What it Meant Then and Now
April 29, 2021, 7 p.m. ET
Mayday was the largest civil disobedience protest of the American war in Indochina and in US history. More than 12,000 people were detained or arrested in Washington. This webinar features an account of how it was organized and what took place by participants and writers. Panelists will discuss its effect on the war and on the antiwar movement and reflect on comparisons with the January 6 violent assault on the Capitol.
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Lawrence Roberts, author, "Mayday 1971"
L.A. Kauffman, author "Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism,"
Jay Craven, Mayday organizer, Filmmaker
Judy Gumbo, Mayday staff, author, "Yippie Girl"
Phil Hirschkop, attorney
Bill Zimmerman, Mayday organizer
John McAuliff, Moderator, Mayday organizer
JAY CRAVEN is an Award-winning filmmaker, teacher and impresario who participated in the December 1970 Peoples Peace treaty delegation to Vietnam – and subsequently helped organize the May Day 1971 antiwar civil disobedience demonstrations in Washington, D.C. where nearly 13,000 people were arrested. He has also been active on issues of civil rights, nuclear power and U.S. interventions in Central America. His 1980 documentary film, “Dawn of the People,” chronicles Nicaragua’s National Literacy Campaign and his most recent narrative picture, “Martin Eden” (2021) is based on Jack London’s autobiographical novel of the same name.
JUDY GUMBO is an original member of two late 1960s satirical protest groups - the Yippies and W.I.T.C.H. Judy attended and worked at the Chicago Conspiracy Trial where Yippie founder and Chicago defendant Abbie Hoffman told her she “should have been indicted.” No women were. She briefly managed the defendants Trial office, then became responsible for distributing Trial transcripts to national and international media. Judy is one of a very few North Americans to visit the former North Vietnam while the war still raged. She returned to travel around the United States organizing against the war and for the liberation of women. In 1972, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover named Judy “the most vicious, the most anti-American and the most dangerous to the internal security of the United States.” Judy’s home was illegally burglarized seven times in one year by FBI agents who also installed two tracking devices on her car, one of which she found. With that, surveillance ceased. Judy visited Vietnam in 1971, 2017 and in 2019, when she was awarded a medal by the Vietnamese government for her anti-war activities. Judy spent the majority of her professional career as an award-winning fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. She is the widow of Yippie founder Stew Albert with whom she has a daughter, and of David Dobkin, founder of Berkeley Cohousing. Judy is now married to Art Eckstein, distinguished professor and author, among others, of “Bad Moon Rising: How the Weather Underground Beat the FBI and Lost the Revolution.” Judy likes to say the FBI brought them together. Find Judy Gumbo on her website www.yippiegirl.com or on Facebook.
BILL ZIMMERMAN organized for, participated in, and was arrested at Mayday ’71. In 1972-73, he built and led Medical Aid for Indochina. In North Viet Nam in May 1972, he filmed civilian bomb damage and made the documentary, Village By Village. In 1974-75, he helped lead the Indochina Peace Campaign. After the war, he managed Tom Hayden’s 1976 campaign for the US Senate, then began a long career as a political campaign manager and media consultant serving progressive candidates and nonprofits nationwide. He is the author of Troublemaker: A Memoir from the Frontlines of the Sixties.
by Lawrence Roberts
Direct Action Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism
May Day Raw