October 2017 Event Bios
Presenters for October 20-21 Events (partial)
The day before his arrest at the Pentagon October 21, 1967 Bruce Beyer returned his draft card to then-US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Over the next ten months he refused induction three times , eventually taking sanctuary in his family church in Buffalo, NY . In 1970, convicted and awaiting sentencing for draft resistance , Beyer jumped bail and fled to Sweden , later immigrating to Canada. On October 20, 1977 Beyer returned to the US with his attorney , Ramsey Clark, Col. Ed Miller -- highest - ranking Marine Corps ex- POW, and fifty Vietnam vets to highlight the demand for Universal Unconditional Amnesty. He is a proud A ssociate M ember of Veterans for Peace.
Mandy Carter is a southern black social justice activist with a 50-year movement history of social, racial and,LGBTQ justice organizing since 1967. Ms. Carter's history of opposition to the Vietnam war began in December 1967 when she participated in the nonviolent civil disobedience action at the Oakland Induction Center organized by the San Francisco-based War Resisters League Western Regional office, and served 10 days at the Santa Rita Priso. Her other anti-Vietnam war actions included: arrested at WRL West's Bread Not Bombs civil disobedience action at the Alameda Naval Air Station that the USS Constitution and the USS Enterprise aircraft carriers used during the Vietnam war; participated in the the AFSC's 1972 People's Blockade of the USS Enterprise and USS Constellation aircraft carriers at Alameda. In 1969 she joined the staff of the War Resisters League West office whose primary work was organizing against the Vietnam war. Also on staff at the time was draft resister Randy Kehler who played a pivotal role in inspiring Daniel Ellsberg to release the Pentagon papers.
David Cortright is an Army veteran who organized to end the Vietnam War while an active duty GI serving from 1968-71, and is the author of the classic book, Soldiers in Revolt: GI Resistance During the Vietnam War. He is a professor and director of policy studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies and is the author or editor of 20 books, including Peace: A History of Movements and Ideas (Cambridge University Press, 2008). Cortright has written widely about nonviolent social change, peace history, nuclear disarmament, and multilateral sanctions and incentives and has been a consultant to many international agencies and governments.
The daughter of a US Vietnam Veteran, Susan has been living and/or working in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia since 1996. She founded the War Legacies Project in 2007 (www.warlegacies.org) to provide direct services to families in SE Asia still impacted by Agent Orange, unexploded ordnance and other long-term consequences of the war. Susan also educates Americans about these war legacies and advocates for more US government assistance to address the ongoing impacts of war on the people of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia as well as its impacts on US Veterans and their children.
Maurice Isserman teaches American history at Hamilton College. He is the author of several books about the history of the American Left and the 1960s, including America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s, co-authored with Michael Kazin. He attended the March on the Pentagon in 1967 as a 16 year old high school student.
Frank Joyce is a lifelong Detroit based activist and writer. He was a Vietnam War draft resister (but not a draft card burner) who participated in many antiwar demonstrations, including the March On The Pentagon, the Democratic Party Convention in 1968, the Mobilization in November of 1969 and was arrested at Mayday 1971. He worked on the staff of the trial of the Chicago 8 in 1969 and was an organizer for the People's Peace Treaty and the IndoChina Peace Campaign, as well as a longtime Board member of RESIST. Frank traveled to Hanoi in May of 1970 and has been back to Viet Nam twice since then. Co-edited and contributed a chapter to the book The People Make The Peace—Lessons from the Vietnam Antiwar Movement. Currently a member of the National Council Of Elders (NCOE).
Christopher Koch was the first American journalist to visit North Vietnam after the division of the country in 1954. Koch is a radio and television producer whose work has appeared on ABC, NBC, HBO, PBS, National Public Radio, The Discovery Channel, Turner Broadcasting, and National Geographic Television. Koch is a former executive producer of NPR’s evening news program, All Things Considered, and public television’s series on journalism, Inside Story, hosted by Hodding Carter. He has received six national EMMY awards including the first President’s Award for superior, socially responsible programming and the George Foster Peabody Award, a Cable ACE, the Environmental Media Award, the Overseas Press Club’s Edward R. Murrow Award, and a Dupont-Columbia University Award. He is currently a Professor at Montgomery College, teaching the history of telecommunications and, video production and visual story telling. He received a Masters Degree with honors from Columbia University on a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship and a BA from Reed College.
Jerry Lembcke is the author of The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam and Hanoi Jane: War, Sex, and Fantasies of Betrayal. Jerry grew up in a small town in northwest Iowa. He was drafted in 1968 and was assigned to an artillery unit in Vietnam as a Chaplain’s Assistant in 1969. He is Associate Professor Emeritus at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and a Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians. His review-essay “Burns and Novick, Masters of False Balancing” is posted at PublicBooks.org.
J. Michael Lennon
J. Michael Lennon wrote Norman Mailer: A Double Life, the authorized biography, in 2013. After five years in the U.S. Navy in the Atlantic, 1964-68, he took part in anti-war protests as a member of the Vietnam Vets Against the War. He is currently editing a new edition of The Armies of the Night for 2018 publication by the Library of America.
A draft resister, Robert Levering spent six years as a full-time antiwar organizer on the staffs of AFSC, New Mobe and PCPJ working on both major national demonstrations such as the mass Mobilizations in Washington, DC, New York and Chicago as well as numerous nonviolent civil disobedience actions, including the Peoples Lobby/Mayday in 1971 and Peoples Blockades in 1972. After the war, Levering became a business journalist and is currently working on a book for publication next year entitled Resistance and the Vietnam War: The Nonviolent Movement that Crippled the Draft and Thwarted the War Effort while Helping Topple Two Presidents.
Representative of Students for Democratic Society (SDS) at the second session of the Bertrand Russell International War Crimes Tribunal in Copenhagen in 1967, which included testimony (including from US soldiers) about the use of torture by American personnel in Viet Nam and the uses and dangers of Agent Orange. Helped organize an alternate ‘Viet Nam graduation’ at the University of Chicago in 1968. After the war, helped found the Viet Nam Support Committee in Seattle in the hope that Americans would not abandon postwar Viet Nam. Made the first of many visits to Viet Nam in 2002 and continues to help develop connections between Vietnamese and Americans. Currently works with the Veterans For Peace Full: Disclosure Campaign for an Honest Commemoration Of the American War in Vietnam.
Former Washington Post journalist Myra MacPherson is the author of five books including the best selling classic Long Time Passing: Vietnam and the Haunted Generation. It was the first mass marketed book to examine PTSD and remains in print with new introductions. "Myra MacPherson's book belongs with the best of the works on Vietnam, and there has been no better body of war literature that I know of." - Joseph Heller. MacPherson's award winning, 2006 All Governments Lie: the Life and Times of Rebel Journalist I. F.Stone details the anti-Vietnam war hero, whose Weekly became a Bible among anti-war youth. He spoke to anti-war crowds of half a million. He presciently called LBJ a liar only days after the Gulf of Tonkin excuse for escalating the war. A 2016 documentary " All Governments Lie" was based in part on her book. MacPherson remains active on the subject of Vietnam, including writing about the Veterans for Peace members in Hanoi who help victims of Agent Orange and bombs still exploding 50 years later.
John McAuliff has been an active participant in the civil rights, peace and equitable development movements in the United States since the 1960s. He arrived in Hanoi on April 30, 1975, the day the war ended, on behalf of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker peace organization. In 1985 he founded the Fund for Reconciliation and Development, which has been on the front lines of building human connections and normal diplomatic and economic relations between the people of the US and those of former adversaries in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Cuba. McAuliff has traveled to Southeast Asia over fifty times, is recognized as an expert on the history of US-Indochina relations and maintains strong contact with key people in the region and in Washington.
Ton–Nu–Thi Ninh was a member of Viet Nam's National Assembly, where she served as vice-chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee. She was previously a diplomat in Viet Nam's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 2000 to 2003, she was Viet Nam's Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and Head of the Mission to the European Union in Brussels. Now President of Ho Chi Minh City Peace and Development Foundation (www.hpdf.vn), Ton–Nu–Thi Ninh has consistently endeavoured to build bridges of understanding and cooperation between Viet Nam and the world, especially the US and American people. In 2007-2008 she served as founding co-chair of the US-Viet Nam Dialogue on Agent Orange/Dioxin. In October 2012 she participated in TedX talk at San Joaquin with a central message on humanity and fortitude arising from lessons of war. Today she works to achieve positive socio-cultural and educational impact as part of her lifelong commitment to Viet Nam’s sustainable development and all-around engagement with the world.
Le Anh Tu Packard
Le Anh Tu Packard's first significant antiwar talk was to a group of skeptical U.S. naval officers in 1969 at an Episcopal church in Wickford, Rhode Island. They were surprised to learn that their “enemy” Ho Chi Minh was allied with the U.S. Office of Strategic Services (the precursor to the CIA) toward the end of World War II. While a student, Tu participated in demonstrations organized by Asians Against the Vietnam War and encouraged the student body at her college to support the People’s Peace Treaty. In 1971 she joined the National Action/Research on the Military Industrial Complex (NARMIC), a project of the American Friends Service Committee. She spoke at peace actions that included the Womens March Against the Presidio and the Winter Solder Investigation at Faneuil Hall. In 1972 Tu and Marilyn McNabb co-authored “Aid to Thieu”, a NARMIC report on the use of U.S. military and economic aid to prop up the Thieu government. Tu also worked closely with Peggy Duff, Gabriel Kolko and Richard Falk in a successful campaign to oppose secretive efforts by the U.S. government to use World Bank funds to aid the Thieu administration.
In 1965 as a high school senior, Terry wrote his first letter against the war to LBJ and received numerous State Department mailings. He went on to organize for Oct 1969 Moratorium in Pittsburgh and Nov 1969 Mobilization in DC. From seminary he worked closely with Dan and Phil Berrigan and the Harrisburg Defense Committee, Daily Death Toll Project with FOR, May Day, and coordinated two sit-ins in front of White House and Harrisburg Court House. Later he worked for Pentagon Papers Peace Project in LA in support of Dan Ellsberg and Tony Russo and then Medical Aid for Indochina in Boston visiting Hanoi in spring 1973 after Christmas bombing raid Dec 72, and Indochina Peace Campaign in Pittsburgh. Arrested 6 times for anti-war protests in DC, Harrisburg, Los Angeles and Miami. Now serves as part-time staff for VPCC.
James Reston, Jr
Reston is the author of 18 books including his just published A RIFT IN THE EARTH: Art, Memory, and the Fight for a Vietnam War Memorial. Previous books relating to Vietnam are his first book, a novel, To Defend, To Destroy, a Vietnam generation novel; The Amnesty of John David Herndon ; and Sherman's March and Vietnam  An Army veteran, 1965-68, he was very active in the amnesty movement 1969-82, and wrote more about the return of war resisters from exile than any other American writer, advocating universal amnesty. In 1976-1977, Reston was David Frost's Watergate adviser for the famous Frost/Nixon Interviews. Reston was an assistant to U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Steward Udall, 1964-65.
Clay Risen is the deputy op-ed editor at The New York Times, where he also runs the paper's online series "Vietnam '67." He is the author, most recently, of "The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act."
Susan Schnall was a nurse in the US Navy 1967-1969 who was court-martialed for dropping anti war leaflets over military installations in the San Francisco Bay Area and wearing her uniform and speaking at the GI and Veterans March for Peace on October 12, 1968. She worked with the GI Coffeehouses, Medical Committee for Human Rights, Medical Aid for Indochina. Today Susan is active in the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign, Full Disclosure:Toward an Honest Commemoration of the American War in Vietnam, Veterans for Peace, Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Susan works with an organization that provides supportive housing and clinical services to the homeless and seriously, persistently ill in NYC and teaches in the School of Professional Studies, New York University.
Lois T. Vietri, Ph.D. taught courses on The Politics of the Vietnam Wars, led study abroad programs in Vietnam and co-founded the Maryland Vietnam Partnership at the University of Maryland College Park (1983-2010). She is currently the Executive Director of Women’s Empowerment and Voice (WEAV). WEAV has award over 900 scholarships to keep poor girls in grades 1-12 and in college. WEAV also promotes economic leadership opportunities through its nearly 300 microloans to women in the Mekong Delta.
Rabbi Arthur Waskow
Rabbi Arthur Waskow, Ph.D., was a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies during the whole period of the US War Against Vietnam. He was a keynote speaker at the first Vietnam Teach-in at the University of Michigan (Spring 1965); was the co-author with Marc Raskin of “A Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority”; took part in October 1967 with Dr. Benjamin Spock, Rev. Wm. Sloane Coffin, and Marc Raskin in the Department of Justice turn in of 1,000 draft cards; took part in the Siege of the Pentagon; was a member of the insurgent antiwar and anti-racist delegation from D.C. to the Democratic National Convention of 1968; wrote the original Freedom Seder for Passover 1969, which unprecedentedly wove together stories of the Black liberation struggle in the US, the American labor movement, and the antiwar movement along with the traditional story of the ancient liberation struggle of Israelites slaves against Pharaoh; was a member of the steering committee of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Indo-China, which sponsored the May 1970 emergency mass demonstration in Washington against the invasion of Cambodia; and was one of nine Washingtonians who in the early ‘80s successfully sued the FBI for its illegal and unconstitutional COINTELPRO actions against activists in the antiwar and Black liberation movements. Along the way he was arrested for a number of antiwar actions, including padlocking the door of the Selective Service System HQ in Washington, and demonstrating against the war at the White House on the day after the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King.
Bill Zimmerman was fired from the faculties of Brooklyn College and the University of Chicago for antiwar work. He helped create Science for the People, was a local organizer for the March on the Pentagon and for Mayday. In 1972, as the national coordinator of Medical Aid for Indochina, he traveled to North Viet Nam to coordinate medical shipments, interview POWs, and film bomb damage to civilian targets. Later that year, he organized the effort to rebuild Hanoi’s Bach Mai Hospital. After 1973, he worked in the national office of the Indochina Peace Campaign, helping to coordinate the antiwar lobbying that ended the war. He is the author of Troublemaker: A Memoir from the Front Lines of the Sixties, Anchor Books, 2012.
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