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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 17. 19th July 1972

Anti-War Militarists

Anti-War Militarists


Just a few words on the antiwar demonstration on Friday.

While marching down Willis Street to the Town Hall the front portion of the march was stopped at an intersection while traffic officers stopped traffic. At this point a spectator rushed in, grabbed a placard from a marcher and smashed it down on the road.

Several marchers reacted violently to this action—with clenched teeth and fists, a scuffle ensued, which was soon broken up. From their appearance, they were prepared to sort out this 'right wing reactionary' etc. etc. right there and then. A sudden transformation from 'marchers against war' to 'fighters for peace'.

Their actions prompted me to try and interpret their motives for such an action.

1.Was their personal security threatened by such an act?
2.Did they carefully consider the implications of their actions before resorting to the easiest means of 'sorting out' the problem?
3.Did the fact that someone disagreed with them convictions justify their resorting to violence?
4.Did they have some 'special role to look after the interests of the demonstrators?
5.Was the possibility that the fighting might spread in the personal interests of the demonstrators and in the interests of the demonstration?

If they cannot answer yes to all of these Questions then how can they justify their opposition to America's violent role as 'policeman' for the 'Free World', in Vietnam. All of the questions are as applicable to the Vietnam situation as they are to the demonstration.