Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Toward GI Power
Free speech is a basic right of every GI. After all, this is the principle that GIs are pledged to defend. But the military has seen fit to repeatedly stifle individual liberties. By what constitutional provision or amendment does a GI stop being a citizen with full rights when he enters the armed forces? There are no such provisions or amendments! The First Amendment to the Constitution is very clear: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting free speech thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of people to peacefully assemble, and to petition.”
On many military posts and installations the so-called GI underground newspapers have been prohibited. Such a violation of the constitution is intolerable. The military lacks the legitimate authority to ban these publications. The constitution nowhere says that Gis shall be denied their individual liberties.
The right of free speech which guarantees that all opinions and viewpoints may be heard and read, should not be controlled by brass gods who wield arbitrary power in the name of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. This bit of brass is merely the underling of the government — and in the United States — it says military, therefore it attempts to rob the people (in this case GI’s) of their own authority.
To regain that authority, GI’s must get their shit together. The primary task is to spread the word and raise GI consciousness. This can be done by talking to other guys about the issues, writing your views and experiences to GI papers so other GI’s can know them, and distributing papers on base.
It is legitimate for GI’s to read and distribute these papers but the brass tries to interfere with this. If a reader or distributor is harassed, other GI’s should support him as much as they can, take over his distribution and continue to spread the word. Our motto is play it cool! The mind you save may be your own.
(Reprinted from the Ally)
A Four Year Bummer, no. 1