Napalming a Dog!? 1 Favorite 



Apr 10 1968

In 1968, with the US war against Vietnam raging, anti-war veterans and the anti-war movement as a whole in the US increasingly put the spotlight on the US use of napalm. Napalm is burning jellied gasoline dropped on humans engineered to stick to skin and cause horrible burns. According to the wikipedia page on napalm, "388,000 tons of U.S. napalm bombs were dropped in the region between 1963 and 1973."

Many students protested when Dow Chemical, the producer of napalm, came to recruit on campuses.

To protest napalm in a more creative way, at least two activists, Steve Kiyoshi Kuromi in Philadelphia in 1968 and Michael Crisafi at Kent State University in 1970, publicized an ingeniously horrible scenario. They announced that they would napalm a dog. When large crowds of people showed up to voice their outrage at the idea of burning a canine, each activist announced that of course they wouldn't napalm a dog - and if you were this outraged at the idea of napalming a dog, how outraged should we be that the US was napalming people?

In Philadelphia in 1968, 2000 people showed up, the largest protest against the US war in Vietnam in Philadelphia to that date, according to the wikipedia page on Kuromiya's life. Kuromiya passed out a leaflet reading, "Congratulations on your anti-napalm protest. You saved the life of a dog. Now, how about saving the lives of tens of thousands of people in Vietnam."

(I don't know the exact dates of the Philadelphia protest. According to the U Penn paper, it was in April 1968. The article on Michael Crisafi says that his protest was held at Kent State University two weeks before the infamous shooting of students by Ohio National Guard troops on May 4, 1970.)

Posted by Sam Diener on

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Public horror at US war crimes played a role in ending the Vietnam War, and this tactic may have triggered that horror on at least a few campuses.