Re: Draft dodging (multiple responses)

Marty Jezer (
Tue, 16 Feb 1999 12:47:02 -0500

Hey, don't you folks in Minnesota read books? There are lots of good
histories of the anti-war movement and draft resitance (as distinguised
from draft dodging). Check out Alice Lynd's "We Won't Go" (Beacon Press) (I
have an essay describing my participation in one of the first organized
draft card burnings;
Staughton Lynd and Mike Ferber's "The Resistance," and David Harris'
"Dreams Die Hard." For context, check out Gitlin's "Days of Hope," one of
many good books on the movement.

If you can find on microfilm issues of Win Magazine and Liberation, check
them out. Especially between 66 and 69 when resistance was being organized.
Liberation, Nov '67, had a special issue on the Resistance.

There was a guy I know who ate his draft card and there was a guy in
Minnesota named Barry Bondhus who did something with a bucket of shit at
his draft board, I forget what, but it was in an issue of Win.

The important point, draft resisters openly confronted the draft, resisted
in public and challenged the courts to throw them in jail. Many went to
jail, but the government (especially when Ramey Clark was A-G) was wary of
provoking a confrontation with the college-educated children of the white
middle-class. Folks in the Resistence believed that if enough of us defied
the system it would provoke such widespead resitance (and dodging) that it
would destroy the draft. The govt apparently feared that. And, in part, it
worked. Nixon ended the draft to avoid such a confrontation. And it worked
in the sense that working class guys, saw middle-class whites, getting out
of the draft and started asking why they were being asked to fight the war.

Resistance people used to go to draft induction centers early every morning
and hand out information on conscientious objection. Though we advocated
open resistance we supported all efforts to dodge the draft or get
conscientious objection. Many resisters were eligible for c.o. status but
rejected it because they believe it was cooperating with the system and the
only way to end the war was to not cooperate.

A lot of resisters served 3-4 year terms. Don't know what the average was.

Marty Jezer

Marty Jezer,

Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words (Basic Books)
Abbie Hoffman: American Rebel (Rutgers University Press)
The Dark Ages: Life in the USA, 1945-1960 (South End Press)
Rachel Carson [American Women of Achievement Series] (Chelsea House)

Check out my web page (under construction) at

Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 22:44:21 -0500
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Subject: Re: Draft dodging (multiple responses)
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How I beat an active duty call, at least for a while:

In 1963, I was into my fourth year of a "delay in call to active duty." My
control group had furnished me with a change-of-address post card. I wangled a
small grant, a loan, and flew to Rio de Janeiro on a one way ticket; I sent
in my change of address from there: c/o Vistors' Box, American Embassy, Rio.
For $45 a month I rented a fairly good apartment on Ipanema beach, where I read
Brazilian lit, drank wine, and hung out at the Beach for several years doing

When things started getting hot politically in Rio, though, I finally returned,
alas--it was a good war in Rio, and a tough Army tour later. My aunt sent me
the money to get back to the states on. I paid her back from my army pay.

I didn't beat the system, but had some great times playing games with it.

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 20:21:45 -0500
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Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 17:20:13 -0800 (PST)
From: Stephen Denney <>
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Subject: Re: Draft dodging (multiple responses)
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On Tue, 16 Feb 1999 wrote:

> Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 11:04:20 -0500
> From:
> To: undisclosed-recipients:;
> Subject: Draft dodging (multiple responses)
> [1]
> From: Tony Edmonds <>
> Subject: Re: Draft Dodgeing
> > My name is Jeff Norton and I attend the University of Minnesota. I am in
> >a class studying the sixties, and I was wondering what kind of things
> >people did to dodge the draft? I would also like to know if anyone on the
> >list knew someone who did, or actually dodged the draft themselves.
> I think the best book on the draft and its "evaders" is Baskir and Strauss,
> __Chance and Circumstance__ (Knopf, 1978). Does anyone know of a better
> one?
> Tony Edmonds
> Ball State University

I agree that this is a very good book, but I wonder if there might have
been a study which broke down by year the ratio of those who served in the
military, and particularly in Vietnam, to those who did not serve.
I think those who were of draft age in 1965 and without a 2S deferment were
more likely to face the prospect of either going to Vietnam or finding a
way to avoid it then those who were a few years younger.
- Steve Denney