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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
The G I movement-hundreds of acts of resistance ranging from individual to collective actions, from passive resistance to sabotage, fragging and open mutiny-has raised the spector of mass rebellion in the military. The anti-war movement has mobilized and educated the majority of Americans. Despite overwhelming opposition to the war, the US has continued its genocidal attack on Indochina under the disguise of "Vietnamization" and troop withdrawals.
While Nixon has tried to continue the war behind a smoke screen of "peace" rhetoric; the men and women in the military are rapidly making it impossible for the US to stay in Indochina. They are ending the war now, but they cannot do it alone.
In Vietnam, our brothers are concluding their own peace with the Vietnamese. Dramatic acts of rebellion have reached us through the mass media:
* In early 1969 the 196th Light Infantry Brigade publicly sat down on the battlefield and refused orders to move out.
* Later that year a rifle company from the 1st Air Cay refused on CBS-TV to advance down a dangerous trail.
* Troops refused to cross the border into Cambodia during the invasion of May, 1970.
* During the Laos invasion, February 1971, Troop B of the 1st Cav refused to recapture their captain's command vehicle containing secret operation orders.
* Six men of the Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Cav were supported by 66 of their brothers at Firebase Pace when they refused to go on patrol October 9. In the next three days, two other units refused orders in solidarity with Bravo Company.
These are only the incidents that have broken through the tight shield of press censorship. What do we know of the Whiskey Hill Mutiny which occurred September 25 of this year, but was mentioned only in the back pages of the Washington Post on October 15? Fourteen black soldiers were blasted out of a bunker where they had armed and barricaded themselves after being refused permission to attend a memorial service-for-a black girl killed two years ago in Watts.
For more than two years an increasing number of men have avoided contact with "the enemy" so that now "search and evade" is the basic military principle being applied by combat troops in Vietnam. Often this kind of de-escalation is enforced by fragging or the threat of fragging directed against gung-ho officers whom the men see as "warmongers" or racists. There were over 200 reported cases of fragging in 1970.
Riots and stockade uprisings have swept most of the major bases in the US including Travis Air Force Base in California- (embarkation and re-entry post for troops to and from Vietnam), Fort Ord in California (a major basic and advanced individual training post for Vietnam-bound troops), and Ft. Dix in New Jersey (a major basic training post). Riots have also occurred at four major bases overseas. In the Philippines and Okinawa, GIs have demonstrted in solidarity with national liberation movements direted against US imperialism and military occupation.
When the ground war collapsed in Vietnam, GIs in the Navy and Air Force responded by calling attention to the new role of their branches of the service. Inspired by the GIs resistance in Vietnam, nine sailors on the attack carrier Constellation refused to sail for Vietnam on October 1. When the sailors on the Coral Sea heard about the Constellation, they began organizing to stop their ship from sailing November 12 and to build a movement to Stop Our Ships throughout the Pacific fleet.
Life in the military is consciously designed to degrade and intimidate, to make men and women willing instruments of their own and others deaths and dehumanization. Intimidation hasn't worked and now as the military faces collapse and rebellion, the brass has been forced to rely more and more on naked force.
Many so-called trouble makers have been transferred to combat posts, a kind of death sentence, while others have ended up in God-forsaken places like Adak, Alaska. The brigs and stockades are filled to overflowing. Daily life for the politically active is a constant hassle from mindless robots, the lifers.
But none of this has stopped our brothers and sisters in the military. Their movement has continued to grow to the point where they can say, as the men of the Coral Sea have, "We are going to stop our ships and we, the military man and women are going to end this war."