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GI Cafes

Although forming a union within the US armed forces is explicitly forbidden by US military regulations, organizing from the café can lead to a large number of soldiers behaving in a manner directly equivalent to that of a union.  Hopefully bringing GI resistance to a point where it seriously influences opinions within the military itself and spreads like a virus.  The effects of that could seriously affect the viability and sustainability of US military operations, and soldiers themselves could call into question the legitimacy of such operations. While such widespread effects from the radicalization of US soldiers may sound far-fetched, it does in fact have a recent historical precedent.

 

During the Vietnam War thousands of soldiers were in fact radicalized, playing a critical role in making the war in Vietnam increasingly difficult and ultimately in helping end the war. GI Cafes that sprang up near several US military bases did in fact act as a powerful catalyst in incubating, supporting, and spreading this movement. The Oleo Strut at Ft. Hood was one such GI café.  It was full of soldiers nearly every day after duty hours, and soldiers there would openly talk about racism, politics, the war itself, as well as their chain of command.  It eventually developed into a place where they had regular meetings off-base and planned non-violent resistance within the military. Today instead of the Oleo Strut there is the Under the Hood Café, a 10 minute walk from the gates of Ft. Hood, where dozens of soldiers a week go for help. There is also a growing and developing group of “regulars” who are active duty soldiers who have been very active in organizing GI Resistance on Ft. Hood itself, many of whom speak out publicly against the war.

 

 

Here are some links to two GI Café´s currently operating, Under the Hood in Killeen Texas, operating near Ft. Hood, and Coffee Strong operating right outside of Ft. Lewis.

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