Stop The Draft Week...
October 16-21, 1967
In late May of 1967 having miserably failed out of college, I took a job as a night clerk in a motel on Main St. in downtown Buffalo, NY which bordered on the outer reaches of the Black community.
As the days passed I came to realize that I had witnessed a war, a war on rebellious
Up until that time, I had not given a lot of thought to the Vietnam war. I knew I was about to lose my student draft deferment and that Selective Service was going to be seeking my active participat
The summer went on, my draft board caught up with me, I was reclassifi
Toward the end of August I went to a conference
I'd never heard of such a thing. I'd never imagined such a concept but it instantly made sense and by the time I left Star Island I knew I was going to turn my draft card in and refuse induction.
September and early October 1967 seemed to drag slowly onward. I had no idea there was an anti-war movement in Buffalo and I felt completely
phone calls back and forth with my friend Marcia. She invited me to travel to Washington
Early Friday afternoon on October 20th draft resisters from across the country gathered in a church about a mile or so from the Department
We stayed up late talking about the days events and the following morning we headed out to the Lincoln Memorial to take part in the demonstrat
We'd heard that Tuli Kuferberg and The Fugs, Allen Ginsberg, and Jerry Rubin were going to attempt to levitate the Pentagon. Marching with all those people almost made me imagine it might be possible. The streets were filled with characters
Then the soldiers came into view, bayonets fixed, surroundin
I don't remember much about that night beyond the fact that it got cold and that we huddled together for warmth. We were surrounded
We were assigned beds in huge dormitorie
On August 19, 1968 my friend Bruce Cline and I were arrested after taking symbolic sanctuary in the Buffalo Unitarian Church for having refused induction.
I left the United States in March of 1970 and jumped a $5,000. bail bond. I went undergroun
On October 20, 1977 after reading Gloria Emerson's book "Winners and Losers", I returned to the US with my attorney, the former United States Attorney General Ramsey Clark, the same man I had returned my draft card to in 1967. Walking alongside us was Col. Ed Miller the highest ranking Marine Corps POW who served five years in Hanoi camps and fifty or so Vietnam vets. Gloria Emerson, Cora Weiss, Gold Star mother Patricia Simon, my father and scores of other supporters
I have nothing but the fondest memories, as many as a 4 year old through an 11 year old... kid can accurately
I'm sure some things have changed, like being able to visit overnight,
If that is true, it is worth the visit, I assure you.
But as we Old Shoalers used to remind the new ones, "You will come back!"
I hope I can come back ASAP after a 50 year absence.
I am so grateful for the memories of Star, the joy it brought to my children and the opportunit
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