GI Conference Set


Fifth Estate # 68, December 12-25, 1968

A “National GI-Civilian anti-war Action Conference” has been called for Chicago on December 28th. This conference is part of a weekend series of meetings between GIs and civilians to plan joint projects and call a mass anti-war action in the spring.

The conference will be held during the Christmas holidays and in centrally located Chicago to make it easier for GIs to attend during their holiday leaves.

The call for the conference was initiated by the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (SMC) and has already been endorsed by 10 active duty GIs and veteran peace organizations and 6 GI anti-war newspapers.

A “GI Teach-in” will be held the evening before the conference on December 27 to discuss the history and nature of the Vietnam war and the civil liberties of GIs and what forms of protest activities they may legally participate in. A major portion of the program will be an open mike for servicemen to express their opinions.

The day following the GI-Civilian conference, on December 29, the SMC will hold a national student conference to take up specific tasks and projects of that student based organization. SMC supported demonstrations in some 12 cities during the fall anti-war actions involving tens of thousands of civilians and over a thousand active-duty GIs.

A number of active-duty GIs who planned the nation-wide GI-led demonstrations in October are sponsors of the conference. They include Lt. j.g. Susan Schnall who is now being court martialed for her part in building and leading the October 12th demonstration in San Francisco of 500 GIs and 15,000 civilians.

“Clearly GIs are beginning to see that the anti-war movement is fighting in their behalf and not against them. They have begun wide-scale participation in anti-war protests throughout the country,” noted SMC staff member Howard Petrick. Petrick was discharged from the Army last march for his anti-war activities.

Petrick continued, “GIs have the legal right to oppose a war they are being forced to fight and which is not in their interest and in which they do not believe. We support their legal right to free speech and urge them to join us in massive anti-war protests.”

For more information contact: The Student Mobilization Committee, 9 S. Clinton St., Rm 225, Chicago, Illinois 60606, 641-0280.