Armed Forces Day will be a little different this year. For the first time in the history of the "celebration", GIs across the country will be telling the public about the REAL armed forces, not Melvin Laird's showroom model which will be exhibited by Uncle Sam.
The government's idea of Armed Forces Day is to parade the latest tools of genocide; to stage "patriotic" militarist speeches; and to stage "open house" at your local military establishment where your children get to see what its like to sit behind the sights of a machine gun and war-loving pigs can fondle the latest tactical missiles. All this will be hihlighted at many bases by "a simulated attack on an enemy bunker", where the public is treated to an exhibition of a combat unit's ability to kill and destroy. After the unit has gunned down the bunker's defenders and burned the remains of the fortification with the latest, new, nifty flamethrower, the Star Spangled Banner is played and the "casualties" get up off the ground, dust themselves off and get as far away from the military as their 72-hour passes will take them.
This May 16, though, will not be quite the same. This Armed Forces Day GIs will explain to the public that war is not quite so entertaining when it is viewed from the inside; that people actually get their arms, legs and heads blown off in an attack on a bunker; that it is NOT a game or a circus. GIs will be telling the nation what it is like to be kidnaped from civilian life and forced into a situation where they must kill their Asian brothers or be killed as aggressors so that Lockheed and other war profiteers can declare another dividend and keep their shareholders behind the militarist administration.
As of press time, actions were planned at 22 separate U.S. military establishments all over the nation. It is expected that even more actions will take place. These: actions are conceived and organized by active-duty GIs, so that they will have an Opportunity to uphold the original idea behind Armed Forces Day and tell the public about the military forces they are supporting with their tax money.
The following actions have already been planned:
FORT DEVENS, MASS. -- Picnic, with speakers and local entertainment.
NEWPORT, R.I. -- Picnic, speakers.
FORT DIX, N.J. -- Rally and march, possibly on base, with prominent speakers from the Black Panthers and the Chicago Conspiracy, plus entertainment.
FORT MEADE, MD. -- The site where My Lai Massacre suspects are being held will be the scene of a rally, march, entertainment, Abbie Hoffman and other prominent speakers from the Conspiracy and the Panthers.
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Rally and GI-Civilian march, with CI workshops.
FORT BENNING, GA, - - (May 17) Mock trial of the system that created the Indochina War, with prominent speakers.
FORT MCCLELLAN, ALA. -- Festival of Life.
FORT HOOD, TEXAS - - Nine days of workshops and teach-ins.
FORT BLISS, TEXAS -- Festival of Life, featuring Phil Ochs.
CAMP PENDLETON/SAN DIEGO NAVY BASE - - Leafletting of bases May 16, rally May 17 with Tom Hayden (Conspiracy).
FORT ORD/SAN FRANCISCO FACILITIES -- Rally (with Tom Hayden) and march.
FORT LEWIS, WASH. -- Teach-in, Festival of-Life.
FORT CARSON, COLO. -- Festival of Life.
GRAND FORKS AFB, N.D. -- Anti ABM rally with emphasis on CI struggle.
GREAT LAKES/CHICAGO AREA -March in solidarity with striking grape workers.
Rallies and other actions have also been scheduled at these bases: Charleston Naval Station, S.C.; Fort Gordon, Ga.; Mountain Home AFB Idaho; Grissom AFB, IND.; Barlsdale AFB, LA.; Groton/Nw London Naval Station, Conn.; Fort Riley, Kansas.
The central theme of all the above actions will be an end to the growing war in Indochina and Constitutional rights for GIs. Although the actions, planned and organized by active-duty GIs, have been backed by several civilian peace organizations, including the New Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam and our parent organization, the Student Mobilization Committee. These groups are taking part to show their solidarity with anti-war GIs in their struggle against the war machine.
When the prosecuters of a war speak out against it, you KNOW there is something wrong with it. Support your brothers and sisters in uniform who are protesting U.S. genocide in Asia. They have a lot more to lose than you do
Open Sights, vol. 2, no. 4