War Resisters

This theme represents resistance to two very different wars, separated by almost half a century: the First World War (1914-18) and The Vietnam War (1961-1975). "The Hound of Conscience" focuses on the work of the No-Conscription Fellowship and Bertrand Russell's brave stand for peace which resulted in his imprisonment. The second case study examines not only Russell's continuing commitment to the cause of peace, but includes anti Vietnam War materials, including film and audio, issued by groups from Hanoi to Toronto.

In addition to the two case studies of war resistance presented here, there are also two related case studies which have been placed under the theme Women for Peace: Claire Culhane: Canadian Peace Activist and Humanitarian and Working for Peace: Eva Sanderson and the Toronto Association for Peace. Culhane’s experiences as a nurse in Vietnam turned her an active campaigner against the War. Sanderson led the vocal TAP campaign against the Vietnam War.

“The Hound of Conscience”: The No-Conscription Fellowship

Early opposition to the First World War in England was scattered and ineffective – the various opponents had no time to get co-ordinated because of the speed with which the war was declared. The British Neutrality League led by Norman Angell, the British Neutrality Committee, the Labour Party, and others all dissented but to no avail.

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The Vietnam War: Popular Protest Comes of Age

The Vietnam War (1961-1975) caused protest movements around the world. The struggle for Vietnamese independence against the French had begun in 1946. That phase of the conflict came to an end in 1954 with the partition of Vietnam into North (controlled by Communists) and South. The next phase of the struggle was the push for unification, led by Ho Chi Minh from the North. The involvement of the Americans, opposed to Communist expansion, began with the sending of a small number of troops to the South in 1961 and the American presence escalated every year after that.

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