A Leaflet from The East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives
As American citizens who share a responsibility for the actions of our country, we have liberated draft files in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and General Electric files in Washington, D.C. We have done so because of our concern for human life. We have done so because we are aware of the conspiracy among the military, large corporations and the United States government. We have done so because of the need for serious and continuing resistance to the racist and militarist institutions operating in the United States. And we have done so because through our acting we have found a new life style which offers opportunities and hope, for ourselves and others.
We have destroyed draft files, pieces of paper, because those pieces of paper mean slavery and possible death for young Americans and certain death for Vietnamese and other non-white people of the Third World. The draft is an instrument of murder and as such it must be stopped. It is no accident that the boards we have acted against are inner city boards. Blacks poor whites, and working class whites – those society treats the worst – are forced to do most of the fighting and dying in America’s wars, since American racism destroys their free choice. This racism fosters a type of frustration which is at the root of our deteriorating society. We specifically reject the racism that sends its victims in highly disproportionate numbers onto the front lines of battle. If they return to the U.S., they find themselves oppressed by the same racist society which sent them to war. The fight for freedom is at home, not overseas.
We have destroyed General Electric files because G.E. is the second largest war contractor in the United States because G.E. exploits its workers both at home and overseas, and because we wish to point out the collusion between the military system, giant corporations and government. The three are inseparably
wedded to one another.
As the American people continue to pay taxes to the government, that money
subsidizes giant corporations, mainly in the form of war contracts. The
Selective Service System and the military are used to protect an expansionist
economic system which obtains growth and control at the expense of human lives.
At the same time, the Selective Service System channels young men through the
use of deferments and the threat of being inducted if a deferment is lost into
present-day American society as cogs in a vast inhuman machine.
We have acted against General Electric because we feel a responsibility, as victims
of a system which places profit above life, to confront institutions of death. The
butchery these institutions perpetrate on ourselves and our brothers in the name of
patriotism is abhorrent to men of conscience.
We have acted taking care that no individual was hurt by our actions. We believe
in the use of tactics which do not heighten the fear and distrust which are so much
a part of the present ugly way of life in America. We are committed to a non-violent
revolution against injustice. This means a non-violence of effective and continuing
disruption of the machine of death and oppression in America. This means a
disruption which destroys certain property when that property is used to destroy
men, women, and children. As the Catonsville 9 said Some property has no
right to exist. Hitler’s gas ovens, Stalin’s concentration camps, atomic-bacteriological-chemical weapons, files of conscription and slum properties have no right to exist.
We are a group of priests, nuns, students, teachers, and former students. We
wish to confront by our actions those institutions with which we are affiliated –
church and education – and to force them to decide whether or not they will continue
to serve the needs of American power or begin to serve the needs of man.
We have acted at the same time that three major political trials are going on
in the United States: The conspiracy 7 Trail, the D.C.-9 Trail, and the New
York 21 Trail. We express our solidarity with those three groups, as well
as with the Black Panther Party, those who have acted against draft boards
prior to us and other victims of government repression. We believe that
the best defense against repression is a continuation of actions similar to ours
and a rapid growth in the movement seeking an end to racism, militarism
and capitalistic imperialism. With the Beaver 55 we say These actions
must continue; the spirit of the people will not be overcome.
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