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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Rebellion In SPB FT Dix

Twenty-one black servicemen at Ft. Dix, New Jersey, were Imprisoned in the stockade July 29 on charges of assaulting five white GI's and face sentences of two to eight years in prison.

The military has sought to picture the rebellion as an interracial fight within the unit the black GI's were assigned to. However, a member of the American Servicemen's Union at Dix has told the ASU national office that it was actually a confrontation with military police.

The SPB--Special Processing Battalion--is a unit of eight to nine hundred lower ranking enlisted men that have gone AWOL in opposition to the Vietnam war and the militarism of the U.S. Army and have been dropped from their original units and assigned to SPB. Since its formation as a unit, SPB has been a center and source of dissent on the base. In SPB there are many hundreds of anti-war and anti-military GI's, the majority being black and Puerto Rican.

The 21 GI's were part of a group of some 250 black and Puerto Rican GI's at a meeting they called on the base to protest intolerable living conditions and racism in SPB, and also the arrest and detention of a fellow soldier who was imprisoned in "the cage," a steel mesh enclosure with no bedding or other necessities. Military Police broke up the meeting and a few days later, the 21 were arrested.

According to the national office of the ASU, the men have "already been found guilty." Capt. McCarthy, Commander of A Company, SPB, said to a formation of SPB personnel on Wed., July 29: "these people (referring to the 21) are going to the stockade, they have been charged with assault and they will get two to eight years. The Commanding General has plans, if necessary, to alert the entire post to control SPB."

A Four Year Bummer, vol. 2, no. 7

 

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