One of my favorite sites on Facebook is the Zinn Education Project.
The Zinn Education Project promotes and supports teaching a people’s history. Teachers who need resources for teaching people’s history and social justice can find them here: http://www.zinnedproject.org Coordinated by Rethinking Schools (rethinkingschools.org) and Teaching for Change (teachingforchange.org).
Every day the Zinn Education Project shows up on my Facebook feed with a photograph from The Movement. And since it was a movement I have participated in I feel like I am looking at a personal photo album.
Remember photo albums? Shoe boxes?
Yesterday this picture showed up on the feed:
It was accompanied by this commentary:
On Nov 6, 1965, five men burned their draft cards in solidarity with Catholic pacifist David Miller who became the first U.S. war protester to publicly burn his draft card on 10/15/65 in direct violation of a recently passed federal law forbidding such acts. FBI agents later arrested him; he was tried, found guilty, and sentenced to two years’ in prison. Photo: (l-r) Thomas Cornell, Marc Paul Edelman (now Marco Polo), Roy Lisker, David McReynolds, and James Wilson. On the right is 80-year-old pacifist A.J. Muste, whose work connected the labor, anti-war, and Civil Rights Movements.
This immediately brought back my draft card story.
Two years after this event pictured above I was at a large anti-war protest in Los Angeles. President Lyndon Johnson was speaking a $500-a-plate fundraising dinner at the swank Century Plaza Hotel in posh Century City, nestled between Beverly Hills and wealthy Westwood.
I joined thousands of anti-war protesters who at gathered at nearby Cheviot Hills Park for a march through Century City. The plan was to end up in front of the hotel where Johnson was speaking. The pre-march rally was like a summer festival, vendors selling hot dog and young people flying kites. As my friends and I walked around the park we spotted Movement celebrities like Benjamin Spock and H. Rap Brown.
And Muhammad Ali.
Ali was a personal hero of mine for refusing induction into the army in violation of the Draft laws.
A crowd of young men surrounded Ali with their draft cards waving in one hand and pens in another in order to have him autograph their cards.
And I joined them.
Thanks to the LAPD, however, I never did make it to the front of the hotel.