April 30, 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the victory of the people of Viet Nam over the US military. The Vietnamese national liberation struggle moved the entire world and is one of the most important historical events of the 20th century.
The people’s war waged by the people of Viet Nam, reaching a peak in the Tet Offensive of 1968, demonstrated that a united people, even in a poor and underdeveloped nation, could defeat the most powerful military and economic power on earth.
In an era when national liberation struggles surged in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the struggle of the Vietnamese people provided an inspiring example to solidarity movements around the world and inside the US. The movement against the war in Viet Nam in the US was inextricably tied to the early anti-imperialism of the civil rights/Black Liberation movement, and many other movements of the 1960s and 1970s.
The victory of Viet Nam is a living example that holds lessons for the ongoing struggle against US imperialism today. We are creating this online tribute, much of it drawn from the Freedom Archives, to help illustrate and pass on these lessons.
Additionally, we were part of the Viet Nam Victory Coalition (VNVC), which organized a Viet Nam teach-in on Saturday, May 2nd in Oakland at MetWest High School focused on culture and education marking the 40th anniversary of the US defeat.
Digital Resources on Viet Nam:
10 Viet Nam related sound clips in the Freedom Archives:
– Ho Chi Minh addressing the anti-war movement in English
Ho Chi Minh led the anti-colonial struggles against the French and the US. He was the first President of modern Viet Nam, declaring independence on September 2, 1945.
– Madame Nguyen Thi Bình appeals to the US Congress
Madame Binh served as Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government and negotiated at the Paris Peace Conference. She has also been Vice-President, Minister of Education, and held other posts as one of the leaders of Viet Nam. (1972)
– Dao Interview
One of the members of the Union of Vietnamese in the US, who were very active in the antiwar movement. (1976)
– Robert and Mabel Williams on Viet Nam
Leaders of an armed self-defense movement against the Klan in North Carolina, the Williams were forced into exile, first in Cuba, then in China.
– H Rap Brown – selections from a speech in 1967.
H Rap Brown (now Imam Jamil Al Amin) was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s.
– Huey Newton on the Black Panther Party and Viet Nam
Huey Newton was a founder and first Minister of Defense of the Black Panther Party. (1970)
– Geronimo ji Jaga on Viet Nam and Detroit
A leading member of the Black Panther Party in Los Angeles, Geronimo was a Viet Nam war veteran. He was falsely imprisoned for 27 years in a frame-up engineered by the FBI as part of their counter-intelligence (Cointelpro) program.
– Chican@ Moratorium Speech on Viet Nam War
The Chicano Moratorium was a broad-based coalition of antiwar Chican@ groups throughout the Southwest that organized a march of more than 30,000 in Los Angeles on August 29, 1970, in which four were killed by police. Rosalio Munoz speaks.
– Native Americans on Viet Nam
A solidarity statement that emphasizes anti-imperialist commonalities between the Vietnamese and Native American struggles. John McClain speaks for the Bay Area chapter of AIM. (1975)
– Attack the Water – Janice Mirikitani
A San Francisco poet who often read at antiwar events, and brought forth her childhood experience in the concentration camps in the US during World War II that imprisoned Japanese-Americans. (1973)
See more materials about Viet Nam here.