Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Jackson's Doin' It
In 1776 a group of American Patriots got together and petitioned the ruling authorities for their rights. They also held meetings to discuss the issues that were so important to them like free speech and the right to hold meetings and to present grievances. Today, these men are considered heroes.
At Ft Jackson, S.C., a group of GIs are attempting to do the same thing, but it is unlikely that the Army will nominate them for the Medal of Honor.
It all began in Jan 69 when a group of guys got together in the barracks to discuss the legal and moral issues relating to the war in Viet Nam and the status of minority groups in the Army. This developed into the GIs United Against the War in Viet Nam who circulated a petition calling on the CG to provide for an open meeting on post “at which all those concerned can freely discuss the legal and moral questions related to the war in Viet Nam and the civil rights of American citizens both within and without the armed forces.”
Pvt Lawrence Hart, an Afro-American leader of GI United was given 6 months on trumped -up assualt charges, even though prosecution witnesses testified that he had not touched the person he “assualted”. Pvt Tommie Woodfin was court-martialed on March l8 for distributing the petition. He was acquited by military court with the assistance of civilian lawyers. Pvt Joe Miles, a black founder of GIs United, was given three hours to clear post. Pvt Joe Cole received notification on March l4 that the Army planned to discharge him for his political activity.
Then, on March 20, 100 GIs attended a “rap” session on the war held on the barracks lawn. During the meeting, some officers came by and tried to harass the speakers. No orders were given to stop speaking or to disperse and no attempt was made to break up the meeting. That evening, however, 7 GI were restricted to their rooms.
The next day, (Mar 21), four of the leaders, Pvts Cole, Rudder, Pulley, and Chaparro, were put in pre-trial confinment on charges of "inciting to riot: and disturbing the peace", and "disrespect to an office"”.
What is happening at Ft Jackson is a miscarriage of justice. We must not allow it to happen. Remember how public outrage forced the reduction of the sentences at Presidio; we must do the same here.
Already, a suit has been filed enjoing the CG and Sec of the Army from the actions they have taken. You can send a letter of support for the FT Jackson Four to Gls United, box 543 Columbia, S.C., You can send a letter to the CG, Ft Jackson, S.C., protesting the injustices, You can send aletter to your congressman asking him to investigate what is going on, You can write to parents and friends and inform them and get their support. You can try and raise money to send to GIs United to help them fight and win their battle against Military Injustice.The fight to free the Ft Jackson Four is your fight. Join us in defending these men and getting them out of the stockade by legal and legitimate means. Let the Army know they can no longer step on GIs.
Which side are you on? Do you support the brass and lifers and the war; or are you for constitutional rights for GIs, freedom of speech and assembly and against the war? To do nothing in this case is, in effect, supporting the brass and lifers. To do something, to write letters and to spread information on this outrage is to take action in your own behalf. What is happening to the Ft Jackson Four may someday happen to you unless we put a stop to it once and for all.
Fun Travel Adventure, no. 8