Who remembers this massive anti-Vietnam War demonstration?

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  • Powerful stuff. I wasn't there, but we heard all about it from those who were. Welcome to the Police State.
    Probably one of the first UK demo's where police violence was shown so openly. Most earlier CND and anti-war demo's had been much more placid and peaceful, with smiling police having a fairly easy day on overtime.


    There was another issue, not mentioned in the film: The US wanted the British government to call up tens of thousands of its young men to help them fight their disastrous war in Vietnam. Lower grade students and working blokes like me would be called up first, just like in the US. But our government, particularly the Labour government of the time under Wilson, would not let them. They knew they would have an insurrection on their hands. Even here in the provinces, we had plans to publicly burn our draft cards in the marketplace, if they dared send them.

  • I remember it being a powerful time for public demonstration. Brave people took to the streets to fight for freedom & the police state responded accordingly. It seems like nothing has changed as the UK still seems intent on enforcing democracy on other countries by their beloved military. I would have been with you Keith; burning my draft card in the streets. "Tin soldiers and Nixon coming, we're finally on our own".

  • No I do not remember the that demo, But I do recall vividly the Tv news of the US retreat out of Saigon.

    [FONT=&quot]“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” – [/FONT]

  • Loads of famous people were on that demonstration such as former Labour party minister Jack Straw, Richard Branson, Vanessa Redgrave, Felix Dennis etc. I suppose that was because the Vietnam war was widely considered to be an unjust war and the tactics being used by the USA such as napalming villages and spraying vast rainforests with deadly agent orange to be inhumane and war crimes. In America a lot of people also strongly objected to drafting people into the army for that war as well.

  • I was a kid and it went right over my head. I did however get one of the little hand held transistor radios for Christmas that year.
    Fking wooossies. Should have all gone in tooled up. A few fire bombs and barb wire lassoos for the mounted section. Bring them down to the ground and put them out of action in the panic. Who..... I'm thiking aloud again.
    It does wind me up when I see folk getting dragged by the hair though. You pull my hair, I poke your fkin eyes out. Let's see you fight when it's all dark.

  • yup was there and wondered what all the fuss was about, was in uniform and thought then everyone should serve their country, dirty beatniks/hippies lazy students alike. How time and distance have changed my views.seem to remember peter haig as one of the leaders


    Peter Hain was one of the leaders of the anti aparthied movement and was famously part of the crew that dug up the pitch at Lords before a match with South Africa. And there's not a lot of people know that!

  • I only vaguely remember this, I was just a kid, but learned more about it later, especially I remember Roy Harper referring to it. I do remember seeing news of the student riots in Paris, they really let 'em have it. The streets in France are often paved with nice cobble stones, which can easily be prized up and are an ideal throwing size, and by heck they knew how to throw them. Those demonstrations won major concessions from the government in France that are still felt today.

  • Yeah, the student occupations and riots in Paris were a great inspiration to us over here. The older generations here were aghast at the time - would Britain be next for violent upheaval? I think there must have been big official plans behind the scenes in case it did happen.

  • Yeah, the student occupations and riots in Paris were a great inspiration to us over here. The older generations here were aghast at the time - would Britain be next for violent upheaval? I think there must have been big official plans behind the scenes in case it did happen.


    It's interesting. The British establishment has always been good at watching the French and then backing off and giving just enough to save their bacon just before the revolution comes across the channel, it's been going on for centuries. The French students succeeded because as far as I remember, they weren't only complaining about their own lot, but the lot of small farmers and the working class too, which gained them popular support, which made all the difference and is yet another lesson worth learning.

  • a lot of people on this site weren't even born then, that's the year I got married for the first time.

  • I was at that demonstration on the periphery cant be doing with getting crushed.

    There were a few different demos going off around that time,a rather pleasant one

    being the legalise pot rally in Hyde Park.

    The most scariest was when the Scots beat England at football after England had

    won the world cup.I was in Soho at the time which was full up with marauding drunken Scotsmen on the rampage.Happy times.

  • From what I remember, we were waiting for the Yanks to come knocking for us to join them in their fight for American Imperialism against Communism.


    We weren't having none of that, no sir. As Harold Wilson said, Britain has no interests in Vietnam, and we were in total agreement.


    Besides the politics, we wanted to carry on living, having a pretty good time. Not come back in a bag, sacrificed for some big American arms manufacturer.

  • From what I remember, we were waiting for the Yanks to come knocking for us to join them in their fight for American Imperialism against Communism.


    We weren't having none of that, no sir. As Harold Wilson said, Britain has no interests in Vietnam, and we were in total agreement.


    Besides the politics, we wanted to carry on living, having a pretty good time. Not come back in a bag, sacrificed for some big American arms manufacturer.

    Right, so why did the protestors sing


    "Ho ho Ho Chi Ming, the Viet-Cong are going to win"


    Not only is that fucking childish but suggested they were in favour of one side winning the war and ergo were actually pro-war! Just anti-American.


    Racist and pro-war at the same time!

  • I sure never heard anyone hereabouts sing that, not that I'd have blamed them if they did, mind.


    Protest was a heartfelt thing, people often went OTT in what they said or did.

    Who cares now what they sang anyway? Pretty prophetic, as it turned out.:thumbup:

  • I sure never heard anyone hereabouts sing that, not that I'd have blamed them if they did, mind.


    Protest was a heartfelt thing, people often went OTT in what they said or did.

    Who cares now what they sang anyway? Pretty prophetic, as it turned out.:thumbup:

    I hope each and every one of them welcomed one of the Boat people into their homes...


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnamese_boat_people