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Webinar: Citizens’ Responsibility for Confronting and Remembering the Crimes of War

November 20, 2022 @ 7:00 PM 8:30 PM

While the public, the press and government officials debate holding Russia responsible for its war crimes in Ukraine, it’s appropriate to reflect on the history of US war crimes in Indochina that led to the “Redress” campaign of civil disobedience.

 Fifty years ago, 1972, was a critical time in the U.S. peace movement’s struggle to end the US war in Indochina. The movement and an increasingly critical media created pressures that led to the signing of the Paris Peace Agreement in January of 1973.  

Richard Nixon had campaigned for re-election on his “secret plan” to end the war, which in reality was to devastate North Vietnam so that Saigon would agree to an American peace treaty with Hanoi.  

The US had been violating laws of war for years by using chemical weapons such as napalm and Agent Orange against civilians and forced relocation of rural populations.  But the Pentagon in 1972 expanded its methods and targets to include mining the Hai Phong harbor and bombing North Vietnam’s dikes and dams essential for rice cultivation. The Pentagon’s efforts culminated in the Christmas bombing of Hanoi, including Bach Mai, the country’s primary teaching hospital. 

Responding to the escalation of military violence, a small group of US academics, lawyers and other activists created “Project Redress” in 1972.  They decided to “petition their government for the redress of grievance” for US war crimes in Vietnam. Hundreds of American academics, writers, lawyers, poets, actors, religious leaders, and intellectuals pledged to come to Washington and to remain in the Capital until their grievance was heard or they were arrested.  

In 2022 while US officials and the media debate holding Russia responsible for war crimes in Ukraine, this webinar offers an opportunity to reflect on the history of our own war crimes that led to the Redress campaign of civil disobedience.  It will consider the responsibility of all people to hold their government accountable for war crimes committed in their name.

Panelists

Dr. Robert J. Lifton, one of the original organizers of Project Redress. Lecturer in Psychiatry at Columbia University, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Psychology at the City University of New York

Cora Weiss, President of the International Peace Bureau.  Founder of the Committee of Liaison with Families of Servicemen Detained in North Vietnam and arrested in conjunction with Project Redress.

Richard Falk, one of the organizers of Project Redress, is Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University; Chair of Global Law, Faculty of Law, at Queen Mary University London; Research Associate the Orfalea Center of Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara 

Hosted by Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee
Cosponsored by: Brooklyn For Peace, Institute for Policy Studies, Just World Educational, Massachusetts Peace Action and Peace Action New York State

Register here for the Zoom link

Free