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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.

Synopsis

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
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