May 14, 1970: Actress Jane Fonda speaks to a rally of 2,000 students at the University of South Carolina. Miss Fonda, who has been active in protests against the Vietnamese War and for rights of American Indians, told her audience that “repression is coming down all over the nation.” South Carolina University was the scene of anti-war protests following the U.S. invasion of Cambodia.

SAN CLEMENTE, CA: Actress Jane Fonda (center, carrying sign) leads a group of activists in a protesting picket line at the entrance to the Wesyern White House where President Nixon is hosting Pres. Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam. Miss Fonda’s group opposes the Saigon regime of Pres. Thieu, claiming the Provisional Revolutionary Govt. of South Vietnam to be the rightful representative of the people.

May 15, 1970 Gamecock student newspaper issue that covered the rally:

Here are links to some video footage of the rally taken for a local TV station:

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  1. I saw you speak in DC back when I was in high school. I remember being very impressed that a woman like you would risk so much to speak out. I still repeat some of the things you said, about the importance of writing to Congress and that Congress acts like “a thundering herd of turtles”. I learned a lot from you and the IndoChina Peace Campaign, thanks!

  2. History proved we shouldn’t have been in Vietnam because the Pentagon papers proved the false escalation of the war to the public in order to keep us involved! Good for you Jane you were right! God Bless!

  3. War is not healthy for children and other living things.

    We are in good company, you, me, and all the others who tried to make a difference during that era. We did so much, learned so much, and in the end, not so sure we changed so much.

  4. Seems like yesterday and here we are again, Jane. How did Iraq happen under our watch? The last 8 years confuse me, greatly. American’s so easily misled and lied to….has our generation failed those who supported this war? I think so….many of us put our activist days behind us thinking our job was done.

    Thank you for reminded me this morning on the Today show…that now is the time to do more…not less.

    You are a class act and I have enjoyed every moment of your career and all your private moments you have chosen to share.

    Congratulations on a life well lived!

  5. No one needed the Pentagon Papers to figure out that our intervention in Vietnam was a “clusterf….” President Johnson, fearing the possible entry of both the PRC and the USSR into Vietnam, dictated severe restrictions to our military – to stay within the borders of S. Vietnam – in effect initiating a conflict based on a static defense. The North Vietnamese had no like restrictions. Utilizing the questionable Gulf of Tonkin Resolution allowed Johnson, with a typically supportive (& later spineless) Congress, to escalate the war as the North, taking strategic advantage, became more aggressive.

    The mindset of the time, & lest we forget the GOP which had found much mileage in the McCarthy Era through the promotion of the Red Scare, was based on the concept that we could kick some commie butt and be home by Christmas. Unfortunately no one knew which Christmas.

    That said, the antiwar movement – a movement comprised of many people, not all of whom were aligned – grew. The draft encouraged young men to question the war, often privately, and resist the draft. I point out that supporters of the war, such and G.W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, and many other stalwart conservatives, did not serve in Vietnam.

    Within the military young men took to questioning the war. The policies were complicated. The war, ten thousand miles away, made it difficult to tell the good guys from the bad guys. LBJ’s inability to explain the necessity of the war (obviously the commies weren’t going to mount a beachhead in California!)and the continuous false predictions of victory increased the doubt that ultimately came to pervade the majority of people in this country.

    Dissent on a mass scale was the logical outcome. It was also necessary as a counterpoint to the senseless escalation of a conflict that was doomed from the start.

    Perhaps Donna Reed’s alliance with the antiwar movement was more influential than Ms Fonda’s. But by that time point, Ms Reed was a TV actress and not the superstar Ms. Fonda had become. Worse, Ms. Fonda took up with more radical individuals, such as Tom Hayden, late of the Chicago Seven. And Ms Fonda appealed to military personnel, as she was young, beautiful, and fun. ( I saw Klute in Vietnam!)

    The movement was exciting and passionate. Johnson and Nixon represented the old guard. RFK was assassinated. McCarthy washed out.

    By the time Ms Fonda took her fatal trip to Vietnam passions were high. Her sitting before an antiaircraft gun rankled the conservatives. Yet Nixon was afraid to prosecute her for treason because the trial would be a repeat of the Chicago Seven. And he let it slide. Yet opted to carry on the war for several more years.

    The question is should Jane Fonda be continuously persecuted for her involvement in the antiwar movement?

    Absolutely not.

    Lieutenant Calley went bonkers and, as an officer and a gentleman led the massacre at My Lai and was pardoned. He is rarely mentioned; most likely he’s been forgotten.

    But Jane Fonda became a focal point for what is considered to be a defeat in a conflict we should not have been involved in. Why? 1. Probably because she was too pretty and too successful 2 She was against the war 3 because she wasn’t lynched.

    There is another factor. We lost the war and losers tend to look scapegoats.

    If anything, Ms. Fonda should be embraced for her courage – as all dissenters should be. For she acted in the traditional American way, much like our founding fathers did, by taking a difficult road by acting on her principles. She broke from what was expected of her, and risked her career, to make a contribution to ending a war that was botched from the beginning.

  6. Dear Jane;
    I’ve admired your talent and activism for well…long time. I can remember ‘sticking up’ for you as the news rolled by the cathode ray when I was a teen, to my very Republican parents. I had no idea of what you actually did stand for until a few years later & Brava! Not that I might agree totally, mostly I did & I am proud of you for the strength it took to do it. My Mom, btw, was my hero-ine…tho we disagreed politically, we found mostly common ground at the heart of issues. Would that that were possible in public arenas now…. Stay well. Stay focused. Stay yourSelf! ta ghb

  7. Those pics really take me back. I was at the Rainbow Ballroom in Fresno, Ca. when I saw you speak about vietnam. What a world away that is now.

  8. The photos that moved me even more are those of Operation RAW in September 1970, when young veterans (like those today in Iraq Veterans Against War) tried to bring the reality of the war home. Your integrity in the face of all the relentless BS hurled at you then and now) is kind of breathtaking.

    I’m writing a book about those soldiers (from both wars, and those before them). I’d be honored to talk with you sometime before it’s done.

    Great respect!
    Chris Lombardi

  9. Jane, When I had the honour of being gifted a seat at the luncheon that you had in Sydney for your book launch a few years ago, I sat next to a Vietnam Vet. He was quite open about why he was there. He simply loved you as an actress and the fact that you fought for what you believed in, which essentially was what he said that he did – though history and reflection and experiences showed that the end result was a totally different viewpoint for him and many other soldiers who thought that they were doing “the right thing” by going to Vietnam. He was one of the “birthday boys” one of those who were conscripted because his birthday was pulled out of a hat – so to speak. My uncle went to Vietnam too, he was already in the army and he was a mechanic, so he was very much needed over there. It was all such a terrible waste, a futile war (like so many are) that Americans and Australians should never have been involved in. The guy who sat next to me at the luncheon cheered for you as much as I did. Time heals most wounds, but Vietnam left more scars than any war that I have researched or heard about. I wrote a work of fiction about a woman returning from the Vietnam War and all of the problems that she encountered both at home and on the front. I hope that it sees the light of day sometime. It is both a tribute to those who went to war as soldiers and nurses and to those who fought so hard to make the world see past the propaganda. Jane, you are an inspiration to many, particularly women of my generation. Keep up the good fight.

    Warm regards,
    Karen Johnson

  10. Oh Lady Jane, you still inspire and invigorate. I am 30 years old and woefully depressed by the majority of my generation. We have so much to protest, and so few who are willing to step outside the mold to do it! Sadly, I have only in the last six months started really paying attention to politics, the war, and the world around us, and I have found the world to be in a sad state of affairs! You make me want to get out there and make myself known! As always, more power to you!

  11. ok so i am a student, i loved the movie monster in law and i was watching on tv about micheal jackson and you were in a picture with him. and then somehow we got onto the topic of you going to vietnam. what happened really i just feel like i might of gotten the wrong story and i would hate to think of you in a bad way if its not true?

  12. I was in Vietnam and I don’t praise you for your activities. I hope you remember that all Vets will remember you as a traitor to the prisoners and out country. Your protest never helped our cause which was nobel an had a goal. All your protesters hurt every Vet who came back. We were never welcomed home instead we had people hate us and some of those protesters actually got hurt because of you. I still hate draft dodgers and will get in their face in a second.

    • Ralph, you can’t speak for “all vets.” I get letters every day from Vietnam Veterans thanking me for helping to end the war. Those men know who was responsible for the deaths and wounds of American soldiers–It was Robert McNamara, General Westmoreland and a series of administration, Republican as well as Democrat–who sent them over there all the while knowing the war could not be won. When I traveled to North Vietnam (following the many hundreds of Americans (including veterans) who went there before me) there were only 23,000 u.S. troops still on the ground in South Vietnam. I spent over 2 years prior to that working with active-duty GIs and returning veterans, hearing their stories…I opened the GI Office in DC to get their stories and problems heard by members of Congress. I made “Coming Home” based on what I’d heard from soldiers. A VA poll showed it was the film that veterans felt best showed the reality of what it was like for them. “Green Berets” was the other favorite film of veterans.

  13. Jane,

    Is this true or just a made up story? I recieved it in an email. Thank You for your response.


    Subject: Jane0(Comunist) Fonda


    Long after she’s dead people will wonder how she did what she did and was never put on trial. Some thought being married to Tom Haydn was punishment enough. Many thought there was no such thing as enough, nor was there anything like justice around. YES SHE WAS A TRAITOR..!!

    In Memory of my brother-in-law LT. C. Thomsen Wieland who spent 100 days at the Hanoi Hilton. She really was a Traitor



    This is for all the kids born in the 70’s who do not remember, and didn’t have to bear the burden that our fathers, mothers and older brothers and sisters had to bear.

    Jane Fonda is being honored as one of the ‘100 Women of the Century.’ , a special by Barbara Walters. Unfortunately, many have forgotten and still countless others have never known how Ms. Fonda betrayed not only the idea of our country, but specific men who served and sacrificed during Vietnam

    The first part of this is from an F-4E pilot. The pilot’s name is Jerry Driscoll, a River Rat.

    There are few things I have strong visceral reactions to, but Jane Fonda’s participation in what I believe to be blatant treason, is one of them. Part of my conviction comes from the exposure to those who suffered her attentions.

    In 1978, the Commandant of the USAF Survival Schoo, a colonel, was a former POW in Ho Lo prison – The Hanoi Hilton. Dragged from a stinking cesspit of a cell, cleaned, fed, and dressed in clean PJ’s, he was ordered to describe for a visiting American ‘Peace Activist’ the “lenient and humane treatment” he’d received. He spat at Ms. Fonda, was clubbed, and dragged away. During a subsequent beating, he fell forward upon the camp Commandant’s feet, accidentally pulling the man’s shoe off – which sent that officer berserk. Years later, the Air Force Colonel still suffered from double vision (which permanently ended his flying career) from the Commandant’s frenzied application of a wooden baton.

    From 1963-65, Col. Larry Carrigan was in the 47FW/DO (F-4E’s). He spent 6 years in the ‘Hanoi Hilton’,,, the first three of which his family only knew he was ‘missing in action’. His wife lived on faith that he was still alive. His group, too, got the cleaned-up, fed, clothed, routine preparation for a ‘peace delegation’ visit. They, however, had time and devised a plan to get word to the world that they were alive and still survived. Each man secreted a tiny piece of paper, with his Social Security Number on it, in the palm of his hand…

    When paraded before Ms. Fonda and a cameraman, she walked the line, shaking each man’s hand and asking little encouraging snippets like: ‘Aren’t you sorry you bombed babies?’ and ‘Are you grateful for the humane treatment from your benevolent captors?’ Believing this HAD to be an act, they each palmed her their sliver of paper. She took them all without missing a beat. At the end of the line and once the camera stopped rolling, to the shocked disbelief of the POWs, she turned to the officer in charge and handed him all the little pieces of paper.

    Three men died from the subsequent beatings. Colonel Carrigan was almost number four but he survived, which is the only reason we know of her actions that day. For years after their release, a group of determined former POW’s, including Col. Carrigan, tried to bring Ms. Fonda and others up on charges of treason. I don’t know that they used it, but the charge of “Negligent Homicide due to Depraved Indifference” would also seem appropriate. Her obvious “granting of aid and comfort to the enemy” alone shoud’ve been sufficient for the treason count. However, to date, Jane Fonda has never been formally charged with anything and continues to enjoy the privileged life of the rich and famous.

    I, personally, think that this is a shame on us, the American Citizenry. Part of our shortfall is ignorance: Most don’t know such actions ever took place.

    There is another account of happenings in Hanoi:

    I was a civilian economic development advisor in Vietnam , and was captured by the North Vietnamese communists in South Vietnam in 1968, and held prisoner for over 5 years.

    I spent 27 months in solitary confinement; one year in a cage in Cambodia ; and one year in a ‘black box’ in Hanoi . My North Vietnamese captors deliberately poisoned and murdered a female missionary, a nurse in a leprosarium in South Vietnam , whom I later buried in the jungle near the Cambodian border.

    At one time, I weighed only about 90 lbs. (My normal weight is 170 lbs.). We were Jane Fonda’s ‘war criminals.’

    When Jane Fonda was in Hanoi , I was asked by the camp communist political officer if I would be willing to meet with her. I said yes, for I wanted to tell her about the real treatment we POWs received… and how different it was from the treatment purported by the North Vietnamese, and parroted by her as ‘humane and lenient.’ Because of this, I spent three days on a rocky floor on my knees, with my arms outstretched with a large steel weights placed on my hands, and beaten with a bamboo cane every time my arms dipped.

    Jane Fonda had the audacity to say that the POWs were lying about our torture and treatment. Now ABC is allowing Barbara Walters to honor Jane Fonda in her feature “100 Years of Great Women”. Shame on the Disney Company!

    I had the opportunity to meet with Jane Fonda soon after I was released. I asked her if she would be willing to debate me on TV. She never did answer me.

    After I was released, I was asked what I thought of Jane Fonda and the anti-war movement. I said that I held Joan Baez’s husband in very high regard, for he thought the war was wrong, burned his draft card and went to prison in protest. If the other anti-war protesters took this same route, it would have brought our judicial system to a halt and ended the war much earlier, and there wouldn’t be as many on that somber black granite wall called the Vietnam Memorial. This is democracy. This is the American Way.

    Jane Fonda, on the other hand, chose to be a traitor, and went to Hanoi, wore their uniform, propagandized for the communists, and urged American soldiers to desert. As we were being tortured, and some of the POWs murdered, she called us liars. After her heroes – the North Vietnamese communists – took over South Vietnam, they systematically murdered 80,000 South Vietnamese political prisoners. May their souls rest on her head forever.

    To add insult to injury, when American POWs finally began to return home (some of them having been held captive for up to nine years) and describe the tortures they had endured at the hands of the North Vietnamese, Jane Fonda quickly told the country that they should “not hail the POWs as heroes, because they are hypocrites and liars.” Fonda said the idea that the POWs she had met in Vietnam had been tortured was “laughable” and that the POWS who said they had been tortured were “exaggerating, probably for their own self-interest”, she asserted. She told audiences that “Never in the history of the US have POWs come home looking like football players. These football players are no more heroes than Custer was. They’re military careerists and professional killers” who are “trying to make themselves look self-righteous, but they are war criminals according to law.”

    Were Jane Fonda’s actions treason, or were they the exercise of a private citizen’s right to freedom of speech? At the time, the legal aspects of this question were moot: President Nixon was engaged in trying to wind down American involvement in Vietnam and had to face another election in a few months, so politically he had far more to lose than to gain by making a martyr out of a prominent anti-war activist. (No requirement in either the Constitution or federal law states that the US must be engaged in a declared war, or any war at all, before charges of treason be brought against an individual.)

    ABC and Babs Walters will undoubtedly include “Hanoi Jane” in their televised celebration because their black souls are hardened and too imbued with an anti-American sentiment to do anything else. And ultimately, they will all answer for what they have done in their lives. In the meantime, I don’t plan on watching anything that has Jane Fonda’s face anywhere near it. I won’t buy her videos; I won’t rent or go see her movies. As far as I’m concerned, she’s already dead to me.

    These first-hand experiences do not exemplify someone who should be honored as part of ‘100 Years of Great Women.’
    Lest we forget…’ 100 Years of Great Women’ should never include a traitor whose hands are covered with the blood of so many patriots.

    Whether or not you agreed with the war in Vietnam, whether you’re a Vietnam vet or a former member of the protest movement, or whether you’re too young to have been there, the behavior of Jane Fonda towards our own military men is reprehensible beyond belief. All I ask is that you think about these accounts the next time you see her. Let your conscience guide your actions from there.

    Please take the time to forward to as many people as you possibly can.
    It will eventually end up on her computer and she needs to know that we will never forget..

    716 Maintenance Squadron, Chief of
    DSN: 875-6431
    COMM: 883-6343


    • This story is an internet hoax. No one knows who started it. Totally untrue. Even the head of the national POW?MIA organization told Roger Friedman when he wrote for FOX News that it wasn’t true.

  14. hi jane, im an australian student and im doing a huge assignment on you.
    you are one of my biggest role models and i would love to hear a bit about your time protesting 🙂

    thanks- katie

    • Katie, my best advice to you if you are interested in”my time protesting” is to buy or rent from a library my memoirs, “My Life So Far” in which I go into real detail and context. It’stoo much to talk about here. Thanks. xx Jane

  15. jane,
    im doing a vietnam project and im using you as one of my political articles. so i’ve read lots of stuff on you and i was wondering if you could help me out by telling if its real or not. did you really help set up the F.T.A? also are you a socialist? and lastly did you support north vietnam?

    i really like you as an actress and i think you’ve made some great movies and your are truely one of the most beautiful women i’ve seen. so i was just wondering if you could help me out.

    thanks so much.

  16. Do you have a “We’re not Fonda Jane” bumper stickers? My uncle who was a survivor of the Bataan death march during WWII had one on his pickup in Santa Fe. That was my first exposure to you as a child (then I saw all your movies). If he knew how I felt about the Vietnam war, as well as all the others (I even have some reservations on WWII), he would have had a “We’re not Fonda Dory” as well!!! lol

    keep up the good fight!!

  17. Ms. Fonda,

    Did you not say in 1969, at Michigan State University:

    “I would think that if you understood what communism was, you would hope, you would pray on your knees, that we would someday become communist.”

    Do you now accept the criticism by anti-war activist Joan Baez, for not supporting her and others protesting the Khmer Rouge slaughter in the 1970’s, under communist Pol Pot?

    Have you since repudiated your support for communism, acknowledging that it is a failed ideology that enabled the horrors it wrought under the likes of Stalin, Mao, and others?

    Did you ever admit how paradoxical it is that you went from being a one time pro-socialist, collectivist, to profiting from a capitalist system that sold your 1980’s workout book and videos? As well as at previously being married to Ted Turner, an avowed capitalist businessman? Have you ever explained your reasons for such a about-face of personal philosophy?

    • No I did not say that. That is another of the many lies that continue to be circulated about me.

  18. Jane F, you are a traitor. It’s sad that you could not just live in another country and give up your citizenship since you didn’t agree with all these veterans dying for America. They were fighting for freedom and you keep sending all of us back to living in a corset. You never apologized because it wasn’t in your heart even if the some of the words were in your mouth. The truth is out and we will not forget what you did to our P.O.W.’s and to all of us –

    • Excuse me, Sir. I have apologized numerous times including on “60 Minutes” for sitting on the gun site…something that will haunt me till I die. But I never did what the myths say I did to POWs. Try to get your facts right.

  19. We saw speak back in the 1970’s You are such an inspiration to not only us, but to our grandchildren. We appreiciate all that you do! So keep on rocking in that spandex. We love you!!!!

  20. Dear Ms. Fonda,

    Forty years ago in October, I met you on Okinawa after an FTA show at a private off-base theater. At the end of the performance, you made an announcement that your group had names of attorneys on Okinawa for GIs like myself who were facing legal problems. Your help in locating a lawyer to assist my legal defense saved me from a totally unjustified court martial, possibly ruining my life. I was 18 years old at the time.

    I can’t express how thankful I am that you were there in a moment when I so much needed the help.


    Robert Crawford
    Madison, WI

    • How nice of you Robert to send me this. I am so very glad to know we were of help. And glad you got back safe. God Bless. Xx

  21. I will try again. I feel this is important. I want to express my views on the economy and the war on terrorism.

    First the economy. I believe in government spending. The government printed the dollar and they tax the dollar. I believe that it starts and stops with the government, who prints and taxes the dollar.

    I also believe that it does not hurt the economy for the government to spend money in the USA, it helps the economy and job growth. Lets take $1 as an example. Whether it be spending on a door, carpet, concrete, ship or airplane part. One dollar spent by the government stimulates job growth. Whatever the product may be, there is the cultivation/mining of the product which involves labor. Then there is shipping the raw material to the distributer and then the manufacturer and then to the sales and then the installer or end user. All the way there is transportation, refining, manufacturing, selling, and final installation or end use of a product. All of these processes include transportation, buildings for a place of business, accountants, workers… American workers or American taxpayers. Now for every dollar spent, it supports all this plus the utilities, houses, apartments, cars, insurance, food, clothing, cable, internet, cell phones, electronics and whatever else Americans buy.

    Now take into consideration that the dollar is taxed on every exchange. Calculating a 10% per exchange and a .001% stoppage, the dollar only needs to change hands approximately 44 times or 44 weeks out of a 52 week year before the government gets it all back. That is provided most American workers are like me spend all their money pay day to pay day. Even if they invest, their investment is taxable.

    My conclusion is SPEND, SPEND, SPEND and spend it now. Everyday delay is a hinderance on the local economy here other economies, (World),that rely on government spending.

    Now for the war on terrorism. First I must give Kudos to President Obama on his decisions and success on the “war on terrorism”. I must also give credit to all involved including the previous President Bush. Great call to ground all aircraft and implementation of the American resolve to overcome.

    I also want to take the stage and to give Kudos to President Clinton and his team for a great 8 years. Needless to say, I am a Clinton fan. All of them and the one to come. People used to ask me why I voted for Bill. I would tell them, “because Hillary was not in the running”. I think Bill, Hillary and their team were the best political team in my lifetime. That includes Al Gore. He had my vote too, but, George W. was meant to be, and he made some great decisions and fulfilled a prophecy made by Naustradamous that there will be two great law givers and the younger will equal the older. I believe this to be about the Bushes. Moving on.

    We are fighting war against an entity that does not have a specific country. But they do have a belief and countries that they recruit followers from and I suspect acquire finances to support their tactics.

    I believe these are also the same countries that we as Americans spend billions of dollars buying their products. I believe these expenditures by Americans are supporting the war against Americans. Americans are supporting a war against themselves.

    OIL, America needs to implement alternate energy use now. Our money is going overseas to countries that want us killed. An ultimatum is for the USA to stop purchasing foreign oil now, today.

    I believe that every gallon of gas we buy supports terrorist against Americans.

  22. Hi Jane, I met you on Okinawa while you, Donald Sutherland, et al, were on the FTA tour. You were standing outside Main Gate @ Camp Hansen, while Sutherland was standing in the middle of the road, there, in Kinville. I was transporting a Marine Corps Captain from Camp Courtney to Camp Hansen, when you came right over to my driver’s window and was ranting on & on about something; I was in such shock realizing who you were that I cannot to this day remember just what you were saying to me. I looked over at the Captain – and with a look of disgust, said to me “Move on”!

    I FINALLY found FTA DVD online last year and have viewed it… it sure does bring me back to ’71-’72 whenI was stationed @ Camp Courtney, 3rd Marine Division Headquarters (Tengan).

  23. The date at the top of this page is incorrect. The rally at which Ms. Fonda spoke to University of South Carolina students took place on May 14, 1970 at Maxcy Gregg Park in Columbia. It was during a period of unrest on campus following the incursion into Cambodia and the shootings at Kent State.

    Here is the link to the May 15, 1970 Gamecock student newspaper issue that covered the rally:

    Here are links to some video footage of the rally taken for a local TV station:

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