Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Airmen, Friends, Readers;
With this issue AFB is one year young. In May of last year four airmen and a small handful of students got together to write and print the first four page issue which we then called Harass the Brass. It came at a time when a dozen GI undergound papers were Just beginning at Army and Air Force Bases and even at naval ports. FTA at Fort Knox, Ky. was one of the first papers and simultaneously GIs at Fort Jackson were holding on-base teach-ins about the war and forming the first GIs United Against the War group on that base.
The first issue of AFB carried tha story of the Fort Jackson 8 and their suit against the Army. It went to the printer just late enough to report the victory of the “8”.
We called the first issue Harass the Brass but as it was the GI editors that got the harassment, we changed the title to the Bummer with the next issue but unfortunately we cannot say the brass has changed a hair (literally and figuratively).
However, many airmen have take on the AFB as their own means of guaranteeing freedom of speech freedom from institutionalized ignorance. Changes are occuring everyday in peoples heads. This issue is no longer the product of a handful of airmen – it is the result of a year of rapping, writing, moratoriums, awakening and thinking and eight previous “Bummers.” It is the expression that GIs are getting an education despite an essentially meaningless waste of years in the Air Force. And it is specifically the result of free airmen coming together in greater numbers to the films and meetings to exercise their legal right to protest the war, racism, and their involuntary servitude.
We cannot close this editorial without exposing and condemning the patently illegal activities of the base post office. The fundamental right of every citizen to receive his mail is being flagrantly violated by several “lifers” on base. Many copies of the last two issues have bean confiscated without any attempt to notify the persons addressed. It is not unreasonable to suspect that an attampt is being made by the OSI to investigate subscribers,
They really mean it when they tell you the military doesn't try to be democratic. People just don't take this forever - they didn't in 1776.
To all of you who have been with us for either a short or a long time, thanks. Next year will be better!
A Four Year Bummer, vol. 2, no. 3