years of working toward goals.

Kieran writes:

"In the current moment, effective protest must encompass a . . .  diverse set of efforts, and there are important resonances that suggest what sort of efforts might deserve support. Efforts like 'Grab Your Wallet' and #DeleteUber have shown that boycotts remain effective in pressuring organizations that support the Trump administration and its agenda. The various 'alt' Twitter accounts that federal employees are surreptitiously managing, and the news last week that many career diplomats had sent a dissent cable to the State Department, illustrate the enduring power of informal and formal protest within institutions. Likewise, the attorneys and translators who descended on airports in the wake of the Trump administration’s executive order on immigration reveal the continued importance of efforts at assisting the populations disproportionately affected by troubling policies."

Particularly Kieran notes that the anti-Vietnam War movement struggled to be inclusive. Where there was successful intersectionality in the past is where today's movement can benefit the most.