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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Hundreds Of GI's Sign Antiwar Ad
In his November 3 speech, President Nixon several times referred to a so-call "silent majority" which he claimed support. his war policies. James Reston wrote two days later that Nixon "was worried about what he calls the 'vocal minority' in the universities and the press who have been opposing him, and felt that the 'silent majority' was with him -- though how he knows he had the majority if it was 'silent' is not clear."
Reston's argument is well taken. On November 9, a portion of the population which has been kept silent against its will "spoke" in an advertisement published in the New York Times. The ad was placed by the GI Press Service The text consisted of a statement of opposition to the war and support for the November 15 demonstrations.
Although less than three weeks were available for circulating the statement, 1,366 active duty GIs -- including 190 stationed in Vietnam -- signed the forms that were circulated and had their names included in the Times ad. Approximately another 100 signatures were obtained but could not be printed with the ad either because signatures were illegible or because they were received too late.
The text signed by the GIs and printed in the Times read as follows:
We are active-duty servicemen.
We are opposed to American involvement in the war in Vietnam.
We resent the needless wasting of lives to save face for the politicians in Washington. We speak, believing our views are shared by many of our fellow servicemen.
On November 15, join hundreds of thousands of Americans from all walks of life who will march in Washington and San Francisco to demand that ALL the troops be brought home from Vietnam NOW. This will be a legal and peaceful demonstration.
GI's, as American citizens, have the constitutional right to join these demonstrations. In the past, however, military authorities have often restricted servicemen to their bases, thus effectively preventing them from participating in demonstrations against the war. We ask you to write to the President and your representatives in Congress to demand that GI's not be prevented from participating in the November, 15 demonstrations.
GI Press Service, vol. 1, no. 11