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Page 32
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<< 31. Sheldon Ramsdell Archives33. Why I Joined VVAW >>

New Film to Shine Light on GI Movement

By David Zeiger

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I am writing to appeal to members and supporters of VVAW to help in the production of a monumental new documentary film. "We Gotta Get Out of this Place!" is the story of how American GIs, in their thousands, created a widespread, unprecedented movement inside the military against the war in Vietnam. Through demonstrations, underground newspapers, combat refusals and more, GIs altered the course of the war and rocked the foundations of the U.S. military. Yet today, the memory of the GI movement has been buried.

With hundreds of thousands of American soldiers once again spread across the globe and signs of opposition once again emerging among the troops, it's time for that memory to be resurrected.

While the veterans' movement — and in particular VVAW — will be a significant part of the film, the main focus will be on the GI movement itself. I am looking for people who:

* Produced and distributed underground newspapers;

* Led or were part of local and national organizations — Ft. Hood United Front, GIs United Against the War, Soldiers Liberation Front, etc.;

* Were jailed for their political activities, such as the Presidio 27, Ft. Hood 43, and individuals court-martialed for refusing duty in 'Nam or fighting racism and harassment in the military;

* Participated in stockade rebellions around the world, including Long Binh Jail;

* Organized Armed Farces Day and other demonstrations and actions against the war;

* Participated in combat refusals and other acts of resistance in 'Nam.

Also, any photographs, film footage and press clippings from those and other events will be very helpful.

I am not a veteran, but from '70-'72 I was on the civilian staff of the Oleo Strut coffeehouse at Ft. Hood, and worked some with VVAW in Los Angeles after that. As a filmmaker, this is a film that has been on my mind for quite some time, but never seemed possible to produce. Today it is not only possible, but quite necessary.

If you were part of the GI movement, I would love to talk with you. I can be contacted at 323-906-9249 or displaced@mindspring.com. For information about my previous films, including the PBS series "Senior Year," you can go to the Displaced Films web site, www.displacedfilms.com.

David Zeiger
Displaced Films

<< 31. Sheldon Ramsdell Archives33. Why I Joined VVAW >>

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