Ashley Smith responds:

I also do not believe that mass antiwar protests were responsible for stopping the war, but they played an important role in building the movement among both civilians and soldiers. Undoubtedly, the two most important factors contributing to the U.S. defeat in Vietnam were the breakdown of the U.S. armed forces and the Vietnamese resistance. However, the mass movement played an important role, both domestically and internationally, in encouraging and giving confidence both to the soldiers’ revolt and the Vietnamese resistance. It is hard to imagine that the soldiers’ resistance could have been as widespread as it was without the development of the mass antiwar movement, as well as the Black struggle, stateside. Mass protest, in all its various forms (not restricted to set-piece marches), also played some part in undermining the political confidence of the ruling class in its ability to prolong the fighting indefinitely. Music, poetry and street theater have their place in any movement, giving it depth and vibrancy. Surely, though, they are only supplements to mass actions, including strikes, demonstrations, and occupations.

Issue #73

September 2010

From Reform to Rebellion

Image and reality in the Bolivia of Evo Morales
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