“Why Activism in the ’60s Mattered Then and Now”” at the Newtown Quaker Meetinghouse, 219 Court Street, at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 21.

Norval Reece with Martin Luther King,

Norval Reece served two years with the Quakers in India at the Quaker center in Delhi, 1960-62 and was a full-time activist, organizer, and political campaign manager in the US during the ‘60s, Reece, who worked with Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy during the ‘60s on civil rights and anti-Vietnam marches and campaigns, will speak on Why Activism in the ’60s Mattered Then and Now at the Newtown Quaker Meetinghouse, 219 Court Street, at 9:45 a.m. on Sunday, April 21.  

Reece will be interviewed by Tony Wolf, retired Professor from Bucks County Community College, and former Peace Corps volunteer in India and activist in the ‘60s.

Norval Reece with Bobby Kennedy

Reece met with MLK Jr, marched with MLK at the 1963 “I Have a Dream” March in Washington DC and on the third Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, was at the Poor People’s March in DC in 1968, met with Bobby Kennedy in 1967 and tried to get him to run against LBJ, was Campaign Director of Senator Eugene McCarthy’s PA campaign and his National Director of Schedule and Advance, was on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and took part in the Vietnam Moratorium in Washington DC. In 1969, organized by 25-year-old Sam Brown and others Reece worked with on the 1968 McCarthy campaign. 

Norval Reece said, “All of this ‘60s activity is relevant to what is going is going on now in this country. We have major problems, and they won’t be resolved unless people get massively involved in the issues. Reproductive rights is an example. The US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade; people started protesting for their rights and many politicians who supported the Supreme Court decision last year are now waffling and changing their positions.”

We also know now from the producers of the movie, The Movement and the Madman, that Richard Nixon was planning to use tactical nuclear weapons in Vietnam on November 1, 1969 until the 2,000,000 people involved around the country in the Moratorium on October 15, 1969 caused him to set the plan aside. It illustrates the point that those involved in social protests may not know until much later the impact they are having.” 

Following the presentation, there will be worship in the manner of Friends at 11:00 a.m. with people speaking out of silence as they are moved to do so. The public is welcome at all events. 

Newtown Friends Meeting, co-founded by the Quaker artist and minister, Edward Hicks, in 1815, holds services every First Day (Sunday). During the school year, First Day classes for children and adults are at 9:45 a.m. and Meeting for Worship at 11 a.m.

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