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Vietnam

Memories of a participant: Kent & Jackson State, 1970 -- A firestorm they could not contain

By Mike Ely

May 4, 2010 -- Kasama Project -- May 4, 1970. Forty years have passed. It is history now in the eyes of the world. But for me, and many others, it is raw and alive. It always will be.

I won’t tell the well-known details – if you don’t know them, look them up. But I will tell you what it felt like, and looked like to a teenage boy who wanted desperately to see the liberation of the Vietnamese and Black people in America.

May Day for Bobby Seale — New Haven, 1970

On May 1 1970, I was in New Haven, Connecticut. Bobby Seale, the chairman of the Black Panther Party was facing a murder trial in New Haven. They had first bound and gagged him in the  courtroom of the Chicago 8, then shipped him to Connecticut to lock him up for life. We were determined to free him.

Students came from all over the US east coast to turn the city upside down. On my campus, we had worked day and night to explain the attack on the Black Panther Party – and to mobilise busloads to go New Haven.

Bobby Seale, chairman of the Black Panther Party.

The rise and fall of the Communist Party of Thailand

By Pierre Rousset

September 9, 2009 -- ESSF -- The communist movement was first established in Siam (renamed Thailand in 1939) mostly in the Chinese ethnic migrant communities, then proliferated in the seemingly disparate surrounding regions in the north, northeast and south of the country. Following a long, difficult period of transition, the Communist Party of Thailand (CPT), once an urban party, retreated to the jungle and engaged in armed struggle. Its national expansion, during the 1970s, occurred while the kingdom was transformed into a US base for military intervention in the Vietnam War. The party eventually saw its decline during the Sino-Indochinese conflict of 1978–9 and disappeared from sight in the mid-1980s.

For people to people solidarity with Vietnam

RAAF Canberra bombers flew 11,963 sorties during the Vietnam War, dropping 76,389 bombs.

By Peter Boyle

September 1, 2009 -- There has been a lot of media coverage in Australia around the August 31 return of the remains of the last two Australian armed forces personnel – Canberra bomber pilots – who were missing in action in the Vietnam War. But none of the articles put this in the context of the death and damage inflicted on the Vietnamese people by the United States and its ally Australia.

Operating as part of the US Air Force's 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Canberra bombers flew 6% of the wing's sorties but inflicted 16% of the damage. Overall, 11,963 sorties were flown by the Canberra bombers in Vietnam and 76,389 bombs were dropped. Two Canberra bombers were lost in the process.

Total Australian military casualties in the Vietnam War were 521 killed and 2398 wounded, but the numerous high-altitude bombing raids carried out by Australia's Canberra bombers alone would have inflicted much higher casualties.

Woodstock 40 years ago: Country Joe McDonald's and Jimi Hendrix's antiwar classics

40 years ago -- from August 15 to August 18, 1969 -- hundreds of thousands of young people gathered for three days of ``peace, love and music''. In the midst of the mass movement against the Vietnam War and the youth radicalisation it unleashed, oppostion to US imperialism's slaughter in Vietnam was personified by the performances of Country Joe McDonald's ``Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die' Rag'' and Jimi Hendrix's searing anti-patriotic ``Star-Spangled banner'' (below, press ``Read more'' to watch).

Vietnam: Chemical companies, US authorities knew the dangers of Agent Orange

By Jon Dillingham

Thanh Nien -- August 10, 2009, was the first Orange Day organised in Vietnam –- not only to be remembered by victims of Agent Orange but to mark Vietnam's common pain. Those responsible for exposing Vietnamese citizens and US troops to toxic defoliants kept silent about known health implications, a review of documents finds.

US chemical companies that made Agent Orange and the government and military authorities who ordered its spraying on Vietnam knew the human health toll it could take, according to official and unofficial documents detailing the history of the deadly defoliant.

A review of the documents related to the use of Agent Orange –- a dioxin-laden herbicide -– in Vietnam, including decades-old declassified papers from the companies that manufactured it and the government and military that used it, provides compelling evidence that those in charge also concealed evidence of the devastating effects it could have on people.

April 30: Vietnam celebrates Liberation Day

By Peter Boyle

April 30, 2009 -- Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific -- There are two unforgettable images of Vietnam's Liberation Day on April 30, 1975. The first is the image of liberation fighters entering the Independence Palace (now Reunification Palace) in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City). The second is the hasty evacuation by helicopter from the roof of the US embassy.

Thirty-four years later Vietnam will celebrate not just the end of a 16-year war of aggression by the US, Australia and other imperialist and pro-imperialist states but also the end of the two-decade-long economic blockade that was subsequently imposed by the US on this poor and war-ravaged nation.

Vietnam: `Building an equitable, democratic and civilised society'

Vietnamese delegation addresses the World at a Crossroads conference. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

By Le Vinh Thu

This is the text of the speech on behalf of Communist Party of Vietnam's delegation to the World at a Crossroads conference, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Resistance, held in Sydney, April 10-12, 2009.

* * *

Dear comrades and friends,

Vietnam Update: Labour in Vietnam -- November 6-7, 2008, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

The Vietnam Update will be held at University House, Australian National

University on 6-7 November 2008. The 2008 Vietnam Update addresses the

topic of labour in Vietnam.


Vietnam is one of the world's fastest growing economies and has undergone

a remarkable transformation over the last two decades from a poor, mostly

agricultural country to a new centre of global industrial production.

However, for three years in a row, factories throughout the country have

been hit by waves of strikes. Complaints about low wages, harsh conditions

and the high cost of living have come to the fore in labour disputes.

Industrial unrest has increased in 2008, a year of soaring inflation and

slowing growth. Below the surface, rarely manifested in the strikes, are

diverse concerns about inadequate social infrastructure for migrant

workers, the quality of the workforce, the representation of worker's

interests, the unregulated informal sector, and the social and cultural

costs of Vietnam's rapid metamorphosis into a globalised industrial

society.


The 2008 Vietnam Update takes up the timely issue of labour in Vietnam. It

will explore the theme of labour broadly, including Vietnam's position in

regional labour markets; everyday working conditions and experiences; the

The May-June 1968 revolt in France and its influence today (+ videos)

By Duncan Meerding

In May and June 1968, a movement erupted in France that threatened not just the survival of the government of President Charles De Gaulle but the system that it represented — capitalism. At the height of this movement, which was sparked by radical action by youth and students, an estimated 10 million workers were on strike and 600,000 students were occupying their schools and universities, and a further 2 million farmers were supporting them. This meant that more than one in five of France’s population were on the

Howard Zinn: An illustrated people's history of the US empire

 

Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People’s History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with their emphasis on great men in high places to chronicle events as they were lived, from the bottom up.

Speech & video: Martin Luther King: Beyond Vietnam -- A time to break the silence

On April 4, 1967, African-American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King addressed a gathering of religious antiwar activists at Riverside Church in New York City. On April 4, 1968, he was assassinated.

``I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a `thing-oriented' society to a `person-oriented' society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.'' -- MLK.

***

 

Conference and Vietnam/Laos study tour October 2008

Announcing conference in Hanoi, 7-8 October 2008: "Problems in Contemporary
Socioeconomic Theory" sponsored by Nature, Society and Thought and the Ho
Chi Minh National Academy of Politics and Public Administration. Conference
is embedded in a two week study in northern & northwestern Vietnam and
Laos. For details see attached PDF file or
http://umn.edu/home/marqu002/VL2008.htm

Erwin Marquit
Editor, Nature, Society and Thought
University of Minnesota
116 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

marqu002@tc.umn.edu
612-922-7993

Vietnam: On the road towards the renewal of socialism

By Tran Dac Loi

Years ago, while we were fighting the US war of aggression, the word “Vietnam” became very familiar to the world. However, over the past decades, less information about Vietnam has reached to the outside world, and therefore understanding of Vietnam has become less among its world friends. It is against this background that I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with a broad overview about history of Vietnam, with the main focus on its development over the past 30 years.

Movement history: Socialists and the anti-war movement

By Gus Horowitz

This is the text of a speech that was printed in the Militant, the newspaper of the us Socialist Workers Party, on October 10, 1969, shortly before the massive anti-war demonstrations scheduled to occur in mid-November of that year. Gus Horowitz was the SWP's national anti-war director during that year and through the first half of 1970. Minor spelling and punctuation changes have been made in the text reprinted here. The introduction was by the Militant.

Introduction

On Labour Day weekend [September 1969] in New York, the Socialist Workers Party held its national convention. One of the central points on the agenda was a resolution assessing developments within the movement against the Vietnam War and the role of the SWP within that movement.

Discussion on the resolution was initiated with a report by Gus Horowitz, a member of the party's national committee and its representative to the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam.

Vietnam's long history of struggle

By Nguyen The Phiet

The author is the Vietnamese consul general in Sydney. This is an edited and abridged version of a talk given to an educational conference of the Australian Democratic Socialist Perspective in January 2005.

I have been asked to present a brief account of our history and of our anti-French and anti-US struggles and the important factors that made our struggles victorious, particularly those factors which I think are still relevant in our efforts for national defence and construction of our socialist homeland.

Vietnam has an age-old history. The ancient Viet, the ancestors of the presentday Vietnamese, and several other ethnic groups settled in Vietnam's territory right from the dawn of humankind. They explored and conquered nature to survive and develop. Over thousands of years of nation building, they had to fight continuously against foreign invaders and foiled invaders' attempts to assimilate this nation.

Vietnam has a history of building and safeguarding the country for thousands of years. This history can be divided into the following periods:

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