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Los Angeles Resistance Archive

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The Los Angeles Public Library Central Library Special Collections is proud to be the home of the Los Angeles Resistance archive.

How it all started

The Resistance was an organization dedicated to non-violent non-cooperation with the federal Selective Service System, the federal government agency which administered the Vietnam War draft. The first Resistance chapter was founded in Palo Alto by David Harris, a former Stanford University Student Body President, in 1967. The Los Angeles Resistance was founded in Westwood in 1967 by Donald “Don” Kalish, the former Chair of the UCLA Philosophy Department. It was part of a national network of local Resistance chapters which coordinated their efforts to stop the draft.

From 1967 to 1968, the L.A. Resistance regularly held peaceful protests outside of the Westwood Selective Service office, where busloads of young men were taken for induction into the armed services. Members of the L.A. Resistance worked with the national Resistance network to organize four national draft card turn-in events. After many resisters were imprisoned for refusing induction, various national Resistance groups worked together to form the Resistance Prison Project, in order to aid and advocate for those imprisoned for non-compliance.

This collection chronicles the activities of L.A. Resistance and the anti-war organizations they collaborated with such as: the Orange Grove Friends (Quaker) Sanctuary, (Quaker) Friends of the Resistance, Clergy and Laymen Concerned About Vietnam, Peace Action Council of Southern California, San Francisco Resistance, Palo Alto Resistance, Alpha House Resistance Commune, Westside Committee of Concern on Vietnam, the Quaker Action Group, Committee for Draft Resistance, and the War Resisters League of Southern California.

How can I view the archive?

The collection is open for research on an appointment only basis. To view the contents of the archive, please make an appointment via the Rare Books Room Appointment Request Form.

Click here to see the finding aid (pdf), to preview an index to the contents of the collection in detail. The finding aid to the archive is also available on the Online Archive of California, www.oac.cdlib.org.

Video footage created by Norman Witty and Charles Domokos are restricted.

Online Gallery of digitized materials

A sample of the archive is displayed below. Click on an image to see a larger display.

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