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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
GI Struggle Against Oppression
There is a long history of struggle of GI's for their rights. At the time of the Democratic Convention in Chicago last summer, a group of 43 black GI's at Fort Hood refused to fight against their own people in the Ghetto and their allies in the movement, when they received orders to go to Chicago for "riot control." They knew who was their real enemy, and they refused to be used as an aggressive force against their fellow oppressed people in the city.
This spring GI's at Fort Jackson asserted their humanity by expressing their political beliefs against the war in Vietnam. A group of black, white, Puerto Rican, and Indian GI's formed "GI's United Against the War in Vietnam." They circulated petitions and therefore became the target of Uncle Sam's intimidation. A small group of political activists were singled out, harassed, given pretrial confinement time, and investigated for their political activities. They had exercised their right to freedom of speech, and even though Uncle Sam didn't like what they said, only one GI was court-martialed. (Freedom of speech is allowed only as long as it is ineffective in achieving freedom in America.)
The cruel murder of a prisoner at the Presidio Stockade -- in cold blood, by a sadistic guard -- made a group of 27 prisoners sit down and refuse orders to move, to protest the murder. Their actions and the heavy charges and possible sentences brought against them by the ugly green mother-fucker brought the movement in the army into the public eye. Some of the 27 men who sat down and sang "This Land is Your Land; This Land is My Land," were sentenced to 15 additional years imprisonment for mutiny. The outraged movement organized a committee for the defense of the Presidio 27, and through many actions, including the storming of the Presidio by thousands of people, managed to get the unjust sentences of the 27 reduced drastically.
Now the Fort Dix 38 and 200 others have revolted against the inhumane treatment and suppression in the Dix stockade. They revolted against overcrowded conditions, sadistic guards, bad food, and the suppression of their rights by the Army. They revolted against the fear which the army instills in all of us through the fear of the stockade. Some of the men involved in the revolt were in the pound for AWOL or desertion; others for being conscientious objectors. The 38 who were singled out as conspirators are all political activists, who were really singled out for their political activities. They are faced with sentences of up to 43 years for a just revolt against the mother-fucker who put them up against the wall.
The Fort Dix revolt was an active step in furthering the. movement in the army. Rioting GI's in the stockades at Camp Lejeune and Fort Riley have taken similar steps. We demand that the Fort Dix 38 be freed, not because they were conspirators but because of their political activities; that the army stockades be abolished because they are not holding criminals, only inducing GI's to act against their own best interests through the fear of the stockade; and that all political prisoners everywhere be set free. Civilians are grouping in support of the 38; we must do likewise. We must discuss their case on post, we must circulate the petition, we must mass in their defense, for they have taken up the standard of our struggle against oppression and the Army. We must carry that struggle on until freedom is achieved and power is returned to the people, where it belongs.
Shakedown, vol. 1, no. 7