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Political Movements and Vietnam

The greatest antiwar engine, however, was the mass of young people, then of the population at large. The Civil Rights Movement modeled some activism, but government behavior disillusioned many. Antiwar activists at the 1968 Democratic Convention were beaten by police, then charged with inciting riots; the election of Richard Nixon, who escalated the war even further, was due in part to Democratic Party disarray. Malaise set in with the assassinations of Dr. King and RFK. American atrocities in Vietnam, such as the My Lai massacre, exploded the myth of US integrity (Meadlo 552-4). At Kent State University in 1970, Ohio National Guard troops fired on antiwar student protestors (McCormick 161), killing four. Then there was the Nixon administration's project of domestic espionage against American dissidents (McCormick 160). These elements combined in various ways to shape popular antiwar opinion.

After Vietnam, there was a "flurry" of peace activism, but activists and peace institutions went their various ways (Waller 26-27). Activism on such issues as dTtente and nuclear arms limitation treaties came from opponents of rapprochement, such as Ronald Reagan. The nuclear-freeze movement as a movement, however, originated as a 1979 think-tank w


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