I’m writing to update you on some of the latest developments regarding the BOYS! film, including a wonderful new segment for you to preview.
From the clips we’ve shared, you can see that together we are making a significant, trail-blazing documentary that will inspire movements today and promote the nonviolent action we need now in our troubled world.
The BOYS! Film Team is incredibly honored and thankful to have your ongoing support and trust. We would not be nearing the film’s completion without it!
And now the updates:
NEW FILM CLIP! We are excited to share a new 9 minute clip with you from the latest BOYS! rough cut. In it, Joan Baez introduces the early Institute for the Study of Nonviolence, followed by a segment on the Civil Rights Movement and its influence on the Draft Resistance movement. Also featured are David Harris, Ira Sandperl, Martin Luther King, and Cleveland Sellers, a SNCC leader and early draft resister. (Note this is not a polished clip). Click image to view…
STAGE OF FILM DEVELOPMENT. The Rough Cut is approaching a Fine Cut! During May and June, the new two hour rough cut of the film was at the center of our film team’s attention, with feedback viewings by the advisory team members and our director’s documentary-making friends. Editing options have been debated and new research integrated. Production was slowed somewhat by two family health crises on the creative film team. But we still expect to preview the Fine Cut this fall, before completing the film towards year’s end.
SEEKING ORGANIZATIONAL SPONSORS. Currently we have over 20 sponsoring organizations – view here. We are looking for more peace and movement groups to become organizational sponsors to help promote and screen the film when completed. If you’re a member of a group that might be interested in sponsoring the film, please contact me.
RESISTANCE EXHIBITION AT L.A. LIBRARY. Thru August 19the main L.A. public library is featuring the exhibition “We Won’t Go: The L.A. Resistance, Vietnam, and the Draft”. A public program on July 19th featured a panel with BOYS! interviewees: Paul Barnes Lake, Geoffrey Fishman, and Joe Maizlish. View details here.
FUNDRAISING STATUS. Every day I feel some excitement as I walk down the hill to the Post Office, wondering what surprises are in store when I open our P.O. Box 14008. Every time I say a little prayer of appreciation before opening the post box.After sending our May appeal, 59 donors contributed $9,200 towards our goal of $40,000 from our supporters to help finish the film this year. Among the contributions, we are honored to have received support from acclaimed writer Isabel Allende and from author and Executive Producer Clara Bingham.We are seeking an additional $40,000 in finishing funds from foundations. I’m happy to report that we recently were awarded a $12,000 grant towards that goal from the Berkeley FILM Foundation! We also recently submitted to JustFilms of the Ford foundation.
HOUSE PARTY. Tentative plans are afoot to hold a large house party in September or early October. We hope to center one around new film footage, oysters, and music in Marin County, with fond memories of BOYS! participant and oyster entrepreneur Tod Friend. We’ll keep you posted when the date and location are confirmed.
RESISTER STORIES. We are planning a new series on the BOYS! Facebook page and website. It’s an opportunity for individual resisters, men and women, to tell their personal stories of resistance during the Vietnam War. You’ll be invited to join in on the fun and sharing of memories. More information coming soon on our website:www.boyswhosaidno.com and Facebook.
Thank you again for your vision, trust and support!
Christopher Colorado Jones
Producer, The Boys Who Said NO!
Toward an honest commemoration of the American War in Vietnam
The Full Disclosure campaign is a Veterans For Peace effort to speak truth to power and keep alive the antiwar perspective on the American war in Viet Nam — which is being commemorated during this decade with a series of 50th anniversary events. Full Disclosure represents a clear alternative to the Pentagon’s current efforts to sanitize and mythologize that war, and to thereby legitimize further unnecessary and destructive wars.
November – Solidarity actions with the Vietnam Moratorium are taken by GIs in Long Binh, Pleiku, and Da Nang (Đà Nẵng), Vietnam.
November 3 – President Nixon delivers a major TV speech asking for support from “the great silent majority of my fellow Americans” for his Vietnam strategy. “…The more divided we are at home, the less likely the enemy is to negotiate at Paris…North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.” He articulates his “Vietnamization” strategy of protracted withdrawal of American ground troops and increased training of the South Vietnamese army along with continued air support. “Vietnamization” is Nixon’s alternative to what he terms “precipitous withdrawal.”
November 5 – Judge Julius Hoffman sentences Bobby Seale to four years in prison for 16 counts of contempt, each count accounting for three months of his imprisonment, because of his loud protests during the Chicago 8 Conspiracy trial, after he and seven others were indicted on March 20 for alleged actions at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
November 9 – 1,365 active-duty GIs sign a full-page ad in The New York Times calling for an end to the war.
November 11 – 100 GIs hold a Veteran’s Day antiwar demonstration in El Paso, Texas.
November 13-14 – GI Defense Organization organizes a National Conference on GI Rights in Washington D.C.
November 15 – The “Mobilization” peace demonstration draws an estimated 500,000–1 million demonstrators to Washington, D.C., for the largest antiwar protest in U.S. history (up to that point). The protest is organized by the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (New Mob) and the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (SMC). Over 500,000 demonstrators gathered across from the White House for a rally where they were led by Pete Seeger in singing John Lennon‘s new song “Give Peace A Chance” for ten minutes or more. His voice above the crowd, Seeger intersperses phrases like, “Are you listening, Nixon?”, “Are you listening, Agnew?”, “Are you listening, Pentagon?” between the choruses of protesters singing, “All we are saying … is give peace a chance.” This massive Saturday march and rally was preceded by the March against Death, which began on Thursday evening and continued throughout that night and all the next day. Over 40,000 people gathered to parade silently down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Hour after hour, they walked in single file, each bearing a placard with the name of a dead American soldier or a destroyed Vietnamese village. The marchers finished in front of the Capitol building, where the placards were placed in coffins. The vast majority of demonstrators during these days were peaceful; however, late on Friday, conflict broke out at DuPont Circle, and the police sprayed the crowd with tear gas. The people of Washington, D.C., generously opened schools, seminaries, and other places of shelter to the thousands of students and others who converged for this purpose. A daytime march before the White House was lined by parked tour buses and uniformed police officers, some flashing peace symbols on the inside of their jackets in a show of support for the crowd. Solidarity events by GIs, including whole units, were held throughout South Vietnam.
President Richard Nixon’s response to the march: “Now, I understand that there has been, and continues to be, opposition to the war in Vietnam on the campuses and also in the nation. As far as this kind of activity is concerned, we expect it; however under no circumstances will I be affected whatever by it.”
Activists at some universities continued to hold monthly “Moratoria” on the 15th of each month.
November 16 – For the first time, the U.S. Army publicly discusses events surrounding the My Lai massacre.
November 16 – Soldier’s Liberation Front forms at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
November 19 – In Washington, D.C., a military judge throws out solicitation charge against Roger Priest. [On July 22, the Navy Seaman was charged with soliciting men to desert, disrespect toward Gen. Earl Wheeler, J. Edgar Hoover, and Melvin Laird (for publishing a headline in his paper, Om: “TODAY’S PIGS ARE TOMORROW’S BACON”), intending to interfere with, impair and influence the loyalty, morale and discipline of the military and Naval Forces of the U.S.] The judge is overruled by Rear Admiral George Koch, Commandant Washington naval District.
2016 National Book Award Finalist, Viet Thanh Nguyen:
“All wars are fought twice, the first time on the battlefield, the second time in memory . . . . Memory is haunted, not just by ghostly others but by the horrors we have done, seen, and condoned, or by the unspeakable things from which we have profited.”