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By Ted Glick —

April 30 is a day I remember because it is my mom’s birthday. She died in 2005. But it’s also a day I remember because, on that day in 1971, while serving what turned out to be an 1l-month sentence in federal prison for my draft resistance activism against the Vietnam war, I was indicted with seven others by the Nixon Justice Department for a supposed conspiracy to destroy heating tunnels under DC and kidnap Henry Kissinger.

Those charges were bogus; when they finally got to a jury in conservative Harrisburg, Pa., they were hung 10-2 for acquittal, and that was the end of that particular “conspiracy” trial during the Vietnam War.

It is inspiring that on that April 30 day yesterday, several hundred people were arrested around the country, mainly students, as part of the massive worldwide movement to stop the Gaza genocide and end this war. And I saw an email just a couple hours ago from someone reminding people that on this same day in 1975, the United States military completely vacated Vietnam. This brought to an end the 30-year US effort to take over the colonizing and repressive role France had played for almost a century.

Here are some personal reflections on all of this:

-There is a level of intensity on the issue of the Gaza war that is very similar to the level of intensify many of us felt as young people during the Vietnam War, for good reason. When the daily body count is in the hundreds (Vietnam) and literal genocide—“ethnic cleansing” Bernie called it—is taking place in Gaza, intense and focused action is absolutely appropriate.

-Many of us who were students who took part in the Black Freedom and/or Anti-Vietnam War movements felt so deeply about these issues that some of us left school and we and others found a way to make a living while being a dedicated organizer for revolutionary change. Frankly, to have hope of success in our people’s movement for human and ecological survival and just and truly democratic societies, we need more young people to consciously take this step.

-It is clear that the overwhelming number of young people taking part in this spring justice uprising are doing so with a peaceful, if angry, spirit. Much of corporate media is spinning it very differently, painting the movement as violent and abusive. It is a responsibility of all of us to criticize these inaccurate characterizations and demand that the truth be reported.

-The dominant forces in the Democratic Party, and of course Republicans, really don’t like to have their policies criticized or their political power undercut by those of us willing to speak truth to power. Democrats respond one way when that happens, Republicans are much harsher. That’s been true for a very long time. As I wrote in my book Burglar for Peace, “The Nixon Administration that was in power 50-plus years ago was a repressive government, known for illegal wiretapping, inflammatory rhetoric, criminal prosecutions of peace and justice activists, and outright physical attacks, including killings, against Black Panther Party members. I had followed the Chicago 8 trial a year and a half before, a clear case of government repression against anti-war and Black Freedom activists, following the police riots during the Democratic National Convention in 1968.”

The years 1969 to 1974, when Nixon was President, were very rough for a lot of us, although most of us survived.

-The conditions for organizing are much more positive under Democrats than under Republicans. This would be particularly the case if Trump is elected this November. He and the Republicans have made clear that they have every intention of taking this country so far backward that the Biden Presidency would come to be seen as a very good four years. It’s not. Some things are good, yes, but some things aren’t, Gaza in particular right now. But compared to a Trump Presidency, it would be like night and day.

So as we keep fighting for a ceasefire and an end to the war and movement toward true Palestinian self-determination for that long-suffering people, let’s be sure to respond to the US electoral process accordingly. Trump and the MAGA Republicans must be defeated. Strong progressive candidates like The Squad need to be supported.

It’s all of one, multi-colored piece. Si, se puede.

Ted Glick has been a progressive activist, organizer and writer since 1968. He is the author of the recently published books, Burglar for Peace and 21st Century Revolution. More info can be found at

Featured image: Photo by Koshu Kunii on Unsplash


IBW21 (The Institute of the Black World 21st Century) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people.