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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Ft. Hood 43

The 43 black GI's from Fort Hood who refused riot duty in Chicago during the Democratic convention received about the same treatment from MPs that demonstrators got at the hands of the Chicago cops.

Not only were they thrown into the stockade, they were also beaten and clubbed by 60 MPs.

The major who commands the prison initiated the beatings by swinging his steel helmet into the face of one of the 43. Another soldier, who had been wounded in the kidneys in Vietnam, was beaten in the kidneys by the MPs.

Fifty-eight of the MPs were white, the two black MPs did not join in the beatings. It is not known if they were punished for not joining in the attack.

These are some of the facts discovered by Andy Stapp, national president of the American Servicemen's Union, on a visit to Fort Hood.

Col. Joseph Carroway, one of the officers who negotiated with the GI's, said the GI's felt they were "carrying the white man's burden . . . Most of the grievances were typical of the colored race. They discussed such things as unequal opportunity."

"It was all most unusual," the colonel added.

Thirty-five of the 43 are being tried by special court-martial and the remaining eight are receiving 'general court-martial. The 35 are being tried five at a time to minimize the impact of such a large group being tried at once. Several of the groups have been given six-month sentences, the maximum penalty, by the all-white allbrass judge-jury system of the Aimy. The men were stripped of their rank and fined two-thirds of their pay for each month in prison. They will also be required to serve an extra six months in the Army, since stockade time is bad time.

The charge against them was not even disobeying a direct order, but not showing up for reveille. They had conducted an all-night meeting on a street corner in the post.

Most GI's who do not make reveille are given a couple days of KP and a reprimand.

The 35 receiving special court-martial are being defended by local NAACP and sympathetic lawyers. Mike Kennedy of the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee is handling the cases of the eight getting general court-martial.

Flag in Action, no. 2

 

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