October 8, 2022

On October 8, 1965—57 years ago—I was arrested with 38 others disrupting a US military draft office in a militant, nonviolent direct action. We turned over furniture and destroyed files. We were protesting the US invasion and occupation of Viet Nam. The peace movement was tiny then, but determined, and we grew quickly. Over the next few years we organized and took action, and I was arrested again and again. Every week that the war dragged on, 6000 people were murdered in Southeast Asia by our government. By 1968, a majority of Americans—and a super-majority of the people of the world—opposed the US war. And still the war dragged on and the killing continued.

On October 8, 1969, SDS led the Days of Rage, a demonstration to, as we said, “Bring the War Home.” We would not remain quiet while our government committed mass murder; we would not keep our eyes closed to the horror. And increasingly we wanted to stand unequivocally with anti-imperialist fighters and revolutionaries around the world—Viet Nam, Cuba, South Africa, Chile, Angola, Congo, and everywhere people were fighting for self-determination and freedom.  Over the next four days hundreds of youths fought the police in the streets of Chicago. I was arrested, of course.

It’s always the right time to rise up for peace and freedom, joy and justice.

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