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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Jailed Men In Nam Rebel Against Brass

The anger of EMs imprisoned in Vietnam by the Brass has exploded.

Men fed up with military oppression have rebelled at both the Marine brig at Danang and at the Army stockade at Longbinh, twelve miles north of Saigon.

On the night of August 16, Marine prisoners at the Danang brig tore the pace art and burned a cell block. Angry at the humiliating requrement that they call the guards "sir' and at the poor fond, the overcrowding. and the long delay before trials, they decided to stand up and fight back. It took a force of MPs firing shotguns to crush the rebellion among the 228 unarmed man. Seven prisoners and an MP were reported wounded. And it still wasn't over.

Two days later a second rebellion broke out when the officer in charge of the brig. Lieut. Col. Joseph Gambardella, ordered some of the prisoners moved out. This time MPs had to use tear gas to stop the uprising.

Chairman of the American Servicemen's Union Andy Stapp immediately called the Pentagon and demanded names of the man involved. He also demanded a public statement of what was being done to them. Speaking to ASU Chairman Stapp, Lt. Col. Ludvig, Director of Marine Public Relations. refused to release any information to the ASU or to the American people. He did not cite security reasons for his refusal. Comenting on the negative response from Col. Ludvig, Andy Stapp said in a press release, ''This blatant suppression of the peoples right to know is but part and parcel of the conspiratorial actions of this nation's rulers. The Brass does not want brought to light the rotten and abusive conditions that they have foisted upon the enlisted personnel in the Armed Forces.''

In a statement to the New York Post of August 20, Stapp said, "We have 19 union members in Danang and we suspect that at least some of than are involved in the uprising.'

Less than two weeks later, GI prisoners in Longbinh, the Army' s biggest stockade in Vietnam broke out in rebellion. Longbinh jail (known to GIs as the "LBJ") was also overcrowded (719 man where there were aipposed to be only 550) with angry GIs whose grievances were probably much like those of their brothers at Danang.

Shortly before midnight on August 20, an apparent fight among the prisoners in a barbed-wire enclosed medium security" section brought three guards running inside to quell it. They didn't come out. The GIs inside had grabbed them and their keys.

When the three guards didn't come out, an outside guard blew his whistle. At the sane time, a band of prisoners rushed the gate between the medium security section and the recreation and administration area in the main part of the compound.

They broke through. They then proceeded to burn down the building which contained all their records and nine other large buildings.

When the Brass, commanded by Col. William Brandenburg of Elloree, S. C. sent MPs armed with M-l6s, bayonets and tear gas grenades in. The unarmed GIs inside fought back. They wounded 5 MPs and put the acting warden of the jail in the hospital. One GI prisoner gave his life in the brief but bitter struggle and 59 were listed as wounded.

The Bond, vol. 2, no. 9

 

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