Library - Reading Room

Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!

Fort Dix Rebellion: The Facts

The stockade renbellion at Fort Dix began June 5 after prisoners had been forced to stand in the sun for 5 hours and then in a chow line for 3 more hours. When some prisoners were denied water, a prisoner named Chabot demanded a water bowl. ASs others followed suit, Chabot was charged with inciting a riot and placed in "seg".

Word of Chabot's punishment spread throughout the pound, with 200 GIs smashing windows, breaking furniture and burning mattresses. The rebellion was put down by 250 MPs who moved in with tear gas, bayonets, and riot guns. 9 prisoners were seriously injured and quite a few were beaten by the MPs.

The incident cannot be fully understood if it is not seen in the context of the function stockades serve on every base. The Ft. Dix stockade was constructed to house 350 prisoners, but now holds twice that number. The food isn't fit to eat. MPs in the stockade often physically brutalise the prisoners. One guard, in a letter to Shakedown said: "I've heard some guards say they'd like to have a prisoner try to escape on them, so they can shoot him. A guard gets a 30 day leave and a choice of duty station for killing an escaping prisoner."

The heart of the stockade is seg - small cells (8 feet long, 7 ft. high, and 5 ft. wide) with steel walls and floor. For furniture there's a wooden or metal bed and a toilet without a seat. The high point of seg treatment is a medieval torture known as the strap. A prisoner has his hands and feet bound together behind his back. The strap is put on in such a way that circulation is cut off and the prisoner is then beaten and thrown about by the guard. He s usually dropped on his face and stomach - he can't use his hands to break the fall. He is forced to confess to violations which are then usede to justify the torture.

The pound, seg and torture are the key to army dicipline. A GI said: "The pound is the central fact in the life of every GI: if he steps out of line or speaks out, it's the pound. It's the heart of the whole system!" Because of this fact the stockade rebellion had a wide impact on the whole bases the most oppressed had broken loose.!

WE GOT THE brASS (German Edition), no. 2


© 2005 Displaced Films. All Rights Reserved