FT. ORD, Calif., May 5 (LNS-SCN)—At Fort Ord today, the U.S. Army launched into the famous flexible-response strategy that has lost it a war in Vietnam.
Ten days ago, soldiers and officers on the base began promoting a love-in. They posted mimeographed fliers showing a hand sign of the V, with the simple caption, “5 May, First Brigade Parade Field.” That was all. The word spread through the ranks, and by the middle of this past week the Army had reacted with all the cool of a spastic ogre harassed by ants underfoot. Trying to stamp out the troublemakers, the ogre stepped on a lot of innocent ones, amply proving the organizers’ point that the ogre is no friend at all to the common GI.
The high command on the post summoned companies to read them regulations barring “Civil Rights Demonstrations.” Extra MPs were imported from the Presidio in San Francisco. On one day’s notice, one officer and some draftees were ordered to Camp Roberts and Hunter-Liggett Military Reservation elsewhere in California. It was also rumored that six men in each “cadre platoon” were issued gas masks and equipped for riot control, with look-outs posted in Third Brigade Headquarters overlooking the parade field. The parade field itself was decorated with water sprinklers.
As this reporter drove around the usually open base, he was followed by an officer in an unmarked car. One GI looked up from his weeding and flashed the universal V.
The lovers-in, civilian and military, outflanked the ogre by gathering in the athletic field at Monterrey Peninsula College, a few miles away. GIs who had planned to plant themselves at the Fort’s main gate, to alert revelers to the change in plans, did not appear, but when one woman asked an MP where the love-in was, she was told, “Oh, over at MPC.” Still, no more than 50 got to the college, where they had the good fortune to be entertained by an excellent rock group called God, in its unheralded first public performance.
On arriving at MPC, one blonde hippie was heard to say, “It doesn’t look like there’s anything here.” True, the lovers-in were but a small, if amplified, picnic in one corner of a field. But the real action was back at Ft. Ord, where further repercussions may be expected.
TOUGALOO, Miss., May 15 (LNS) — The average income for each individual in Mississippi in 1967 was $1,895, as compared to a national average of $3,137. The 1967 Mississippi average income is $118 higher than it was in 1966; the national income is up $174 over 1966.
Berkeley, April 27 (UPS) — “As a soldier I took an oath to support the constitution,” Pvt. Ronald Jensen told the Berkeley Barb, “but now I find that in the army I can’t.”
Jensen was the only uniformed GI among a group of 15 active duty soldiers who led an anti-war parade of 20,000 in San Francisco. This was the first case of such GI participation.
The march organizers originally expected from 200 to 300 GI’s to participate, but threats and warnings by Army officers kept the attendance reduced.
Lt. Hugh Smith of Hamiliton Air Force Base said, “There are a lot of guys in the service who sympathize with the peace movement, and that’s why we’re here, to let you know that. But we’re going to need a lot of civilian support”.
Editors’ note: We are anxious to hear from our G.I. readers about anti-war activity or sentiment within the service. Write us; we will keep your name secret if you wish.
Rap Brown, SNCC head, was convicted in New Orleans May 22 of violating the Federal firearms act by carrying a carbine across state lines while under federal indictment.
Brown’s lawyer, William Kuntsler, admitted that Brown had the rifle, but denied he knew about the indictments at the time.
U.S. District Judge Lansing Mitchell sentenced Brown to five years in prison, the maximum penalty under the law. Kuntsler said Brown will appeal and the SNCC leader was released on bail.
BALTIMORE, May 24 (LNS) — Rev. Phillip Berrigan, the 44-year-old Catholic priest who napalmed the Baltimore draft board’s records with blood, has been sentenced to a six-year sentence by U.S. District Judge Edward S. Northrop. Three co-defendants were sentenced to six years and three years.
Father Berrigan and eight others were arraigned later in the day on charges of seizing and burning SSS files in suburban Catonsville. Better luck, Dr. Spock.
U.S. Army deserters and draft resisters in Europe have put out their own publication called the Second Front. Correspondence may be directed to M. Billaudot, 33, rue Vauttier, 92 Boulogne, France. Do NOT write “Second Front” on the envelope.
NEW YORK (LNS) During the April 30 bust at Columbia, according to an eye witness report by a black student in Hamilton Hall, a cop walked into an empty classroom in Hamilton, turned on a light, wrote “KILL” on the blackboard, turned the light out and walked out.
MELBOURNE, Fla.—Police are still searching for a man they call “Super-nude,” who appears clad only in a red cape and gets away on a waiting horse.
Motorists on Interstate 95 were startled when the man appeared at the side of the road. Police arrived and gave chase, but the man jumped on his horse and galloped away.
Said State trooper Tom Barry, “I sure hope this doesn’t become a recurring thing.”
A number of newspapers which have begun publishing in the last couple of years for the benefit of GI’s are in need of support.
Since they are circulated free to guys in the military they need even more financial support than most small papers, and in addition would like to receive the names of GI’s interested in receiving subscriptions.
THE BOND, Room 633, 156 Fifth Ave., New York, New York 10010.
VIETNAM GI, PO Box 9273, Chicago, Illinois 60690.
VETERANS STARS AND STRIPES FOR PEACE, PO Box 4598, Chicago, Ill. 60680
THE ALLY, Box 9276, Berkeley, Cal.
NEWARK, N.J. (LNS) — Sharing the platform with a cop and a white rightist vigilante, Leroi Jones, the Black poet, accused white-led radical groups of “actually using black people as a kind of shock troops to further their own design.” At an April 10 press conference with Charles Kinney, a Newark Police detective, and Anthony Imperiale, a leader of a white vigilante group, Jones indicated that white radicals were responsible for much of the conflict in the ghetto. Kinney focused on a local organizing project affiliated with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and led by Tom Hayden, as the principal leftist culprit.
NEW YORK (LNS) Macy’s Department Store, one of the largest general stores in the world, will become a Free Store on June 8th. The YIP (Youth International Party) is sponsoring the event.
Perhaps the nation’s first pre-publicized loot-in, the Yippies are also asking people to bring to Macy’s items they wish to give away. With the Poor People’s Campaign underway, special attention will be directed to the securing of camping equipment.
As a chanting Yippie told it the other day:
It belongs to you
Keep what you need.
Give what you don’t need,
to those that do.
It belongs to you.”
NEW YORK (LNS) — The Federal Government cannot provide sufficient medical help to blacks injured in ghetto uprisings as long as Congress refuses to include civil disasters in the Federal Disasters Act, which now only covers natural disasters.
In response to this situation, and at the request of black community groups and draft counseling organizations, a medical task force is being formed by several medical groups in New York City. The most immediate function of the task force will be to provide treatment for those injured by police actions in ghetto uprisings. First aid stations will be set up whenever any community organization requests it.
NEW YORK, (LNS-NY)—Although both the President’s Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders and the National Crime Commission have continually urged that big cities increase the number of blacks and Puerto Ricans on their police forces, the New York City Police Cadet Recruiting plan, begun in 1966 to specifically recruit members of both minorities, has been cut to one-fifth its original size.
A cut in Federal funds and the large number of dropouts were the reasons given by officials of the New York State Employment for the cut in police trainees from 1,000 in 1966 to 200 in 1968. Only 5% of NYC’s police are black or Puerto Rican, in contrast with the large number of “non-whites” who make up 16% of the city’s population.
Other cities: Boston, 98% of the police are white; Atlanta, 90%; Chicago, 83%; Philadelphia, 10%; and Detroit, 97%.
STONES STONE CROWD IN COMEBACK
On a huge barricaded stage in North London, May 12th, THE ROLLING STONES proved to their British fans that eighteen months in limbo had not hurt them one bit.
It was just like old times as the Stones, who haven’t played a concert or stage date in Britain for a year and a half, jumped, ran and sang their new record “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” before ten thousand hysterical fans. Nothing had changed…the magic was still there…the music they made was drowned-out by the crowds’ overwhelming response.
Mick Jagger confessed to being scared stiff: “We’re out of practice,” he admitted. “We don’t know how it will be.”
But he didn’t have to worry, for as soon as he and the others stepped unannounced into the spotlight the auditorium erupted with resounding screams and applause. Flowers were hurled onto the stage, some from Mick’s girlfriend Marianne Faithful, who stood in the front-row with tears streaming down her face. At one point, police linked arms to stop the screaming horde as Jagger lifted his shirt and sexily rubbed his chest.
Several days before the concert, Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman had disclosed that they are also working in other areas. Jagger is set to make his motion pictures debut in “The Performers,” a Warner Bros.-Seven Arts film starring James Fox. He will also write the score for the film.
The Stones are going to build their own recording studio as well as establish their own record company. They are also considering producing a film about Britain being controlled by teenagers.
For further reading on the failed US war against Vietnam and opposition to it by GIs and others, see the FE’s Vietnam Resource Page.