"Vietnam War Spurs 'Peace' Movement in the United States."
Congressional Quarterly 24, no. 26 (July 1, 1966): 1398-400.
This "CQ Fact Sheet" provides details of the creation, on June 10,
1966, of the National Conference for New Politics (NCNP). Julian Bond
co-chaired the organization at a time when he was in the midst of his
legal battle for his seat in the Georgia Legislature. The organization's
intentions were to,
"Coordinate the activities of the "peace" groups and civil rights
workers and to support candidates for office in the 1966 election."
The NCNP had recently formed an office in New York and announced plans
for a fundraising drive to collect $500,000. They were to distribute
the funds to candidates who declared they were willing to work for
"social change at home and abroad and willing to work to abolish
poverty and racism." More specifically, candidates had to pledge to
work for "ending the war in Viet Nam and supporting antipoverty, civil
rights programs." However, the organization was less interested in
winning elections than it was in establishing a "permanent political
organization at the local level."
The article notes that the protests against the war had increased as
American involvement had increased, and that they now had begun to take
on an economic aspect, not just a moral one.
"The economic approach shows a clear relationship with the civil rights
movement, officials said, because Negroes essentially have been excluded
from the war industries.
A sidebar in the article notes the vulnerability of candidates
previously elected based on their support of Johnson's Great
Society programs. Many of the members of Congress who were elected
on this basis came from poorer districts where the war's drain on
domestic dollars had its greatest impact. The result was a
dissatisfied electorate that, it was expected, would make this year's
elections an uphill battle for many of these candidates.
In the May 13 demonstration, Bond, also a staff member of the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), called for a closer
relationship between the civil rights and "peace" movements. The
civil rights movement, he said, is interested in peace because war
"kills ideas and dissent as well as people" and downgrades social
and welfare programs. "This relationship must be demonstrated and
shown," he said.
Among other civil rights leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King has pledged
his support of the "peace" movement, but James Meredith has said that
"there is no connection between the fighting of a war under orders and
The mayors of New York, Detroit and Boston made the economic point June
12 on "Meet the Press" (NBC-TV). They said the nation's cities were
indirect casualties of the Viet Nam war."