May Day 1971: Daniel Ellsberg on Joining Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn at Historic Antiwar Direct Action

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the 1971 May Day protests, when tens of thousands of protesters demonstrated against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C., and brought much of the capital to a standstill through acts of civil disobedience. The mass demonstrations terrified the Nixon administration, and police would arrest over 12,000 people — the largest mass arrest in U.S. history. Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who attended the May Day protests, says it was part of a wave of popular discontent about the war that mobilized millions. “There was a movement of young people who felt that what was happening in the world … was wrong,…

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‘Lest we forget’: anti-war statue of Iraq veteran goes up in Margate

A statue of a young soldier has gone up in Margate. And it’s quite different to most military statues. It depicts Daniel Taylor, a young anti-war Iraq veteran and campaigner who suffers from PTSD and has a powerful message for Britain’s politicians. The statue is named April is the Cruellest Month, after a T.S Eliot poem. It’s the work of Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz. Made from concrete, the statue contains artefacts donated by locals and veterans, including Taylor’s Iraq medal and a peace flag he stole as a 15-year-old from an anti-war demo in his native Devon. Iraq medal In 2006, Taylor took the flag to Iraq with…

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Veteran anti-war activist warns that ‘spycops’ inquiry is unlikely to change anything

The Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS) Bill seeks to legalise the criminal activities of police, the security services and their sources. It is currently at the committee stage in the House of Lords. Ironically, its passage also coincides with the Undercover Policing Inquiry (UCPI) which, after five years, has just heard opening statements from victims of undercover policing. While the CHIS bill is likely to be enacted within a matter of weeks, the UCPI is expected to continue for several more years, with no end date confirmed. Ali warns of dangers One of the many powerful statements presented to the UCPI was by veteran anti-war activist Tariq Ali.…

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