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Myers Wins

GI's won an important victory over the brass on Oct. 1 when a frame-up court-martial against an antiwar GI at Fort Dix fell through. Sp/4 Allen Myers was charged with handing out a leaflet published by the Philadelphia Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. The title of the leaflet was "Support Our Men in Vietnam, Not Those Who Send Them There."

The brass contended that Myers was violating Fort Dix Regulation 210-27, which prohibits the distribution of leaflets and other printed matter that is "in bad taste," "prejudicial to good order," or "subversive."

This blatantly unconstitutional regulation was used by the Fort Dix officers in an attempt to intimidate the growing antiwar sentiment developing among GI's.

The way the antiwar movement fought back in this case and won is a very important example for future lights against repression from the brass.

Massive civilian demonstrations outside Fort Dix were mobilized by the SMC and by the GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee to put as much pressure on the brass as possible by getting news of the case into the mass media and letting the general public know a GI was getting a screw job.

The GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee sent out press releases to publicize the case, and urged the press to cover the court-martial.

Myers is a member of the Young Socialist Alliance and was active in the student antiwar movement before he was drafted.

There were two reasons why the brass backed down on its attempt to intimidate Myers. Aside from the public support Myers received, the prosecution failed to present an adequate case in the court-martial. Two GI's who were scheduled to testify against Myers were apparently unwilling to do so.

There are some important lessons we can draw from this victory. First antiwar GI's must realize they have civilian allies who are willing to help them defend their constitutional rights. Whenever the brass tries to screw a guy for exercising his rights, we have to make sure the whole world knows about it so the brass won't be able to get away with quietly putting us out of action one by one. And above all, GI's have to stick together in the face of threats from the brass.

Flag in Action, no. 2

 

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