Toward an honest commemoration of the American War in Vietnam
The Full Disclosure campaign is a Veterans For Peace effort to speak truth to power and keep alive the antiwar perspective on the American war in Viet Nam — which is being commemorated during this decade with a series of 50th anniversary events. Full Disclosure represents a clear alternative to the Pentagon’s current efforts to sanitize and mythologize that war, and to thereby legitimize further unnecessary and destructive wars.
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- March 17 @ 1:00 pm - April 22 @ 5:00 pm EDT
- May 1 @ 8:00 am - May 15 @ 5:00 pm EDT
- May 4 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm EDT
- May 13 @ 8:00 am - May 15 @ 11:00 pm EDT
- May 21 @ 8:00 am - May 22 @ 10:00 pm CDT
This Month in History: 1970
March – The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Politburo passes a resolution that top leaders of the party should study what is termed “Ho Chi Minh thought.” Support for struggles in Cambodia and Laos are to be stepped up. Diplomatic struggle is elevated to the same level as political and military struggle. This is in part to offset the consequences of the growing Sino-Soviet split.
March 4 – Antonia Martínez, a 21-year-old student at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, is shot and killed by a policeman while watching and commenting on the anti-Vietnam War and education reform student protests at the University of Puerto Rico.
March 6 – In response to “intense public speculation” over U.S. involvement in Laos, President Nixon gives an address on U.S. policy and activities in Laos. For the first time, Nixon admits that the United States has been flying “combat support missions for Laotian forces when requested to do so by the Royal Laotian Government.” He also falsely denies that any American soldiers had been killed in Laos.
March 8 – Jane Fonda visits Fort Lewis, Washington, and is detained for “questioning” by military authorities. Fonda then visits the Shelter Half coffeehouse, and holds a press conference in Seattle the next day.
March 9 – ASU chapter at Fort Lewis breaks from the national organization and reorganizes as the Independent Servicemen’s Movement, continuing to publish Fed Up and hoping to work with the national Movement for a Democratic Military.
March 14 – A group of officers participate as Officers’ Resistance in a GI Rally for Peace and Justice in Washington DC. By the end of March 1970, they had changed their name to the Concerned Officers Movement (COM). COM’s first newsletter, published in April 1970, affirmed:
“The Concerned Officers’ Movement was formed by a group of active duty and reserve officers who could no longer continue to be passive, unquestioning agents of military and national policies they found untenable. Paramount in the program of COM is a fervent opposition to the continuing military effort in Vietnam. COM decries the military policies that turned an internal political struggle into a nation-destroying bloodbath. The application of American military power in Vietnam was as unnecessary as it was unworkable.
“COM further abhors the military mentality that promotes absurd measures like the body count; that leads to the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent civilians; that destroys land and villages and calls it victory.”
March 14 – Hey-Tra-Sneyo, ISM GIs, civilians, and Northwest and Alcatraz Indians picket at the Madigan gate of Fort Lewis, Washington, as an extension of the occupation of Fort Lawton, laying claim to the soon-to-be-abandoned army base for Native American tribes.
March 18 – Neutralist Prince Sihanouk of Cambodia is deposed by pro-American General Lon Nol along with Defense Minister, and First Deputy Premier Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak–who proclaim the establishment of the Khmer Republic. Sihanouk, who had been out of the country at the time of the coup, aligns with Cambodian Communists, known as the Khmer Rouge, in an effort to oust Lon Nol’s regime. The Khmer Rouge are led by Pol Pot (born, Saloth Sar), who capitalizes on the enormous prestige and popularity of Prince Sihanouk to increase support for his Khmer Rouge movement among Cambodians. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam breaks off relations with the Lon Nol government by March 27, the Chinese by May 5, while the USSR maintained relations with the Lon Nol government through 1975.
March 20 – Cambodian troops under Gen. Lon Nol attack Khmer Rouge and DRV forces inside Cambodia. At the White House, Nixon and top aides discuss plans to assist Lon Nol’s pro-American regime.
March 23 – Sihanouk issues a “Message to the Nation” from Beijing, calling on the Khmer people to rise up against the Lon Nol regime, offering a National United Front of Kampuchea (FUNK) to govern and defend the Khmer people.
March 31 – The U.S. Army brings murder charges against Captain Ernest L. Medina concerning the massacre of Vietnamese civilians at My Lai on March 16, 1968. (See Chronology entries for March 16, and March 28, 1968, September 5, 1969, November 12, 1970, and March 29, 1971.)
End of March – At the Oakland, California Induction Center, for the six-month period, October through March 1970, 50% of those called failed to report, and 11% of those who did show up refused induction.