A double-sided flyer explaining the purpose of peaceful vigil in support of nine Vietnam War deserters who were arrested by military police on July 17, 1968 inside Howard Presbyterian Church in Marin City, California where they were chained to priests. “Nine for Peace [...] who the hell are they?” the flyer reads. “Nine guys who went AWOL and then decided they didn’t want to hide anymore or be sent to kill someone or be killed."
Photomechanically reproduced on an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of goldenrod paper, the flyer sought financial support for the conscientious objectors. The verso of the undated flyer lists the names of the nine men and their status. For example, Chuck Jones, George Dounis, and Keith Mather were being held in the Presidio stockade: “They’ve tried to fight inside as well as out. Some of them won’t wear a uniform. Some won’t do KP. So far, they’ve gotten visitors: clergymen, lawyers and sometimes relatives, but there (are) no guarantee about future visits.”
Mather, then a graduate of Capuchino High School in San Bruno, told the San Francisco Examiner he left the service because “I am opposed to the war, and I don’t believe in killing my fellow man. I was forced by being drafted to compromise my ideals.”
It’s estimated that approximately 50,000 American servicemen deserted during the Vietnam War, and many more avoided the draft by migrating to Canada and Sweden, where they were given asylum. In fact, there were so many deserters that President Gerald Ford established the Presidential Clemency Program on September 17, 1974, offering Vietnam-era draft evaders and military deserters the opportunity to return to American society without criminal prosecution under certain conditions.
Some light wear and a bit of toning; otherwise very good. Scarce. Item #73826