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Information Digest Special Report on VVAW: 8/25/72 (page 2)
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

 


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PDF p.39

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VVAW (CONT.)

 

NOTE: From May 1969 until the present, the USSF has been deeply involved in supporting radical antiwar causes, and especially the GI coffeehouse movement and GI underground newspapers. During the period May 1969 to November 1970, the USSF spent over $125,667 on these projects, and had an income of $166, 714.

 

Major contributors to the USSF included the Fund for Tomorrow, Inc. [Peter and Cora Weiss], the Stern Family Fund, Max Palevsky, Elizabeth and Paul Williams, and Anne Peretz.

 

A detailed account of the USSF will be found in October 1971 HISC hearings, Investigation of Attempts to Subvert the U.S. Armed Services.

 

During the weeks following Winter Soldier, VVAW staged similar histrionics in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Connecticut, St. Louis, Atlanta, Minnesota, Boston and Florida, and through coverage by the National Educational Television (NET) on 4/19/71 received nation-wide publicity.

 

Using the publicity generated by Winter Soldier, VVAW organized Dewey Canyon III, "a limited incursion of Washington, D.C.," April 19-24, 1971. The purpose of Dewey Canyon III was to "call upon the Congress and Supreme Court to exercise their defined Constitutional responsibilities to override Nixon's blood lust, and act to stop all 'business as usual,' until the government recognizes and responds positively to our demands.CB"C"bB,CB

 

Dewey Canyon III was an unconventional prelude to the inevitable annual spring antiwar protest which gained massive media coverage. An estimated one thousand VVAW members and supporters gathered in Washington, set up an illegal encampment on the Mall, marched, demonstrated, performed guerrilla theater, met with Senators and Congressmen, threw away their medals in "a final act of contempt for the way the executive branch is forcing us to wage war," and won an accolade from Senator George McGovern who described the anti-American propaganda circus as "the most effective protest to date...."

 

NOTE: The mall encampment was the subject of an injunction granted by the U.S. Supreme Court, sought by the Justice Department and contested on behalf of VVAW by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark.

 

Despite the fact that the injunction was granted by the Chief Justice and confirmed by the full Court, VVAW ignored it. No attempt to enforce it was made by the Justice Department, and the injunction was dissolved at the Government's own request.

 

(cont.)

-8-

 


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PDF p.40

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VVAW (CONT).

 

Dewey Canyon III was an expensive project for VVAW: tents were rented, rations supplied, and transportation provided. Logistical support was granted by the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR), People's Coalition for Peace and Justice (PCPJ), and the Rennie Davis Mayday apparat.

 

Larry Canada, a wealthy friend of Davis from Indiana, provided much of the food. Financial supporters of Dewey Canyon III (at $5,000 each] included Edgar Branfman, president of Seagram's Distillers; Philip J. Levin, president of Madison Square Garden; and a New York City banker, Abraham Feinberg.

 

In addition to seeing the Supreme Court defied on its very steps, Dewey Canyon III saw the emergence of a VVAW national coordinator, John F. Kerry [Mass., MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION], as a spokesman. Kerry became VVAW's star speaker, but by the end of summer he had acquired sufficient media coverage and prominence to return to conventional politcs. He is now campaigning in Boston for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

 

Since 1971, VVAW has taken a leadership role in the Communist dominated segments of the U.S. antiwar movement. According to an article in the Guardian, 5/24/72, by Abe Weisburd,

 

"VVAW ... is a dedicated anti-imperialist, anti-racist organization.... It is a permanent veterans organization which has one of its stated objectives to change 'the domestic social, political and economic institutions that have caused and permitted the continuance of the war.' Among its other stated objectives are: to struggle against racism, to end U.S. illegal operations in Latin America, Africa, China, Europe, Thailand, as well as Indochina; to affirm the principles of Nuremberg relative to American war crimes in Indochina; to achieve complete freedom for all deserters, antiwar dissenters, and political prisoners; and for jobs, proper education and health care for veterans."

 

The article concludes:

 

"VVAW with its positive program for jobs and against racism, and its ability to relate to the veteran, is one of the most important anti-imperialist organizations on the U.S. scene. It has natural allies in the working class and the oppressed nationalities in the U.S. Effecting greater unity among those forces is a blow against U.S. imperialism."

 

NOTE: Abe Weisburd, the writer of this eulogy, is a long-time supporter of CPUSA causes, and has served on the administrative committee of New York's Fifth Avenue Peace Parade Committee [MEMBER] as the representative of Trade Unionists for Peace, described by the late J. Edgar Hoover as [ILLEGIBLE] Communist Party."

 

(cont.)

-9-

 


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PDF p.41

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VVAW (CONT).

During the past fifteen months, VVAW has sought publicity by demonstrations in a number of U.S. cities. In the last week of December, 1971, VVAW "occupied" the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, a military hospital in California, and the South Vietnamese consulate in San Francisco in actions coordinated from New York by Al Hubbard which were designed to "put the issue of the war back on the front page."

 

In the spring of 1972, antiwar actions by VVAW took a leadership role in attempting to block access to federal buildings and military installations; and VVAW was well represented in the abortive attempt to blockade the Pentagon on May 22.

 

Both at home and in foreign countries, VVAW members work to bring discredit on the U.S. In July 1972, VVAW members and leaders including Jean-Pierre Wendell [*MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION], Leland Lubinsky [*], Fred Warner [*], Alan Morris [*] and Albert Morgan [*] visited Cuba. While in Havana, according to a Radio Havana Spanish language broadcast on July 5, they donated blood to the North Vietnamese.

 

After a visit to Hanoi, VVAW staffer Joe Urgo [JOSEPH URGO, MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION] told a reporter for CPUSA's Daily World that his North Vietnamese hosts were distributing leaflets to GI's telling them that "if they do not attack the villages and refuse to go on combat operations, their base camps will not be harmed."

 

In February 1972, the Daily World reported a speech by Al Hubbard before a rally at the World Assembly for Peace in Paris which set a new trend in antiwar activity in the U.S. Hubbard related how the U.S. government "is escalating the aggression in Indochina instead of winding it down" to the thousand-odd assembly delegates, and then proceeded to give details of classified U.S. ship and aircraft movements.

 

Hubbard's example of giving classified military information to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam [North Vietnam] was quickly followed by VVAW generally. VVAW took credit [in the Daily World, of course] for releasing "a 24-page document with information revealing air force, navy, and troop maneuvers. The material had been gathered from active-duty GI's throughout the country and in Vietnam." [It was released via the Ad Hoc Military Build-up Committee, a U.S. group in direct contact with the DRV. The same Daily World article that contained this information also contained a complaint from Detroit [Mich.] VVAW leader Bill Marshall [MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION] that as far as the FBI is concerned, "we're spies, infiltrators and saboteurs."

 

Spies they have been and sabotage was charged four months later. Six VVAW national leaders, Scott Camil, William J. Patterson [*MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION], Peter P. Mahoney [*], Donald P. Perdue [*], John W. Kniffin [*] and Alton C. Foss [*], were indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to disrupt the Republican Convention by violence. [FLA., D.C., N.Y.]

-10- (cont.)


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PDF p.42

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VVAW (CONT.)

 

VVAW's national headquarters is at 25 West 26th Street, New York, N.Y. 10010 (212/725-5680). It publishes its own newspaper at irregular intervals which is called "The 1st Casualty."

 

VVAW claims a national membership of 25,000 including 2,500 active-duty GI's in Vietnam and an active membership of 8,000. However investigative sources credit VVAW with less than 1,000 active members. It is noted that in August 1972, VVAW could not muster more than 300 members nationally for its project Operation Lost Patrol which has been hearalded by VVAW publicists as "a massive caravan of 25,000 cars and 100,000 persons travelling to Miami to protest the Republican Convention."

 

Internal VVAW documents show that the organization works closely with such organizations as La Raza Unida, the Black Panther Party, National Welfare Rights Organization, United Farmworkers Organizing Committee, Angela Davis Defense Committee, Billy Dean Smith Defense Committee, National Lawyers Guild, Miami Convention Coalition and the People's Coalition for Peace and Justice - all organizations in which the Communist Party, U.S.A. takes a sympathetic interest and in several instances dominates.

 

In April 1972, VVAW's National Steering Committee met for its quarterly convention in Houston, Texas. Stated an internal document, it decided "to secure and build our community base through continuing agitation," and also to decentralize, placing control of the organization with six national coordinators: Jack Bronaugh [*MEMBER OF SUBJECT ORGANIZATION], E.B. Del Rosario [*], Peter Mahoney [*], Jack McCloskey [*], Michael McCain [*] and Barry Romo [*]. [Texas, N.Y.]

 

According to a VVAW report, Al Hubbard and Joe Urgo did not stand for re-election, saying that they wanted a rest from their responsibilities.

 

The six national coordinators are assisted by 26 regional coordinators who in turn have a number of state and local coordinators to help them.

[Internal VVAW documents listing these coordinators are available].

 

The Houston conference listed new objectives - or rather rewrote the old ones in still more demagogic terms. They stated:

 

"The time will come when all our strength and energy will be directed against those conditions here in our land which sent us to murder our brothers and sisters in Indochina."

 

This rhetoric preceeded an urgent appeal for funds:

 

"In this most critical period of our history, it becomes more important than ever to stop the insane policies of Nixon and his administration. Struggle and sacrifice are called for to end the domination of so much of the world by the U.S. and its business interests."

(cont.)

-11-

 


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PDF p.43

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VVAW (CONT.)

 

Representative of only a fraction of those who have served in Southeast Asia, VVAW draws its support from among the deviants (there is a considerable homosexual element in VVAW, actively organized by special appeals in the underground press for "gays" to join the organization), the maladjusted, and those who either consciously accept Marxist doctrines or who are communist dupes.

 

And then, of course, there are the cranks. One VVAW document evaluated advocates thusly:

 

"Symplifying your life; trying new ways of living which are counter to the present system. It is an attempt or experiment to live under $1700 a year. It means setting up alternatives, sharing food, jobs, owning little or no property ... going without ... Learning to share, to love and to create and to be free in attempt to alter a society based on fear, hate, and violence."

 

Whatever their motivation, VVAW members have demonstrated over the past five years their ability to follow the dictates of international communism, and to march in lock step with our enemies in Vietnam and the communist world.

 

After their attempts to dislocate the Republican Convention and a spell of rest and relaxation, VVAW activists will gather in San Jose, California, at the ranch home of David Harris, a convicted draft-evader and ex-husband of folk-singing antiwar activist Joan Baez [JOAN HARRIS, MRS. DAVID HARRIS], from October 4 through 7 for their national convention.

 

There will be strict security. Delegates must register at least two weeks in advance, and they will be subjected to a number of security checks.

 

The conference will determine the course that VVAW will take for the next twelve months. Plans will be discussed for pre-election projects to oppose President Nixon's campaign, and for an "action" at the Presidential Inaugural in January. Various legal defense committees [the Tallahassee Six and the Camp McCord Three] will be instituted or reinvigorated. There will be some publicity, and the usual sympathetic coverage by the mass media.

 

One aspect of the VVAW 1972 national convention will not receive any publicity: that aspect is the extent to which the Communist Party, U.S.A. dominates the organization.

 

Since its inception, VVAW has cashed in on the average citizen's natural concern and sympathy for servicemen returned from war. If it becomes general knowledge that VVAW is a part of the communist conspiracy, it will lose its value to the communists here and in Hanoi. With its malcontents and advocates of violence, supported by wealthy credulous liberals, directed by this country's red enemies, VVAW poses a threat which can be ignored only to our peril.

 

-12-

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Section Three of Information Digest Special Report on VVAW

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