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The “Research Arm” of the Peace Movement: How Power Researchers Helped the Vietnam Antiwar Movement

Thu, 05/31/2018 - 17:00

via Eyes on the Ties

By Derek Seidman

NARMIC worked with Vietnam Veterans Against the War, seen here protesting the war.

Diana Roose was a longtime staffer with National Action/Research on the Military-Industrial Complex, or NARMIC, as it was commonly known. NARMIC was a group of power researchers that was affiliated with the American Friends Service Committee. It formed in 1969, at the height of the US war on Vietnam War, and existed throughout the mid-1980s.

NARMIC was dedicated to uncovering the defense profiteers behind the US war machine. They worked closely with the peace movement to resist militarism and published valuable reports and slideshows that helped activists better understand the power behind the military-industrial complex – and how to fight it.

In October, we profiled NARMIC on Eyes on the Ties as part of our ongoing exploration into the role of power research in social movement history. To get more background on NARMIC, we interviewed Diana Roose about the organization’s history and legacy, as well as her personal experiences and reflections.

LittleSis research analyst Derek Seidman conducted the interview over the phone with Diana  Roose in August 2017. The transcript has been edited for readability.

Can you talk a little bit about your background and how you ended up getting involved with NARMIC?

I went to college from 1966 to 1970 at Swarthmore College, which is right outside of Philadelphia. There were very active antiwar groups there. I came from Ohio. I was a really small town girl and really knew nothing about this.

But by the time I graduated I had been involved in some protest and doing some draft counseling, and I wanted to continue doing work that was of use to the antiwar movement. Most of my friends in school went to graduate school. I didn’t want to do that. My husband was in law school at the time in Philadelphia, so we moved to Philly.

I started asking around, and one of my friends who had been a draft counselor said there was a group at the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) that was doing research on the war. I jumped at it, because research was my interest, and what I was good at.

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