In her riveting oral history of the end of the 60s, Witness to the Revolution, Clara Bingham unveils anew that tumultuous time when America careened to the brink of a civil war at home, as it fought a long futile war abroad. For ALOUD, Bingham looks back at the local history of the non-violent draft resistance movement of men and women known as The Los Angeles Resistance. (The Los Angeles Resistance Collection is now being archived at the Los Angeles Public Library). To tell this revolutionary tale, she’s joined by David Harris, Resistance founder, and then-LA Resistance activists, Winter Dellenbach and Bob Zaugh.
For photos from the program, click here.
In 1966, David Harris, then Stanford’s “radical” student body President, announced he would no longer cooperate with the Selective Service System overseeing military conscription, would refuse any orders Selective Service issued him, and urged everyone else to do the same. He then helped found The Resistance and organized civil disobedience against the draft in the West and nationally for the next three years. Ordered to report for military service in 1968, he refused and was convicted of “failure to obey a lawful order of military induction” and sentenced to three years in Federal prison. Harris was incarcerated between 1969 and 1971, mostly in the Federal Correctional Institution at La Tuna, Texas. After his release, he continued to organize against the war until Peace Agreements were signed in 1973. Since then, he has pursued a forty year career as a journalist and writer and is the author of eleven books.
Winter Karen Dellenbach was born at the birth of the Atomic age in Pomona, California. While attending UCLA, the Vietnam War began to rage, as did the student body. Her political activism ignited and was fed by her peace church upbringing that instilled non-violence. She was a founder and organizer for Los Angeles Resistance. She lived communally for 23 years, was a public interest law attorney, and remains an advocate for low-income people and a political activist. She lives in Palo Alto with her husband.
Bob Zaugh was in The Resistance, a loose group of men and women who refused to cooperate with the draft and war in Vietnam. He left UCLA grad school, turned in his draft cards, refused to take a physical and refused induction. Defended himself in Federal Court. He headed up Peace Press for twenty years and has been involved in issues such as opposing Diablo Canyon and Nuclear testing. Recently he has been a key person in the reentry work for Amnesty case Gary Tyler.
Clara Bingham is the author of Class Action: The Landmark Case That Changed Sexual Harassment Law (with Laura Leedy Gansler) and Women on the Hill: Challenging the Culture of Congress. She is a former Newsweek White House correspondent, and her writing has appeared in Vanity Fair, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Talk, The Washington Monthly, Ms., and other publications. Bingham produced the 2011 documentary The Last Mountain. She lives in Manhattan and Brooklyn with her husband, three children, and three stepchildren.