Library - Pamphlets
Supporting Materials for Sir! No Sir!
and reprinted by the newsmedia ... and newspapers of Western Europe, later the USA. They informed GIs how to get out of Germany and how to reach countries, such as France and Sweden where they could continue resistance activity. Phase 5; After December 1967, in both France and Sweden, GIs openly spoke in front of the media, giving their rank and serial number. From these earlier stages grew the concept of full time Ritas, GIs who had left their units to continue full-time resistance. Some of these GIs consider themselves deserters, others intend to return to their units, and consider themselves as AWOL. Some of these GIs had been in hiding until the successful completion of stage 3, asylum. Now they began to work, more or less openly, depending on local conditions. In more and more cases, contact was reestaablished with their units. Information was fed back, first concerning ... desertion, later the organization of antiwar folk. The number and political consciousness of GIs who began to rita, either inside or outside their units, grew rapidly. New groups of Ritas and Fritas were formed in many parts of Europe. Often the contact betwen these groups was minimal and certain inter-group conflicts arose. One of the highly controversial issues concerned the "returneos." It had long been evident that even when legal asylum was available, a certain proportion of the Gis who had left their units at some time, with the intention of permanently deserting, would, within a shorter or longer length of time, return. Far greater numbers of GIs went AWOL with no definite plans; some of them, after contacting anti-war groups, decided to return. Very frequently these returnees would carry baack to their units, and to the stockades where they sometimes spent some months on AWOL charges, information on how to rita. Later they helped build up literature distribyution networks. Quite frequently, soldiers who had already returned again deserted or went AWOL. Some Frita groups, by the begining of 1968, learned to live with this not entirely negative coming and going. In any case, it depended on individual decisions, and these Frita groups had no way of enforcing any eventual "collective" decisions anyway. However, other groups, particularly those whise experience was rather recent, fewlt that a soldier who returned to his unit betrayed the antiwar movement. Even today some groups feel thaat in " the end, desrtion is the only solution." Relations between these groups and others, such as the American Servicemen's Union, concentrating on mostly on organizing on the bases, are still strained. Phase 6: By Spring 1968, the possibility for alternatives to individual herois, to desertion, alternatives such as legal work on bases of the Armed Forces had grown immensely, even among NA (volunteer) soldiers in Europe. Servicemen no longer attack Frita leaflet distributors - today servicemen write, print, and distribute their own literature. If anything they complain about the lack of civilian support. This improvement has been created, above all, by the continued successful resistance of the Vietnamese
Resistance in the United States Armed Forces