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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Jackson EM Ask For Support
GIs at Ft. Jackson, S.C., calling themselves “GIs United Against the War in Vietnam,” have been circulating a petition on base for the last several weeks. The petition requests the base commander to allow the use of a post theater for a discussion by GIs of the war and their rights as citizens.
The brass at Jackson refused to accept the petition on the phoney ground that it represented “collective bargaining.” In response, GIs United issued the following “Appeal for Support” on February 28:
The past two months have seen the explosive development of an organization of Ft. Jackson GIs fighting for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, an end to Army racism, and for the implementation of constitutional rights for GIs. As a result of our coming together, we black, Puerto Rican, Indian and white GIs United Against the War in Vietnam have seen leaders shipped out in punitive transfers and our brothers thrown into the stockade under maximum security.
In response to this harassment, we have initiated a petition drive to discuss the war in Vietnam and these attacks by the brass in a mass, democratically run meeting on post.
Around these issues. we have spread to all sections of post, including Basic Training, in defiance of the increased harassment by the brass. We have grown, and continue to grow, because we speak to the needs of GIs, because we speak the truth. Our petition drive and the reaction of the brass to it are a powerful lesson for GIs.
The brass deceitfully maintains that we are attempting to collectively bargain for GIs at Ft. Jackson. This is not true. It is only a camouflage for the refusal of the brass to allow us to exercise our democratic rights.
It tells us plainly that the war and the Army are too corrupt for the brass to allow us even to discuss!
GIs United understands and Fl Jackson GIs now see, that what few rights we have are won only through struggle. We have the right to discuss the war. The Army has NO RIGHT to treat us as anything less than men. Our rights are the rights of citizens, the same rights that this country says we should fight for in Vietnam.
And we will fight for our rights. But the Vietnamese are not violating our rights -- the Army is!
For our struggle to be victorious, we need your immediate support. We urge fellow GIs at other bases to begin now to circulate petitions supporting the struggle of Ft. Jackson GIs for their constitutional and democratic right of petition and assembly. A victory at Ft . Jackson will be a victory for GIs everywhere. Our struggle is a common one!
We also urgently appeal to the civilian antiwar movement to circulate support petitions, and to send telegrams of support protesting the illegal harassment by the brass. Protest should go to the Commanding General, Ft. Jackson, S.C with copies to GIs United, Box 543, Columbia, S.C., and to the GI Civil Liberties Defense Committee, Box 355, Old Chelsea Station, N.Y N.Y. 10011. Funds are desperately needed by the GIC.L.D.C. in order for it to continue helping us with legal support and publicity.
FREE SPEECH FOR GI'S!
Ultimate Weapon , no. 5