Avatar No. 12
Nov. 10-Nov. 23, 1967, p.4

THE RESISTANCE TURNS THE TABLES

The poor guys, I mean they're just doing their job, y'know, and hell, I mean, they probably don't really care too much for the war in Vietnam either, and besides, the wife and kids ....

The FBI scooped up the assembled returned Draft cards on October 20th a half hour after the Justice Department officially refused to accept them from clergymen supporting the Resistance. They're probably beginning to regret it.

What's going on? ? Don 't these kids have any respect for authority?

The following Monday, Special Agents began investigating all the people who turned in cards. As the word got out, attitudes of members of the Resistance toward this minor form of harassment became lighter and lighter. By this time, to be questioned by the FBI is to parody the games of both the authorities and the radicals.

(telephone conversation)

We'd like to ask you a few questions.
Well, I'm very busy these days, haven't got time for anything. Why dontcha call back later.
It's very important that we see you. Just want to talk to you about your Selective Service Registration card.
Oh, you guys don't have to worry about that, I don't have one any more. (Hangs up.)
And so it goes, one thing after another. One guy finally said, okay, but I'm very busy, why don't I meet you at room 742 at BU? It turned out to be the offices of the BU News.

Empty, except for Alex Jack, draft resistor in question, who then led the gentlemen into a room, one wall of which is a plate glass window, facing the first room. Mr. Jack then invited aforementioned Special Agents to sit down. A large number of persons gathered outside the plate glass wall. These persons, about twenty-five in number, began to look inside as though curious. Mr. Jack then pulled forward a tape recording device, and engaged the recording mechanism such that the machine in question was then in operation. Mr. Jack then said, "Yes, what would you like to know?" Agents Brady and Wilson then stood up as though to leave, and seemed to wish to hasten this intent by a rapid consecutive motion of their feet, one before the other, in the direction of the egress in the plate glass wall, hereafter referred to as the window. The persons heretofore on the side of the window exterior to the room in which Mr. Jack and the abovementioned agents were located, proceeded to enter the room in a body, thereby preventing the intended exit of the two agents, hereafter referred to as Special Agents William Brady and Frederick Wilson. Special Agents William Brady and Frederick Wilson then gained exit from the room like "bats out of hell".

An FBI for the Resistance has been formed. When an agent visits a Resistor, he is offered FORM BTM/22A, a questionnaire about the registrant's feelings toward the war, the government, and the Resistance. On the reverse side is a support pledge, including:

I will join other FBI agents for the Resistance and turn in or burn my Draft card in Boston on November 16th when 500 New England students and 500 faculty and clergy join the second wave of non-cooperation.

I wish to organize in my local community and my place of employment. To this time, no FBI for the Resistance support pledge has been returned.

It's very sad. They seem to be getting very confused. The other day two of them came by the AVATAR office looking for Bob King, who hasn't been around for weeks, didn't leave anywhere to reach him, and I told them so. I asked what it was about, and they said just a few questions about his draft card. I asked them how the draft card business was anyway. They got defensive, explained that he wouldn't have to say anything to them if he didn't want to and so on. So I said yes I knew, someone had seen me last week, and they said oh, what's your name, and I told them and they wrote it down. They smiled so politely and so did I when they walked away; the bastards I said to myself as I closed the door — I don't know why, it just came out very softly under my breath. I left the office about ten minutes later. The two agents were trying very hard and very sheepishly to get into their car — with a coathanger. They'd locked themselves out. I asked if I could take a picture of them. Oh, please don't, they pleaded. I felt very sorry for them, I didn't even have a camera.

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The Resistance marches on with a demonstration November 16th at the JFK Building in downtown Boston. A cross-section of Resistance members, a student, a professor, a clergyman, will enter the FBI offices and demand their own arrest for aiding and abetting non-cooperation with the Selective Service System. Outside, demonstrators will burn more draft cards.

I wonder about harassing the FBI like this. I wonder if we don't sometimes get too proud, too snotty, too cute in our dealings with these unfortunate stones, many of whom joined the FBI in WWII as an alternative to the draft. I wonder if we don't deride them too much, if we don't cut them down, leave them open and hungry because they can't understand what's happening, and then don't feed them — because they really do just think it's a job and that they're really not responsible for what they do because it's just their job. But I guess we can't be more subtle or more generous, I guess we really can't do more than shove sledgehammer absurdities in their faces, I guess they only respond to unreal tactics like the reverse cooperation of demanding your own arrest. And so we are forced to discredit the authority of our own government because it no longer represents the vital forces of our country, we are forced to tear down, with little thought yet as to what we will do to rebuild. Can we make a world that doesn't need an FBI? Can we make it possible for men to do exactly what they believe in doing, to drop the schizophrenic concept that divides their life and their job? That's the responsibility we are setting ourselves up for, whether we know it or not. Anyone who doesn't want that responsibility should not demonstrate at Post Office Square on November 16th. The rest should call UN 8-7600 ext. 3945 for information.

W.H.