(revised March, 2021)
“Give Peace a Chance” are the words of John Lennon from back in the 60s protests days.
Protests get a lot of play in the news over the past few decades. Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, Stop the Steal, and various environmental causes have grabbed the publics’ attention.
For this Baby Boomer, the current protests conjure up the emotions and commitment of the 60s protests. It has been more than 50 years.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and a plethora of cable news networks are continually buzzing with messages of the current protests. The 60s protests lacked the instant, broad communication of the current age.
Songs were one of the major channels to reach the masses with stirring, emotional messages.
I have written several articles about those turbulent 60s protests and the causes of my youth. I will continue to do so.
In this post, I present some videos that recount the times. They are music videos, documentaries, and interviews with some of the key influencers of the times.
Table of Contents
60s Protests Video Clips
Give Peace A Chance Video
The Vietnam War was live, every day on the television. It was the first real-time coverage of a war. Many of us young people seeing the images of bombs exploding in villages and coffins being off-loaded from aircraft. Many of us were facing the draft and thousands of us joined the ranks of soldiers. Give Peace a Chance was an anthem that had a strong appeal.
The Years that Changed America
Protests of the Vietnam War and Racial Injustice did bring about change. It did not put an end to all wars, obviously. Racial inequity continues today and in some ways, racial prejudice is more overt today than it has since the 1960s. The 60s had other major influences on American culture. The following, brief (5 mins) video documentary highlights the main issues.
Hell on Earth: The Real Vietnam Story
The following is one, young man’s story of his experiences as a soldier in Vietnam. We Baby Boomers were all young like Allen. He experienced what many of our classmates experienced. Those events, now 50 plus years old, are part of our psyche.
Masters of War – Written by Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan was a master at putting words to the feelings of many Baby Boomers in the 1960s. Dylan’s lyrics and the images bring into focus the emotions that spawned and empowered the 60s anti-war protests.
Angela Davis recalls her experiences.
Angela Davis, with her substantial afro hairstyle, was front and center in the feminist and anti-war movements as well as being an eloquent and forceful advocate for racial justice. In the video below, Davis reflects on her involvement in bringing about change in the 60s and what she sees in the era of Donald Trump.
1968 As It Really Was – Remember It?
The 60s Protests were not always peaceful. I witnessed Yippies throwing flowers at police in front of Disneyland. Some of the cops tucked the flowers into their helmet straps. It is undeniable that some demonstrations evolved into violent confrontations.
The video below recounts the turbulence.
What Resulted From Those 60s Protests? Two Key Influencers’ Views
Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman of Chicago 7 fame, were at the forefront of the student protest movement. Twenty plus years removed from those protests, they found themselves identifying with completely different segments of modern American culture.
Not everyone remains in the 60s counter-culture mentality. Some moved on to what seemed to the rest as a cop-out and identification with the status quo.
These excerpts of a debate between the two reveal how they, and we, have changed and become the establishment.
What Did The 60s Accomplish?
For some written, historical perspective, have a look at the following.
American Cultural History – Lone Star College, Kingwood, Texas
Missing the Sixties: An obsession with political power as the wellspring of meaningful living is at the root of all that was wrong about New Left ideology. From Reason.com
Boom – A review of Tom Brokaw’s book.
Flower Power: Cannabis and the Culture of the ’60s – a blog (added to the list at the suggestion of Hannah Bass).