Avatar #6
Aug. 18-31, 1967, p.9

BOSTON DRAFT RESISTANCE GROUP

Greetings from the B.D.R.G. We are here for you, so you won't get commensurate greetings from Uncle Sam. The Boston D.R.G. is on the move. A series of provocative and entertaining raids on the Boston Army Base have given us valuable experience in working with draftees and demystifying the nature of power as it affects guys being forced to fight. We are beginning to establish our presence at the Army Base. The security (!?) guards are civilians, with what seems to be a median age of 86, who can often be bullied and/or cajoled. So far we have allowed ourselves to be sluggishly evicted from the Base after leafletting and talking with draftees, although not without making a vivid impact on incoming draftees and passers-by. Our purpose is, in the classical formula, to instruct, to inspire, and to delight.

A snatch of dialogue from one of our recent encounters with the U.S. Army: Inside three peaceniks, Bob Schwartz, Russ Rothman, and Dan Angert head in. Sgt. Brown says, "Shut up and get in line. You're here to get a physical." Schwartz says, "I thought we were here to be processed to be sent to Vietnam to die." Brown says, "Take that wise guy out of line and bop him on the head." Then Rothman says "Hey, let him talk... I want to hear what he has to say." Brown says, "Same to that one."

Schwartz and Rothman sent back to line, more leaflets and talk. Half the guys turned on by this. Most guys don't want to go, but too demoralized to respond. Security of officer back after lunch, more dispute; "You can't hand these things out. Gonna throw you out." Called two guards, exited in army truck and went home. Security guard asked: "What resistance is HE from?" Sgt. Brown: "Same one that's been causing all the trouble."

We've had heated discussions with Sgt. Brown in front of waiting draftees on several occasions. The kids are already confused about the war and our dialogues with Sgt. Brown seem to add to their doubt that they should risk their skin to save Ky's ass.

The B.D.R.G. will be expanding into other communities — Dorchester and Roxbury. The nucleus of the B.D.R.G.'s organizing activity is the counseling service it offers to kids uptight about the draft. You don't have to go if you know what your legal rights are. The army isn't the only way that you can serve your country; maybe you have something better to do with your life.

If you have draft problems and need help, see us first. Don't rely upon the Record American or your friends because there is too much misinformation and advice about the draft. There's no need to risk jail or the army if you consult with us and follow all the legal procedures. Our office is at 138 River St., Camb., 547-7919.

We have information on alternatives to the army at all levels of commitment; conscientious objection, emigration to Canada, tactics to make oneself obnoxious at pre-induction physicals to be rejected, etc.

We also are working on draft resistance, saying to the authorities "We Won't Go." Within B.D.R.G. there are several strains of thought on tactics of resistance. This fall hundreds of guys in unity will be sending back their draft cards on Oct. 16, National Draft Resistance Day. We will refuse to cooperate any further, and cease complicity with the authorities' war. This will be the beginnings of a politically effective draft resistance struggle. The Resistance, has no intentions of becoming a defence committee after Oct. 16. Rather we will continue to organize more aggressively than ever, for more waves of resistance for Dec., March, etc., until the war machine grinds to a halt. The era of victimization and martyrdom has come to an end: the era of resistance has begun.

We need help of all kinds, especially financial. Money remains a permanent source of embarrassment. We would like to expand our work into Dorchester and Brookline, and to pass on to groups working in Roxbury. We will need a kind of guaranteed income, probably from pledges of one to ten dollars a month for the duration. If you have ideas for fund raising, or can contribute, call Jon Wiener, 491-4443. (Jon, our fund-raiser, gets some bread by submitting to electric shocks as a guinea pig for pay. This is a sample of the macabre expedients to which we are sometimes reduced. Please send us enough bread to get the electrodes off Jon's head.)