John Miller photographed the anti-Vietnam War protest movement in Auckland and Wellington in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was still at school when he took his first images of the protest movement in 1967. In 2003 he received a Media Peace Prize Lifetime Award in recognition of his photography and its role in helping to promote the cause of peace.
The activities of the anti-Vietnam War and anti-South African sports tour movements of the late 1960s and early 1970s provided the subject matter for most of my early documentary work. I didn't start out with any grand design to compile the definitive archive on all this – it was just something that I liked doing, and the collection has evolved over time.
The Air Vice-Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky demonstration was the first I had ever covered – actually, I was still at secondary school at the time. The camera I used at the time was borrowed from my uncle. After his death last year, it passed into my possession – it still works.
The two 1971 Auckland photos were taken in May of that year when 161 Battery paraded up Queen Street. I also have photos of the troops and their howitzers & the official dignitaries, including Mayor Dove-Myer Robinson and Defence Minister David Thompson, and some of the demonstrators rushing onto the road to disrupt the parade and being dragged off by the police. Others I have include students laying wreaths to the dead and dying in Vietnam during Anzac Day ceremonies.
I like to say to people that I took the 1967 one while wagging an Intermediate School class!
John Miller photographs
Text and images courtesy John Miller