THE "MOBES" AGAINST THE VIETNAM WAR 1966-1970
As casualties mounted in Vietnam and stirred opposition to the war, a series of loose-knit coalitions called the "Mobes" coordinated thousands of local anti-war groups into massive nationwide demonstrations (note 9). Every year or two the Mobes were reconstituted: the Spring Mobilization (1966); the Student Mobilization (1966); the National Mobilization (1967); and the New Mobilization (1969). "Mobe" leadership came from a broad range of peace groups ranging from the Communist Party and Socialist Workers Party to the Quakers, radical pacifists, and liberals formerly associated with SANE. Many of them had learned their organizing skills in the Civil Rights Movement of the preceding decade. MOBE programs were simple, calling for an end of the war and withdrawal of American troops. The only argument was whether troop withdrawal should come before or after a negotiated settlement.
The mass mobilizations against the war reached a peak in 1969. Three quarters of a million people took part in the November 15 rally in Washington - "by any count the largest political mass march and demonstration in the history of the nation to that time," according to the account of Zaroulis and Sullivan.
The strength of the anti-Vietnam War movement grew gradually in the years from 1965 to 1969 as the organized working class and Afro-American people overcame obstacles and brought their decisive numbers to the movement. They joined a movement that had already developed on college campuses with a range of participants that included all social classes. Leadership came from the Left, many of the leaders being the children of participants in the peace movements of the Thirties and Forties.
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