Phinney Blog 9 The Pentagon March

The Pentagon March occurred October 19-21, 1967. This weekend “marked a major turning point in the development of militant antigovernment protest” (26). The purpose was to “Confront the Warmakers” (26). There were over 100,000 participants in the weekend’s march who believed that the war between the United States and Vietnam was unjust because the draft was forcing men to risk their lives for a cause in which they did not necessarily believe.

Clark Akatiff believes there to be an ideology relating geography to the experience of the protest. His argument is the battle between the opposing sides represents “a distillation of the environmental forces that lead to them, and they provide an essential reality by which the observer of social phenomena might judge the causes of such phenomena” (26). This relationship provides key information behind reality, thus demonstrating whether over-reactions or injustices were occurring.

I don’t feel people were over-reacting. Although I am a big supporter of our military and am pro-war, I believe that the people had every right to react in the manner they did. Their family members were being taken away from them without a choice, often never returning home. Therefore, the actions of the people were understandable. On the other hand, I wouldn’t argue that true injustices were happening. It is our nation’s responsibility to protect itself, and if a draft is necessary, then citizens must comply.

This article suggests the reality of the march. It places a unique spin on a frequently analyzed protest. I feel that this protest as many others can be justified; yet I cannot say that I would have been one of the protestors.

The March on the Pentagon, Clark Akatiff, Annals of the Association of American Geographers , Vol. 64, No. 1 (Mar., 1974), pp. 26-33, Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. on behalf of the Association of American Geographers, Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2562178

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3 Comments

  1. Posted January 17, 2013 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    I remember my mother telling me about how she helped protest against the Vietnam War. Her father was a medic in World War II, so she understood that war was necessary at some times. However, she told me that the Vietnam War was not “our war to fight”. I was not alive at this time, so I feel like I cannot form a full opinion. But I completely agree with your statement that “the actions of the people were understandable”.

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  2. Posted January 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    I liked you interpretation of this protests especially since you admitted to being pro-war but supported this movement. Also your picture was very cool and applicable to the article.

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  3. Posted January 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I also chose a Vietnam War protest, because I like how it showed the divisiveness that war caused in this nation. I agree with you that people were not over-reacting in this particular case.

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