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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Report On The March And Rally
The February 16th GI-Civilian March and Rally for Peace was a tremendous success. Although the exact number of people who participated in the action would be difficult to determine, we estimate the number to be something over 3,000.
A few hundred more than this attended rally at the Eagles Auditorium.
About 200-300 active-duty GI's were there, leading the march.At the auditorium, the participants were addressed by Andy Stapp editor of the Bond and chairman of the American Servicemen's Union, Howard Petrick, a member of the staff of the Student Mobilization Committee who was discharged from the army for his antiwas activities, and Sidney Lens, cochairman of the National Mobilization Committee.
Stapp spoke about the ties between the military, war industries, and the government, and explained the situation at the Presidio stockade in California, where a number of GI's are being court-martialed on charges of mutiny.
Petrick described what is going on now at Ft. Jackson, South Carolina, where GI's have been holding open discussion groups on post about racism, the war, and other subjects, and now are circulating a petition to be allowed to use military facilities for a mass meeting.
After the speakers there was an open mike for GI's and veterans, and several people got up and spoke on their attitudes toward the war, and their impressions of the march and its significance.
The overall tone of the action was one of tremendous enthusiasm, and a feeling of confidence in our own ability to stand up and express our beliefs, and to act on those beliefs.
The GI peace movement in the north-west has begun. It is far from over. On April 6th there will be GI-Civilian marches, demonstrations, conferences, and teach-ins all over the country. We plan to participate in this.
We have made a beginning; now we must take the enthusiasm we saw Feb. 16th and make it grow. We must take the several thousand civilians and several hundred GI's who came out Feb. 16th and turn it into thousands more.
Onward to April 6th.
Counterpoint, vol. 2, no. 1