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By Michael Stewart Foley

Laying off gentle on a misunderstood type of competition to the Vietnam battle, Michael Foley tells the tale of draft resistance, the leading edge of the antiwar move on the top of the war's escalation. in contrast to so-called draft dodgers, who left the rustic or manipulated deferments, draft resisters overtly defied draft legislation by way of burning or handing over their draft playing cards. Like civil rights activists earlier than them, draft resisters invited prosecution and imprisonment. concentrating on Boston, one of many movement's so much renowned facilities, Foley finds the an important position of draft resisters in transferring antiwar sentiment from the margins of society to the heart of yank politics. Their activities encouraged different draft-age males against the war--especially collage students--to reassess their position of privilege in a draft procedure that provided them protections and despatched disproportionate numbers of working-class and minority males to Vietnam. This reputation sparked the swap of strategies from felony protest to mass civil disobedience, drawing the Johnson management right into a war of words with activists who have been mostly suburban, liberal, younger, and heart class--the middle of Johnson's Democratic constituency. interpreting the day by day fight of antiwar organizing performed by means of traditional americans on the neighborhood point, Foley argues for a extra advanced view of citizenship and patriotism in the course of a time of struggle.

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The draft that Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law in 1940 (long before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor) created the first of its kind in peacetime and ultimately resulted in ten million inductions by the end of the Second World War. Having helped to win the war, the draft ended on March 31, 1947. But policy makers openly contemplated renewing the draft law even without an attendant national emergency, for soon after the old law expired, the armed services began to lose 15,000 men from the armed services each month due to attrition amid growing tensions with the Soviet Union (which were exacerbated by the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia).

This prompted David Benson to take out his draft card to burn it. As he attempted to light it, a longshoreman knocked the matches from his hands. The police quickly stepped in and arrested the demonstrators—eleven of them—and hauled them off to the police wagon. As two officers dragged Benson away from the gates of the army base, he ripped up the card and tossed the pieces to the ground. Several hecklers yelled sarcastically to the police: ‘‘Be careful. ≥∑ Benson did not destroy his draft card casually.

Walking through the center of town and finding the whole center of town mobbed with people ready to do all kinds of things to mess us up . . ’’≥∂ On March 25, 1966, the group turned its attention to the Boston Army Base, a massive building on Boston Harbor, as its contribution to the Second International Days of Protest. They distributed leaflets and sat in the road to block buses of draftees and anyone else from entering or exiting the base. ’’ It did not last long. ’’ One burly longshoremen approached the group and offered them a gallon of gasoline, ‘‘so you can burn yourself,’’ a reference to Norman Morrison, a Quaker who had set himself on fire outside the Pentagon several months before.

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