[News] New Freedom Archives Collection - Oakland Induction Center

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 9 13:46:22 EST 2016

    Oakland Induction Center

Posted on March 9, 2016 


Protesters at the Oakland Induction Center

Protesters at the Oakland Induction Center

It is our pleasure to introduce a new chapter in the Colin Edwards audio 
collection. Our catalog now contains dozens of reels recorded during 
anti-war protests, taken primarily from the Stop the Draft Week 
mobilizations in 1967 and 1968, outside of the Oakland Induction Center 
<http://search.freedomarchives.org/search.php?view_collection=1027>. The 
Oakland Induction Center served as a delivery point for draftees of the 
United States Armed Forces and would become a lightning rod that drew 
massive numbers of demonstrators who looked to disrupt the murderous 
cycle that fed the armed invasion of Vietnam. As a street reporter, 
Colin Edwards offered us not only a detailed visual of what these 
protests looked like, but a multitude of perspectives from individuals 
who made up the demonstrations themselves, through speeches delivered at 
rallies, interviews or simply recording the sights and sounds of chants, 
songs and observations made by onlookers. The power of these reels lies 
in this wealth of firsthand accounts, and the decision to record on the 
ground and allow the events to tell the story offers a glimpse into a 
tumultuous time period that is often opined over and criticized, but 
very rarely experienced in its actuality.

Reese Erlich on Stop the Draft Week 

The reels also paint a picture of anti-Vietnam War efforts beyond the 
Oakland Induction Center, covering a wide array of protests, rallies, 
mill-ins and interviews around the San Francisco Bay Area, in locations 
like the campuses of UC Berkeley Campus and San Francisco State, the 
Alameda Court House, and Port Chicago in Concord (a large munitions plant).

Summary of Protests at Port Chicago 

The audio on the reels themselves not only show the lengths 
demonstrators went in order to disrupt an unyielding war machine with 
risk to life and limb, but also the different conversations that took 
place between various organizations and voices within the movement, in 
order to halt the senseless violence. Rather than romanticize anti-War 
efforts, Colin’s reels show insight into what kind of practical and 
theoretical labor sustains such a movement. Beyond the rhetoric or 
generalized explanations others might provide for the motives of these 
protesters, in their own words you hear why they took to the streets in 
favor of direct action. Beyond the charismatic figureheads that often 
grow to represent whole movements, Colin’s interviews bring to the 
forefront individuals who history has a way of leaving out, and elevate 
voices that might not have ever been heard, offering a wide array of 
experiences, insights and reasoning for objecting to the Vietnam War and 
the draft process. From concerned parents and citizens to college 
students, musicians and clergymen, the range of people who protested at 
the site of the Oakland Induction Center is well represented.

Port Chicago Counter Protesters 

Marines Rebuff Anti-War Demonstrators 

For those looking to enhance their knowledge of the efforts against the 
Vietnam War and the draft, these reels are vital. The interviews are 
informative and thought provoking, while maintaining a level of 
accessibility and basic language that makes it easy to jump in and 
follow the thoughts and philosophy behind their efforts. The reels also 
contain a variety of different tactics employed against “the 
establishment”, such as the occupation of a campus lab in protest of the 
CIA’s presence at UC Berkeley, or the mill-in that was held in the 
Dean’s office to protest administrative actions against student 
protesters. I hope that these works are as informative for those who do 
decide to come check them out as they have been for me.


Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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