To the Editors:
Following are a preamble to and text of the People’s Peace Treaty. We think they will be of interest to your readers:
I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of their way and let them have it.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower
73% of the American people want the United States out of Vietnam by the end of 1971.
—Gallup Poll, Jan. 31, 1971
President Nixon, like his predecessors, speaks the words of peace, but pursues the politics of war. The invasion of Cambodia has now been followed by the invasion of Laos, and there are threats of an invasion of North Vietnam and confrontation with China.
Peace is possible in 1971. But the people will have to make the peace. And that is what we are beginning to do.
The People’s Peace Treaty sets forth principles worked out by Americans and Vietnamese. We believe the principles are realistic, honorable, and acceptable. We ask you to consider them. If thousands of organizations and millions of individuals endorse these principles and pledge to take action on them, they will immeasurably improve the chances to win peace this year.
The terms of this treaty were worked out in December, 1970, in discussions among representatives of the U.S. National Student Association meeting with leaders of the National Student Unions in Saigon and Hanoi.
This is not a petition. It is a Joint Treaty of peace. Endorsing the principles of the Treaty is just the beginning of our work. The Peace Treaty will provide a focus for all our efforts to end the war.
We need your commitment, your energy—we also need money—to carry the People’s Peace Treaty into every home, church, professional society, union, city council, business group, school, club, and community organization.
Majority opinion must be translated into majority action.
It is time we, the people, come together as individuals and in groups to endorse the principles for peace and to decide what action we will take to make peace in 1971.
A Joint Treaty of Peace
BETWEEN THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES, SOUTH VIETNAM & NORTH VIETNAM
Be it known that the American and Vietnamese people are not enemies. The war is carried out in the names of the people of the United States and South Vietnam but without our consent. It destroys the land and people of Vietnam. It drains America of its resources, its youth and its honor.
We hereby agree to end the war on the following terms, so that both peoples can live under the joy of independence and can devote themselves to building a society based on human equality and respect for the earth. In rejecting the war we also reject all forms of racism and discrimination against people based on color, class, sex, national origin and ethnic grouping which forms the basis of the war policies, present and past, of the United States.
The Americans agree to immediate and total withdrawal from Vietnam, and publicly to set the date by which all U.S. military forces will be removed.
The Vietnamese pledge that as soon as the U.S. government publicly sets a date for total withdrawal, they will enter discussions to secure the release of all American prisoners, including pilots captured while bombing North Vietnam.
There will be an immediate case-fire between U.S. forces and those led by the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam.
They will enter discussions on the procedures to guarantee the safety of all withdrawing troops.
The Americans pledge to end the imposition of Thieu, Ky and Khiem on the people of South Vietnam in order to insure their right to self-determination, and so that all political prisoners can be released.
The Vietnamese pledge to form a provisional coalition government to organize democratic elections. All parties agree to respect the results of elections in which all South Vietnamese can participate freely without the presence of any foreign troops.
The South Vietnamese pledge to enter discussion of procedures to guarantee the safety and political freedom of those South Vietnamese who have collaborated with the U.S. or with the U.S.-supported regime.
The Americans and Vietnamese agree to respect the independence, peace and neutrality of Laos and Cambodia in accord with the 1954 and 1962 Geneva conventions, and not to interfere in the internal affairs of these two countries.
Upon these points of agreement, we pledge to end the war and resolve all other questions in the spirit of self-determination and mutual respect for the independence and political freedom of the people of Vietnam and the United States.
By ratifying this agreement, we pledge to take whatever actions are appropriate to implement the terms of this Joint Treaty of Peace, and to insure its acceptance by the government of the United States.
South Vietnam National Student Union
South Vietnam Liberation Student Union
North Vietnam Student Union
National Student Association
Saigon, Hanoi and Paris, December 1970
Adopted by New University Conference and Chicago Movement Meeting,
January 8-10, 1971 People’s Peace Treaty · 156 Fifth Ave., New York, N.Y. 10010 · (212) 924-2469