Library - Reading Room

Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Fort Jax GIs - Victorious

A spectacular victory for the antiwar movement and for constitutional rights was achieved May 20 when Army authorities at Ft. Jackson South Carolina, threw in the towel and announced they were dropping their planned prosecution. The case in probably without parallel in U.S. military history.

The case of the Fort Jackson GIs traces back to the early part of this year when enlisted men on that base formed an organization called, "GIs United Against the War in Vietnam." The brass countered by transferring, discharging or jailing the leadership of the EM group.

A massive defensive campaign was then launched by the antiwar movement ... recently concluding in victory, GIs United (Pvt. Andrew Pulley, Pvt. Jose Rudder, Pvt. Joe Cole) released the following statement on May 21:

Today is a victory not only for us, it is a victory for all GIs. It is a victory for the antiwar movement and for constitutional rights.
The Army' s attack has crumbled in the face of public indignation at our imprisonment. Their flimsy charges disintegrated in the hands of a brilliant legal defense team.
Never again will the Army be able to interfere with the constitutional rights of American soldiers without the prospect of a repetition of the Ft. Jackson 8 defense campaign.
Our case has struck a blow at the very heart of the American bureaucratic military structure - military injustice. It should now be apparent to the brass that today's New Action Amy does not consist of mindless robots but of men who feel they have the right to question policy - especially policy which they will be deployed to enforce. American soldiers die in Vietnam every day, yet when a GI chooses to speak out against such senseless slaughter he is labeled 'a trouble-maker' or a 'threat to morale.'
Vietnam means trouble to any GI. We didn't make the war. A president's foreign policy did it. Despite ever increasing demands of the people, from all walks of life, the war continues. DuPont gets richer and fatter off the blood of dead GIs and Vietnamese. So it seems it is the present administration and the military industrial complex that are the trouble makers, not us. And as for a threat to morale, combat is the most demoralizing experience a man can endure - in a war that is as unpopular as the one in Vietnam. And its more demoralizing for black GIs and member of other oppressed minorities.
The GI antiwar movement has chalked up a tremendous victory and the brass reels from another defeat. There is no telling what can happen when right is on one's side.

About Face, no. 4


© 2005 Displaced Films. All Rights Reserved