Scope and Contents
This collection contains the papers of Bradford Lyttle, with some material from Marcia James Lyttle, Charles H. Lyttle, and Helen Rawson James
Bradford Lyttle (1927 - ) is a long time leading peace activist involved in the promotion of nonviolence for social change and the elimination of war and nuclear weapons. In the 1950s Lyttle was employed by the American Friends Service Committee, first as the Associate Peace Secretary for the Des Moines, Iowa office and later the Chicago office of the organization. He was drafted in 1954, but as a conscientious objector refused to coopeate with the Selective Service law and was incarcrated for nine months in the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri. Following his release Lyttle traveled to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia to study peace movements and Gandhian techniques of nonviolent action and resistance. After his return to the United States Lyttle became active in the growing protest movements against atomic and hydrogen weapons.
By the summer of 1960 Lyttle became the National Secretary of the Committee for Nonviolent Action, the leading direct action organization protesting against weapons of mass destruction. Lyttle helped coordiate, and in some cases lead, protests from New England to Virginia. The same year Lyttle became an organizer, and later the coordinator, of the first transcontinental peace walk, from San Francisco to Moscow walk. This march was to highlight the message of unilateral disarmament and defense by nonviolent resistance, and bringing together U.S. and Soviet citizens together during the height of the Cold War. Throughout the early to mid 1960s Lyttle went on to organize and participate in other marches and protests, including the Quebec - Washington - Guantanamo Walk for Peace, during which he and twenty other marchers were jailed by police in Albany, Georgia.
During the Vietnam war Lyttle coordinated various organizations and demonstrations against the war. In 1965 he organized and anti-war speak out at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and a draft card burning in Union Square in New York, New York. The following year Lyttle was a member of a team of six U.S. pacifist who protested against the war in Saigon (Vietnam). He continued to organize demonstrations and protests against the war, until the end of the hostilities, including activities for the New Mobilization Against the War in Vietnam, for War Tax Resistance, protests against sending the battleship New Jersey to Vietnam, protests against the U.S. invasion of Cambodia, and co-ordinating the People's Coalition for Peace and Justice mass march in Washington, D.C.
Lyttle also participated in other social justice activities. In the late 1960s he was the co-founder and national coordinator of the Emergency Committee on Nigeria and Biafra. In the following decade he was the national coordinator of Friends of the Filipino People.
In 1983 he founded the United States Pacifist Party and ran for president in the 1984 elections. Lyttle continues to work for peace around the world. He has been a war tax resister, worked with peace projects and refugees in Bosnia and Croatia, and has been arrested many times for protests against nuclear weapons, the last time in 2011. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.