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Anti-War Movement

Page history last edited by Justin Boyd 8 years, 9 months ago



     Many people opposed the war believed that we were fighting someone else's fight. the American people thought we were wasting the lives of American soldiers by sending them to fight a war that the south Vietnamese should be fighting. The people who opposed the war were mainly college students, teens, and working class people. A lot of people referred the them as "hippies". These hippies would change the face of America in the 1960's by their peaceful protests.2


The Vietnam War

     The Vietnam War, also known as the Vietnam Conflict or The Second Indochina War, began November 1st, 1955 between the North and South forces of Vietnam. The United States gets involved in order to keep a promise made by former president Harry Truman to help countries in threat of becoming communist. The Truman Doctrine which promises this, was made to control the spread of communism. Belligerents included communist forces (North Vietnam, Vietcong, Khmer Rouge, Pathet Lao, Peoples Republic of China, Soviet Union, North Korea, and Cuba) and anti-communist forces (South Vietnam, United States, South Korea, Australia, Philippines, New Zealand, Thailand, Khmer Republic, Kingdom of Laos, and Republic of China).

     U.S. involvement ends August 15, 1975. The war officially ends on April 30, 1975, with the North Vietnamese army prevailing, shortly after taking the South Vietnamese city of Saigon. Total casualties are 1,170,000 South Vietnamese soldiers injured, and 220,357 killed, 600,000+ North Vietnamese soldiers wounded, and 1,176,000 dead and missing. United States suffers 303,635 wounded soldiers and 58,220 killed. Total civilian death is estimated between 1,912,846 and 3,992,846.3




     One of the major events that happened was the march on the Pentagon in October 1967. The marchers may not have been able to levitate the besieged Pentagon, but they did influence the American opinion on the war. It was a major contribution to the end of Lyndon Johnson's presidency. There were also many other protests happening in Washington D.C. The protesters surrounded government buildings and there were many arrests. The reaction was mixed but most Americans were against the war.1

Reasons for Protest

     There were many reasons for the protests that happened. a few of the most influential were ones like the My Lai Massacre, Lt. Callely ordered his men to open fire on unarmed south Vietnamese civilians, causing a lot of negative attention to the war movement. Another reason people protested was the Tet offensive, the north Vietnamese toke advantage of the new year and simultaneously attacked multiple bases and towns killing many. And an obvious reason was the death toll of american lives.The death toll reached about 300,00 by the end of the war.4

People Involved

There were many types of people involved in the anti-war protests. They included some everyday people, also a lot of students protested, but the majority of protesters were hippies. The students a major role with their own protest of the war, it was mostly composed of white college students, by 1968 there were something around 100,000 students from around the country supporting this movement.5

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Development of Novel

     The anti-Vietnam War movement is instrumental to the development of characters and the plot of the novel, Sammy and Julianna in Hollywood. Several of the main characters participate in the anti-war movement in the novel by wearing black armbands in protest. What motivated them, most likely, was that their friend Pifas who was drafted into the war and later becomes KIA in Vietnam. The inspiration is definitely the anti-war movements done by others, such as the March on Washington. Their protest eventually indirectly gets Rene and Sammy in trouble with the Colonel. As the Colonel is pulling Sammy into his office, Sammy makes him see the whole picture, and understand whats more important by telling him "Pifas is dead." Afterwards, the Colonel didn't bother Sammy any longer. The anti-war movement, though it took up only a few pages in the overall novel, it still had a substantial impact on the characters and plot of Sammy and Julianna in Hollywood


Bradley David Bond

     Reading the book Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood was a very interesting experience. The book changed my perspective and world view a little bit. They changed how I think about people who are poor and what they have to go through. It also changed some of my views on what racism and discrimination against homosexuals can do. All of those views changed through reading the book and from some of the class discussions that have happened in class. What Sammy had to do to get through his life in Hollywood changed the views I mentioned above.Also what happened to all of Sammy's friends helped to contribute to my change of perspectives.

     There were many factors in what motivated the characters in the book. In what I researched I learned about what kinds of protests there were and who was involved in them. That did help to illuminate some of the backing to what the characters did and why. This research project showed that the atrocities of the Vietnam War and the fact that it was televised made the characters go against it especially after Pifas got drafted along with Rene also contributed to the fact of the protests by the characters in the book. Also the research showed that there was a student movement and that is what the characters were, students, so that gave them a reason, others like them were doing it so that showed that they could do it too.

Garret Michael Roberts

     To refleft a little bit on reading Sammy and Julianna, researching anti-war movements for the Vietnam war, and doing this project, I would say my perspective on the world has changed quite a bit through it all. Yea, I've heard theres poverty in the world, I've heard numbers, statistics, all that. But never was i able to relate to all that. Hearing it all (racism, discrimination, poverty, death, drugs, etc.) through Sammy's life, a round character i could actually feel for, and relate to in ways, and sympathize with. I didn't learn the dictionary definition of what poverty is, but i learned what it really is, how it affects people and their lives. As well as how racism and discrimination affects people, and how drugs and death affects loved ones.

     I've never lived in poverty, I haven't been discriminated against for who I am, or witnessed it happen to anyone else aside from mild racist jokes. I haven't taken drugs, or known someone who has had their life affected because of it, or their loved one's lives. I haven't experienced much death either. All this caused quite a bit of ignorance and i hadn't really thought about how these things actually existed. It helped me see that they do, and better understand the human race.

     Some of the major characters take part in the anti-war movement in the novel Sammy and Julianna in Hollywood. Charlie hands out armbands to protest the war, and characters including Rene, Gigi, and Sammy wear them. The anti-war movements by other parties, such as the March on Washington, motivate these characters to get a piece of the action too. I think they protested it mainly for Pifa's, who was drafted into the army, and later KIA. I learned through the research that some people were pretty passionate about protesting the war, much more so than Sammy and the others of Las Cruces High, such as the monk who would light themselves on fire. He may not have been on fire, but Sammy had a fire in his soul- a fiery passion. All of this helped me shed a little light on how the characters are motivated.

Geoffrey Ian Harmer

     Reading Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood was defiantly a turning point in my life. The book is so realistic, so serious, that you can relate to it every other sentence. It really can change your perspective of the world in 300 pages, through all the ups and downs, twists and turns, and everything in between, this book wraps you into the story and before you know it, you find yourself caring about the characters and it all feels so real, like your actually there going through everything Sammy’s  going through. And it was o relatable because these were things we can and do go through.

     This book has a lot of anti war references but the one that stood out the most to me were the armbands. It was a form of protest and it let everyone else see that they didn’t support the war outside of all the protests. After Pifas left and died, Sammy, Gigi, and Angel’s protests all became a little more serious because they had lost someone near to them.

     This book and this assignment severely changed my view of the Vietnam protests and the people who were involved with them. I used to think that these protest were just for your average hippie; living in a bus, wastes money on drugs, and general carelessness. But I now view them as people just like me. They weren’t these stereotypical hippies; they were my friends, my cohorts, my teachers, and my community. They were people I knew.

Work Cited

1"Political and Antiwar Movement." Radical Times: The Antiwar Movement of the 1960s. Web. 17 May 2011.

2"The Anti-War Movement in the United States." Welcome to English « Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois. Web. 19 May 2011.

3"Vietnam War." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 19 May 2011.

4"My Lai Massacre." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 19 May 2011.

5"Protests in the 1960s." Untitled Document. Web. 21 May 2011. 


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