50th Edition, Global Education

South students respond to the Vietnam War

By Denebola
Published: February 2011

By Denebola Staff,
Volume 7
April 6, 1968

On Saturday, March 16, the “Greater Boston High School Committee To End The War in Vietnam,” held a rally on the Boston Common.
The Committee’s platform is “end the war, the draft, and high school complicity with them.”
The Committee’s political position is set forth in its newspaper by arguments for and against the two Socialist Workers Party candidates.
It opposes the war and the draft, and supports Castro and “the colonial revolution” in Vietnam. It favors separate black schools and political parties, and calls Senator Eugene McCarthy a racist, like George Wallace. The Socialist Workers Party and its affiliate, the Young Socialists, directed the marchers.
At 12:50, some of the marchers arrived with the signs. Between 25 and 30 people started marching in a circle in front of the Park Street station. By actual count, 25 NSHSers took part, with others looking on.
A Young Socialist girl came over to us and said that the U.S. economy functions only through “exploitation of the masses in foreign countries,” and “by dropping napalm on Guatemala.”
We discussed this for about five minutes; she then went back to marching.
Present everywhere were distributors of Socialist Worker publications, and, of course, AVATAR. With about 180 students, the march left the Common and proceeded down Boylston Street, well-surrounded by police, to the Community Church.
There were relatively few hecklers, none particularly loud. Inside the church, five speakers discussed “What high school students can do against the war.”
The first speaker, Jeffrey Brown (not from South) told the audience that the draft is “just another control over human life in the United States,” and “another step toward 1984.” It is “raising a new breed of people brought up with a guilty conscience.”
Stuart Rose of Newton High stated that (a) we support racist and fascist dictatorships in South Africa, Greece and Latin America, (b) we are in Vietnam, as in Korea and everywhere else, because our big businesses need cheap labor and the raw materials, (c) that a negotiated end to the war would be bad, as it would force United States domination over Vietnamese, as it has in Korea, and that we “go to college to help enslave people.”
SDS’er Aaron Cohen said that if peace comes, so will widespread unemployment; therefore, the government will not stop the draft.
He encouraged students to rebel against high school complicity with the draft in any way they can. He suggested that students start by disobeying the dress codes, which are just school administration attempts to “indoctrinate” people.
“The system stinks,” he added, and it, not Lyndon Johnson, produced Vietnam and will produce others. He also stated that we herd South Vietnamese into concentration camps.
After two other speakers described Committee activities, the rally ended, and everyone slowly drifted out of the church.

Read more

Like it? Share it!


Copyright © Denebola | The Official School Newspaper of Newton South High School | 140 Brandeis Road, Newton, MA 02459.
Site designed by Chenzhe Cao.