Library - Reading Room
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
An Injury To One, Is An Injury To All
On June 5, 1969, a revolt broke out in the stockade which has dictated the direction the movement at Ft. Dix must now take. The first step has already been taken for us and the responsibility for a strong display of support for their actions now rests on the shoulders of those of us at Ft. Dix who have who have been fortunate enough to remain outside the pound. It is not a question of guilt or innocense but power and resolve to seize this power.
The existence of the stockade is proof that there is a cog in the machine, a festering sore on one's backside, (Ft. Dix) which the supposed miscreants in the stockade have refused to accept. It has been said that rhetoric ends on the battlefield, but for some of us it really ends only behind bars. Here the policy of "Keep your shit in order and you won't get harassed," the soldier's code of conduct, which is put forth even at this level, is given its last chanc,and likewise the inmates are given their supposed last chance for freedom!
But freedom here at Ft. Dix is no more than a slogan. As the pound says "Obedience to the law is freedom." It is not freedom to be, merely to exist, and even this perversion of freedom is denied to some, as it must be, for those who dare to be free cannot fit in to this framework. Such liberated, therefore dangerous, people are eliminated as expeditiously as possible. Witness the Huey Newton, Presidio and Berkeley incidents, and of course the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. The stench has already risen to the top from the heat and this is the stench of the cadaver of American freedom.
Real freedom however is infused with the breath of new life by those who dare to struggle no matter what the odds, and this is the only type of action which is effective; for in our society the original idea of courageously defended freedom has been turned into the defense of defense. Those who exhibit real courage are subtly harassed and broken down, as in the case of Lenny Bruce, who was said to be a disease of American society. The stockade is likewise a disease, subject as it is to the brunt of the same type of harassment which destroyed Lenny Bruce. But who does it really destroy? The joke's on us, for we cannot escape our own cancer. As Marcuse documented in One-Dimensional Man, "American society allows any type of dissent, as long as it is ineffective."
Paradoxically, however, the real hope has sprung from those who we have allowed to wallow in despair for so long, from those at the stockade who have sent tremors of anxiety.
WE GOT THE brASS (German Edition), no. 1