Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Take A Long Hard Look At Amerikan Society
What evils do you find most revolting? You have a wide selection to choose from: racism, oppression of minority and even majority (women) groups, a government intent on creating wars to improve the economy and make the rich richer, suppression of Constitutional Rights when the exercise of those rights sheds a bad light on the power structure, etc, the list goes on and on. Then take a long look at the military system of the United States, and what do you see? A system emcompassing all these evils found in our society, with none of the fabled “good points” supposedly found on the outside.
You, as a member of the United States Armed Forces, find yourself exposed daily to racism, oppression, harrassment, supression, and the horrible guilt feeling that comes from knowing that you, no matter what your job, are contributing to Amerikan genocide in Southeast Asia. Just by filling the vacancy created for you by the military, you are making it possible for the military to free another man for duty in Southeast Asia.
What can you do about it? There are really only two options available to you. You can do your job, put in eight hours a day and take whatever bullshit the power structure chooses to lay on you, go home to the barracks or your apartment, have a nice, (or not so nice if its military food) warm dinner, and watch the news on TV to see if the death toll in Vietnam is up or down this week. Or you can use your time in a more positive manner.
For example; Contribute your views, in article form to a local underground GI newspaper. Tell of an example of military “justice” that you have witnessed, or write about what you would do if you were in charge (A navy magazine used to run a column called “Chief of Naval Operations for a Day”, where readers were supposed to list the changes they would make in the system given the chance. What would you do of YOU were Chief of Naval Operations, or Secretary of the army, or air force or Commandant of the marine corps?). If you don't have a local underground paper, START one. Write OPEN SIGHTS for information and assistance. There are nearly 60 underground papers in operation now.
If you live in the Washington area you can help out with OPEN SIGHTS. The office is at 1029 Vermont Ave., Suite 907. (phone 737-0072). Several peace groups maintain offices in the same building, and any one of us can always use extra help. Drop down and put in a couple of hours on a weekend or after work.
Support or start a coffeehouse for GI's dedicated to peace, equal rights and an end to the UCMJ.
Take part in demonstrations and rallies sponsored by people who share your political and moral views. You have the right to participate in demonstrations that are legal, that take place off-base after duty hours, if you are not in uniform (who wants to wear his uniform after work anyway?).
If you have a couple of dollars to spare, give it to an organization that can use it. There are innumerable peace organizations around that could put your money to good use in the struggle to get us (All of us) the rights guaranteed under the Constitution and out of Southeast Asia and the rest of the world.
Most important of all do not be afraid to say what you believe in at every opportunity including while you're at work- the Bill of Rights is not suspended during working hours although your “superiors” may want you to think so. Confront the veiled threats your leading NCO's are so fond of dishing out. Don't let your military bosses politically dominate the daily conversation at work without your presenting your point of view, Your silence only endorses their hateful philosophy of racism, facism, and death. Make sure everybody knows where you stand. By word and by deed you can become a part of the peace movement while on or off duty; you can help reform this nation and especially this nation's military.
Open Sights, vol. 2, no. 4