Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) received the WRL Peace Award in May 1988. Accepting the award were New Jersey veterans and activists David Cline and Clarence Fitch (pictured). During this Veterans Day/Armistice week it is fitting to remember them and tip our hats to the important contribution of VVAW to the antiwar movement during and after the U.S. war in Indochina.
Clarence was 18 when he was sent to the front lines in Vietnam, and, like many Vietnam vets, he came home angry, antiwar, and addicted to heroin. Clarence died in 1990 but you can learn about him in the film Another Brother. David Cline became a leader in VVAW when he returned home from Vietnam and later served as president of Veterans for Peace. He died in 2007 and is featured in the film Sir, No Sir!
In the spring of 2023, WRL sponsored an event in New York City in conjunction with a virtual showing of the film The Boys Who Said NO! Featured on the panel were Vietnam veteran Greg Payton, who has been a VVAW member and actively involved with War Resisters League after being brought to a demonstration against war toys by Dave Cline in the later eighties. Greg served on the National Committee, and as WRL’s rep to War Resisters International. He spoke at events across the U.S. and the world, and in 1989 Greg travelled to South Africa for a speaking tour with the End Conscription Campaign (ECC). See the panel presentations on YouTube.
For more information about ongoing military resistance see the GI Rights Hotline.
- blog post by Ruth Benn