Skip to main content

That is the entrance to the Ft. Dix stockade circa 1968. I first saw this image in the documentary “Sir! No Sir!”, a history of the G.I. resistance movement during the Vietnam war.


In the 1960’s an anti-war movement emerged that altered the course of history. This movement didn’t take place on college campuses, but in barracks and on aircraft carriers. It flourished in army stockades, navy brigs and in the dingy towns that surround military bases. It penetrated elite military colleges like West Point. And it spread throughout the battlefields of Vietnam. It was a movement no one expected, least of all those in it.  Hundreds went to prison and thousands into exile.  And by 1971 it had, in the words of one colonel, infested the entire armed services. Yet today few people know about the GI movement against the war in Vietnam.
Back in June I wrote a piece here Thousands gave “Aid and Comfort” to the enemy. I knew one of them, about one of the G.I. resisters, Tom Bernard, a member of “WORMS” (We Openly Resist Military Stupidity), an Air Force linguists stationed in Asia who went on strike during the 1972 Christmas bombings of Hanoi and Haiphong. His was just one of the many who saw the error of the war in Vietnam and did something about it.

Not to go all Godwin here but when one sees that sign over the stockade entrance, the first thing that flashed in my mind was the sign, “Arbeit Macht Frei” at the entrance to Auschwitz. Or “War is peace”, “Freedom is slavery” and “Ignorance is strength” from 1984.

With the upcoming 50 year anniversary of the March on Washington, it wasn’t obedience to the law that resulted in freedom; it was the defiance of the law that drove the overturning of Jim Crow laws.

The debt we owe to all of that who marched, went to jail, or were martyred, whatever the color of their skin, is beyond measurement.

We are now faced with a movement to blame the resisters. How we forget that without them the chains of oppression would still be upon a significant population of this country.

Whether our present day resisters are singing in Madison, blocking the XL pipeline, whistle blowing crimes, chaining themselves to the Whitehouse fence, getting pepper sprayed at OWS (or shot in the face with a “non-lethal” device), old ladies and gentlemen breaking into a nuclear weapons facility, speaking out about rape in the military, or just being “Dirty Fucking Hippies”, we owe these citizens a round of applause and our support.

"Freedom is something you assume. Then you wait for someone to try to take it away from you. The degree to which you resist is the degree to which you are free."
-Utah Phillips
Repentant ex member of Murder Inc.
Southeast Asia Division
Our motto, "Kill Anything That Moves"
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Meteor Blades, claude, Lupin, Geenius at Wrok, just another vet, LynChi, tacet, genethefiend, OLinda, willyr, Rachael7, RFK Lives, gjohnsit, tom 47, hubcap, bronte17, boadicea, mrblifil, roses, kharma, ranger995, Damnit Janet, LiberalBadger, exlrrp, zerelda, Deward Hastings, joanneleon, marina, radarlady, 3goldens, JanetT in MD, democracy inaction, corvo, run around, basquebob, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, jimstaro, lotlizard, Ice Blue, markdd, Grassee, LeftOverAmerica, dharmafarmer, cookseytalbott, blueoasis, triv33, gooderservice, JVolvo, NearlyNormal, sceptical observer, llbear, doingbusinessas, Dianna, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, RWood, Jarrayy, Russ Jarmusch, SpecialKinFlag, camlbacker, aravir, FishOutofWater, sfbob, newpioneer, US Blues, jnhobbs, millwood, Don midwest, JDWolverton, MKinTN, rogerdaddy, poligirl, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, Laughing Vergil, Buckeye Nut Schell, Calamity Jean, mofembot, temptxan, ZhenRen, JBL55, J M F, Throw The Bums Out, Rick Aucoin, greengemini, lostinamerica, BigAlinWashSt, The Dead Man, dharmasyd, CanyonWren, maryabein, JesseCW, dRefractor, sfarkash, joe from Lowell, Words In Action, ruscle, FogCityJohn, serendipityisabitch, Lady Libertine, Funkygal, 4kedtongue, DrTerwilliker, Oh Mary Oh, nosleep4u, allenjo, xgy2, stone clearing, smiley7, badscience, tardis10, enhydra lutris, PhilJD, poliwrangler, VTCC73, Mentatmark, SouthernLiberalinMD, quill, sow hat, greenbastard, The Lone Apple, 2thanks, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, wxorknot, terrybuck, wasatch, Hammerhand, argomd, unfangus, leeleedee, dannyboy1

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site