FILM ADVISERS

ACTIVIST ADVISERS

ROBERT P.J. COONEY

Bob was a 20-year-old draft resister in 1971 when he was hired by the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence in Palo Alto where he learned about organizing and movement building, and especially about nonviolence. During his first trial for refusing induction, the jury was hung when one woman, dressed up to look like a juror, refused to convict. At his second trial, he was found guilty but he continued organizing against the war until it ended.  In 1977, he co-edited The Power of the People, an illustrated history of “active nonviolence in the United States” with Helen Michalowski. His studio, Robert Cooney Graphic Design in Point Reyes Station, produced books and publications for over twenty years. In 2005, he published the award-winning book, Winning the Vote: The Triumph of the American Woman Suffrage Movement. Bob has worked on several documentary films including Ken Burns’ Not for Ourselves Alone, Ruth Pollak’s One Woman, One Vote, and Martha Wheelock’s California Women Win the Vote and Forward Into Light

STEVE LADD - Distribution Consultant

Steve brings over thirty years of experience helping media makers successfully develop, market and distribute social issue documentaries, including Academy and Emmy Award winning programs. After hearing David Harris, Joan Baez and Ira Sandperl speak on the UC Berkeley campus, Steve turned in his draft card (twice) during the Vietnam War but was never prosecuted. He was a leader in organizing a nonviolent anti-war group at UC Berkeley that collected several thousand draft cards. He later served as Field Director for War Resisters League/West in San Francisco. In the early 1980’s, he became a founding member of the National Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign. 

ROBERT LEVERING

Robert was a full-time peace activist from 1967 to 1973, helping organize mass demonstrations and nonviolent civil disobedience actions for the New Mobilization Committee to End the War, Peoples Coalition for Peace and Justice, the Honeywell Project, A Quaker Action Group and the American Friends Service Committee. He turned in his draft card and refused the induction physical but was not prosecuted. He has written eight books, including best-sellers The 100 Best Companies to Work for in AmericaEverybody’s Business and A Great Place to Work and coauthored Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” list for 20 years. He founded Great Place to Work Institute, a global research and consulting firm. Active in his local Quaker meeting, he is also on the board of Peaceworkers, whose mission is to support, strengthen and promote nonviolent movements for peace and justice and nonviolent peacemaking efforts around the world .

BARBARA MYERS

Barbara Myers is an independent journalist whose work has focused on film and articles set in Vietnam, China and Rwanda, including The Other Conspirator, The Secret Origins of the CIA’s Torture Program and the Forgotten Man Who Tried to Expose It. Her anti-war and social justice work ranges from 1970's participation in the Indochina Peace Campaign to recent work mentoring young Rwandans in their quest for higher education.

LEE SWENSON

Lee was fortunate in the late 1950s to find Kepler’s Books with the great Gandhian activist/storyteller Ira Sandperl behind the counter, who influenced him and many others. In the early 1960s, Lee was part of a small circle of friends opposing nuclear fallout shelters and atomic testing in the Pacific, and advocating war tax resistance. He refused the draft in 1960 while learning the history and great possibilities of nonviolent direct action, but was not prosecuted. As the war in Vietnam took its brutal course, opposing and resisting the war became the central focus of his activist work. Lee was involved in the October 1967 Stop The Draft Week nonviolent sit-ins and served time in Santa Rita Prison. He became Director of the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence in 1969 in Palo Alto, was editor of the Simple Living newspaper for the American Friends Service Committee, and later became Executive Director of the Farallones Appropriate Technology Institute. For the last 25 years, he has been the Co-Director with Vijaya Nagarajan of the Berkeley-based Institute for the Study of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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HISTORICAL ADVISERS

STEWART BURNS

Stewart Burns is an activist historian and a leading scholar of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (author of To the Mountaintop) and the Black freedom movement. Following a 1968 workshop at Institute for the Study of Nonviolence (taught by Ira Sandperl) Burns returned his draft card, refused induction, and organized in the Palo Alto Resistance and the Institute. When the war ended he earned his Ph.D. at the University of California, served as an editor of the MLK Papers, taught at Stanford and Williams, and now chairs Ethical & Creative Leadership in the Ph.D. Program at Union Institute & University. He has published ten books, including a history of the Montgomery bus boycott made into the Image Award winning HBO film “Boycott." 

MICHAEL FERBER

Michael Ferber co-authored a book with Staughton Lynd on the opposition to the draft called The Resistance (1971). After completing his doctorate at Harvard in 1975, Ferber taught at Yale for seven years. Since 1987 he has been a professor of English at the University of New Hampshire.​In a much-publicized case, Ferber was indicted in January 1968 for conspiracy to violate the draft law with four other men, including the well-known baby-doctor Benjamin Spock and the chaplain of Yale University, William Sloane Coffin. Convicted and sentenced to two years in prison, Ferber and the others were acquitted on appeal in 1969 on technical grounds.

MICHAEL STEWART FOLEY

Michael Foley, a native New Englander, is Professor of American Civilization at Université Grenoble Alpes, in France. He is the author of Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War and editor of Dear Dr. Spock: Letters about the Vietnam War to America’s Favorite Baby Doctor, among other books, as well as a prize-winning essay about Johnny Cash and the Vietnam War.  He is a founding editor of The Sixties: A Journal of History, Politics, and Culture, and has served as historical advisor on the prize-winning film, The Camden 28, and on the celebrated television series, Mad Men

DR. MICHAEL NAGLER

Dr. Nagler is Professor Emeritus of Classics and Comparative Literature at UC Berkeley, where he founded the Peace and Conflict Studies Program and taught the course on nonviolence in that program for over twenty years.  He is currently President of the Metta Center for Nonviolence and author of the award-winning Search for a Nonviolent Future and the forthcoming Nonviolence Manual, among other works.

DR. LAWRENCE WITTNER

Lawrence Wittner is a Professor Emeritus of History at the State University of New York at Albany.  He is the author or editor of thirteen books and hundreds of published articles, mostly about peace movements and foreign policy. He also served as president of the Conference on Peace Research in History (now the Peace History Society), an affiliate of the American Historical Association, and as co-editor of the scholarly journal Peace and Change.  He has received scholarly awards from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the Peace History Society, among others. His expertise will be invaluable to understanding the emergence of The Resistance in the context of other nonviolent 20th century movements for peace and social change.

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THE BOYS WHO SAID NO!

Draft Resistance & the Vietnam War

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© 2019 • The Boys Who Said NO!