The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

Collecting area: Draft resistance

Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft Records

Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft Records

1979-2021 Bulk: 1980-1987
5 boxes 4 linear feet
Call no.: 1156

Carol Jankhow, COMD member, at a Stop the Draft rally, ca. 1979

Formed in 1979 in the wake of a congressional vote on reinstating the draft, the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft (COMD) was formed by San Diego-based anti-war activists Bill Roe, Hoppy Chandler, Norm Lewis, Fritz Sands, and Rick Jahnkow. Originally a chapter of the national Committee Against Registration and the Draft (CARD), the group formed as a grassroots effort to defeat draft registration legislation, organize opposition to future drafts, and expand the network of anti-draft/militarism work. Early successes included organizing around legislation proposed by President Jimmy Carter to begin draft registration in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, leafleting high schools over military recruiting, and supporting draft resisters, including Ben Sasway, a college student from North San Diego County who was among the first indicted for violating the Selective Service Act since the Vietnam War.
   
In addition to fighting prosecutions of draft resisters, S.D. CARD focused its efforts on counter recruitment campaigns in and around local high schools. In 1983-84, S.D. CARD began to broaden its focus beyond draft work to include the anti-nuclear movement, U.S. military involvement in Central America and the Caribbean, immigration, the militarism of the U.S./Mexico border, discrimination in the military, military impacts on the environment, and other militarism-related issues to become a more inter-sectional organization. This prompted the group to change their name to the Committee Opposed to Militarism and the Draft and to joining other coalitions such as the San Diego Military Toxics Campaign, a coalition of groups educating the public on nuclear-powered aircraft carriers docked in San Diego, and the National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY). Today the group continues to fight state, local, and federal legislation related to the draft, including legislation in the 2020s that would expand draft registration to include women. COMD has also called for Congress to eliminate the Selective Service System and discontinue draft registration entirely.
  
This small collection consists of a run of COMD’s newsletter, Draft NOtices from 1979 to 2021 as well as clippings, photographs, circular letters, fliers, legal documents, press releases, correspondence, minutes, and pamphlets primarily from the 1979-1987 period. The material documents COMD’s campaigns, including the Ben Sasway campaign, as well as administrative material illustrating the inner workings of the group. There are also many newspaper clippings that document the national debate around the draft as well as COMD’s activities during this time.

Gift of Rick Jahnkow

Subjects

Draft registation--United StatesDraft resisters--United StatesMilitarismMilitary spending--United StatesUnited States--Armed Forces--Recruiting, enlistment, etc.United States.Army.Junior ROTC

Contributors

Rick Jankhow

Types of material

Clippings (information artifacts)CorrespondenceFliers (printed matter)NewslettersPamphletsPhotographs
David Seager New Left and Anti-War Academic Repression Collection

David Seager New Left and Anti-War Academic Repression Collection

1971-1994 Bulk: 1993-1994
2 boxes 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: 1168

David Seager’s 1995 PhD history thesis, “Repression in Academia: New Left and Antiwar College Teachers and Political Dissent in the Vietnam War era, 1964-1975” is one of the few in-depth studies of academic repression during the Vietnam era. Besides Ellen Schrecker, who has written extensively on academic freedom and repression in higher education, there has been a dearth of material written about the personal and career consequences faced by American college and university teachers who spoke out against the Vietnam War. For his thesis, Seager did extensive primary and secondary source research and directly interviewed 35 instructors and corresponded with 38 additional ones throughout 1993 and 1994.
               
The project was fully self-funded by Seager who had very little financial support. Early in the research project, his advisor passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack. He worked with a competent replacement, but they were not involved with the original concept and Seager was, in a sense, orphaned. Seager planned to expand the thesis with additional post-graduate work, but he was instead caught in a desperate financial bind with no help from a true mentor, a growing pile of job rejections, and a need for income, so the project ended with the thesis.

Subjects

Vietnam War, 1961-1975

Contributors

Seager, David R.

Types of material

Audiocassettes
Restrictions: none none