Ex-service people protest the visit of US President Lyndon Johnson, December 1966.
Picture courtesy the Waddington family
A short history of the Ex-Services Human Rights Association of Australia: a group of brave returned servicemen and women who protested the Vietnam War.
Draftees are sworn into the U.S. Army in 1940.
Questions include whether women should be compelled to register, as men are, and whether the draft and draft registration should exist at all.
A large group of American male Reserve Officers Training Corps students gather to protest the U.S. draft in the late 1930s.
Anthony Potter Collection/Getty Images
An Iranian general’s killing sparked fears of war and a draft in the US. Those are old fears, says a scholar who contends it’s a myth that during the two world wars, men signed up in droves to fight.
Soldiers in Anzac Cove. The war had driven Australians apart in the demands it made upon the people.
State Library of Victoria
The politics of the war continue to resonate in our discussions of national identity and purpose.
The army’s latest recruitment campaign was mocked for its political correctness.
In a world that is unrecognisable to that of 1914, should the British army be relying on recruitment tactics that are a century old?
Anti-Vietnam War protesters march from the US Consulate to Hyde Park in Sydney in 1966.
State Library of New South Wales/Wikimedia Commons
Labor Leader Arthur Calwell tried to leverage public opposition to conscription to gain support during the 1966 election, calling it a “sinister word” for Australians. The tactic failed.
An anti-conscription rally in Melbourne, 1916.
Heritage Council of Victoria
It’s time the Australians who voiced vociferous opposition to war in general and conscription in particular were commemorated as an important part of our history.
Prime Minister Billy Hughes worked hard to quash rebellion over conscription during the first world war.
Australian Prime Ministers
A little-known incident 100 years ago reminds us that Australia at the time was riven by class, religious and political divisions.
Bernoldus Niemand (aka James Phillips) at the Market Theatre Warehouse in Johannesburg, 1989.
John Hogg/The Times
Rock music against military conscription during 1980s South Africa resonated with wider fault lines in Afrikaner society - this as the apartheid regime’s grip on power started to slip.
The Caracal battalion, two-thirds of whose members are women, was established in 2004.
The IDF wants to encourage more women to enlist, but it also wants to encourage Orthodox men, who avoid contact with the opposite sex. How will it manage the conflict?
The cover of the South African afro-jazz band Batsumi’s self-titled album, which was designed by its bassist Zulu Bidi.
Sometimes album sleeves reveal little about the music. Instead they illuminate the society it came from, exposing unexpected stories of people, art forms and struggles.
Des van Rooyen, cooperative governance minister and new treasurer-general of the MK Military Veterans Association.
MK, the army of the then banned ANC, electrified millions of oppressed people to rise against the apartheid regime. Today, its veterans are being used in factional battles within the ruling party.
Rand Paul’s amendment is rooted in the Constitution.
Congress is debating the power of government to use a military draft. An Ole Miss historian explains how this power is rooted in our nation’s founding document.
Thinking about Australia’s war experience in comparison with others will soften some of the hyperbole surrounding Anzac.
Armistice Day provides a moment to reflect on Australia’s self-identity in comparison to other nations that experienced the first world war and commemorate it to this day.
SA Defence Force conscripts return to their base at Ruacana, northern Namibia, in 1988.
The impact that the system of conscription had on the roughly 600,000 white men who became both pawns and agents of the apartheid state has seldom been publicly acknowledged.
The conscription ballot was conducted via a lottery, which was supposed to be unbiased towards any particular date.
A little mathematics reveals whether the government really did ‘play god’ with the Vietnam draft, as suggested by former deputy Prime Minister Tim Fisher.
Activists trying to bring attention to the issue of rape in war were arrested for protesting at Anzac Day services in the 1980s.
ACT Heritage Library
Protests on Anzac Day, rather than being ‘utterly alien to Australians’, have a long tradition and embody the democratic right to dissent for which the troops fought.
Protesters attend a huge anti-conscription rally at Yarra Bank in Melbourne, 1916.
National Library of Australia, n6487142
The democratic freedoms Australians hold dear today – freedom of the press, assembly and speech – were won on home soil by courageous women and men who sacrificed much, but rarely recognised for it.
August 1914: London volunteers await their pay at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.
On the first day of the war in 1914, British newspapers published appeals for young men to join the colours, and to fight against Germany. Following the advice of the new Secretary for War, Lord Kitchener…