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Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
Brig Strike Wins
While the regulations say that the guards must address each man only as "prisoner", it got under their skin that the guards delighted in calling them 'faggot" or "asshole". Every dlay their guards maske them stand at attention on the grounds - all day! Except, of course, when they were doing exercises or running around the "grinder" In the middle of the winter this was no fun.
Finally the sailors in Brig 3 had "had it". After talking it over for several days, they decided to go on strike. One morning all 75 of them refused to leave the barracks. Ignoring the guards, they either went back to the ''rack'' or just sat around, quietly. Confused by this, the guards called in their officer After his orders and pleas didn't work, the guards started threatening to use tear gas and clubs. The sailors just ignored them and went ahout their business.
The guards retreated to await orders. At noon a new shift came on duty, and with them the Warden, Chief Petty Officer Adcock. After listening to the sailors' demand that regulations be followed on both sides, Adcock promised to "get these things worked out". He promised them that in the future the guards would follow regulations.
The next morning the 75 sailors ended their sit-down strike, So far, the situation has improved. Standing at attention all day has disappeared, and the guards have been under orders to watch themselves. Score one for the Dodge Rebellion!
Last February sailors at one base struck back, and forced their officers to respect their rights. What makes this, story so unusual was that these sailors were prisoners at Brig 3, Great Lakes Naval Training Center. These sailors, mostly serving short sentences for AWOL. accepted most of the Brig rules as just another part of service life. Standing to attention when an E-5 or over entered the barracks. or being forced to run around the ''grinder" for 30 minutes was accepted.
What got them was the double game being played. On the one hand, every day they'd receive lectures on the benefit of following regulations, while at the same time their Marine guards said no attention to the same regulations. As one sailor put it: "Quit treating us like animals."
Vietnam GI, April 1968