Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
San Diego: U.S.S. Constellation--Connie Vote
The attack aircraft carrier, the U.S. S. Constellation (the Connie), is scheduled to go to SoWestPac (Southeast Asia) in late September, but a massive effort is being made to keep the Connie in San Diego (she's already spent 692 days off of Nam). The Constellation Vote- a referendum to decide whether or not the ship stays - - is in progress sponsored by the COM chapter (consisting of officers and enlisted men), and Nonviolent Action, a San Diego peace group.
They have been using every means to get word out to civilians and servicemen. They are also extending their efforts through: films (including one being made about the Connie) banners on boats and barges in the harbor, airplane towing signs, radio and TV ads, posters, bumper stickers, guerilia theatre from a flat bed truck Joan Baez concerts, and David Harris speaking gigs picnics and press conferences. The already visible effect is that ships captain. Henry Gerhard, has changed his policy to allow mail from peace groups to be received on board ship--in violation of USS Constellation Instruction 56CS. 1, issued by him, which required the COs approval. The captain was called to Washington for two days of high-level consultations earlier. (Note: April 7 mailing was seized and burned-the court hearing will be held soon, it is expected that the case will be heard by the Supreme Count in January).
Gerhard s ease of the shakes is matched by the business community of San Diego. Pacific Counselling Service has been working on an extremely effective Tyrell' s Boycott. The Tvrells has not only agreed to all demands, but has put up posters announcing the vote and put a ballot box on the door.
The crew has beenn meeting on and off the ship. There have been lots of transferes and discharges. When the engineering staff planned a walkout, Marines were "unobtrusively" stationed around the ship and a special drill was called for 11 AM coincidentally the time of the walkout. Black GIs have called a news conference for September 18 to discuss specifics of Navy racism and their contention that if the Connie leaves port, the conditions are such that there will be racial violence,
Major problems are that churches have gotten skittish about meeting halls and COM even went to the American. Legion with the obvious results.
Camp News, vol. 2, no. 8