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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Suit Against Army

A suit has been filed by GI’s at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina against the Secretary of the Army and the Commanding General of Ft. Jackson, to prevent further infringement by military authorities of anti-war GI `s constitutional rights.

The suit requests a declaratory judgment that

1. GI `s have a right to hold meetings at Ft. Jackson and elsewhere to discuss public issues including those of war and peace.

2. They have a right to petition military authorities.

3. They have a right to file grievances with the Inspector General.

4. They cannot be transferred to other posts within the U.S. or to Vietnam as punishment, and they cannot be disciplined because of their legal political activities.

Their attorney, Leonard Boudin, stated in a press conference that the suit sharply and simply poses the basic legal question, “can the Army and the Congress make rules and regulations that are inconsistent with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?”

If the suit is upheld, the declaratory judgment will apply not only to Ft. Jackson, but to the entire Army. A favorable decision would thus be a major step forward in securing the civil liberties of GI's everywhere, and would have tremendous implications for the GI anti -war movement in the Northwest.

Counterpoint, vol. 2, no. 7

 

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