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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Easter Weekend Demonstrations Largest In Years
The GI-Civilian demonstrations against the war on April 5 and 6 turned out to be the moast successful activities carried out by the antiwar movement in some time. While precise figures on several demonstrations are not yet available as we go to press, it is clear that there was substantial participation by GIs as well as a larger civilian turnout than anyone expected.
In New York 200 or more GIs led a march of 75,000 to 100,000. The large GI showing was achieved in spite of the fact that at Fort Dix, the largest base within travelling distance of the demonstration, virtually no traaining compoanies were given passes.
(Ten days before the march, the brass also tried to restrict permanent party by scheduling an inspection on April 5 for Special Troops. The inspection was cancelled within twenty-four hours as the result of protest from civilian groups and inquiries from newspaper reporters.)
The Huntley-Brinkley news report stated that 15,000 - 30,000 people turned out for the demonstration in Chicago, one of the largest the city has ever seen. In contrast to the events of last August at the Democratic convention, the march went off without any major incidents. Like New York, it was led by several hundred GIs.
Seattle, which in February held the largest march in the city's history--more than 300 GIs participated--scheduled a teach-in and an antiwar basic training day for the Easter weekend. Successful marches were also held in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. (In San Francisco, the demonstrators marched on the Presidio to demand the release of the Presidio 27.) In addition, Austin, Texas, is holding a GI-Civilian march on April 13.
The press services referred to the series of demonstrations as the largest which have taken place in the country since before World War II, While this may be a slight exaggeration, it clearly indicates that large sections of the public have begun to see through the Paris "peace talks" and lose their patience with the Nixon administration. (Nixon appears to realize this himself: see article elsewhere in this issue.)
By far the largest part of all the marches was made up of young people--high school and college students. High school students in particular are now joining the antiwar movement and bringing with them a militancy and energy which has sometimes been lacking in recent months. All signs point to a new surge in the antiwar movement that will let the world know we don't like Nixon's war any more than we liked Johnson's.
Ultimate Weapon , no. 6