Remembering Ron Dellums Who Fought Against War, Apartheid and Poverty

Legendary anti-war activist, former Oakland mayor and longtime Democratic congressmember Ron Dellums of Oakland, California, died on Monday at the age of 82. A self-described socialist and radical, Dellums served in the House for 27 years, leading the congressional opposition to the Vietnam War and apartheid in South Africa. His activism landed him on President Richard Nixon’s enemies list. Ron Dellums opposed bloated military spending throughout his career, instead pushing for increased investment in housing, health care and education. We remember Ron Dellums by airing part of a 2015 Democracy Now! interview with the famed congressmember.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, Democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman with Juan González.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We spend the rest of the hour remembering former Democratic Congressmember Ron Dellums of Oakland, California, who died on Monday at the age of 82. Dellums was a legendary figure in Washington for leading the congressional opposition to the Vietnam War and to apartheid in South Africa. In 1970, he became the first self-described socialist to be elected to Congress since before World War II. He went on to serve in the House for 27 years. Dellums was a lifelong fierce antiwar activist who pushed for the House to conduct a probe into US war crimes committed in Vietnam soon after his election in 1970. When his effort failed, Dellums held his own ad hoc war crimes hearings. His activism landed him on President Richard Nixon’s enemies list. Dellums once said, “I am not going to back away from being called a radical. If being an advocate of peace, justice, and humanity toward all human beings is radical, then I’m glad to be called a radical.”

AMY GOODMAN: Ron Dellums also led the congressional opposition to US-backed apartheid in South Africa, for nearly 15 years pushing legislation to ban US trade and investment in South…

Read more