Hearing on the Draft and Draft Registration, Thursday, April 19th in Denver

Poster by James Groleau, 1981.

From Resisters.info

The “National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service” has announced that the second of its “open-mike public hearings” throughout the US on whether registration for a military draft should be ended or extended will be in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday, April 19th, from 3-5 p.m.:

Open-Mike Public Hearing
National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service
Thursday, April 19, 2018, 3-5 p.m. (doors open at 2:30)

Denver Museum of Science and Industry
Schlessman Lobby, Entrance 5 (Evening Entrance)
2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO

Matt Nicodemus (phone 720-979-9967) of the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center in Boulder is organizing local folks to attend the Denver hearing. Please let Matt know at if you plan to attend or can help with local activities. Some readers of this blog will remember Matt’s public refusal to register for the draft in 1980, and his work as an organizer with the National Resistance Committee and as co-editor of Resistance News.

At the Commission’s first hearing, in Harrisburg, PA, on February 23rd, each witness was allowed 2 minutes to speak. Time limits weren’t strictly enforced, but might be reduced depending on how many people show up.

If you want to say more, or you can’t make it to Denver on April 19th, you can submit written comments to the Commission through April 19th, or possibly later. (The Commission is conducting its proceedings quite informally, and late comments are likely to be accepted. But acceptable and consideration of late comments will be at the Commission’s discretion.)

The Commission has said it plans to hold more hearings including at least one in in each of the nine US Census regions, but hasn’t yet announced any of the other dates or locations. Look for announcements of future hearings here on the Commission’s Web site.

Longer written submissions can be sent to national.commission.on.service.info@mail.mil, mentioning “Docket No. 05-2018-0” in the subject line of the e-mail message.

This is your chance to tell the commission what you think about the draft, draft registration, and/or compulsory national “service”.

I think the most important thing for the Commission to hear is that people subject to draft registration, and people who would be subject to a draft (including older health care workers and people with other specialized skills who might be subject to an expanded draft) would refuse to go, and that other people would support them in their registration.

Whether or not the Commission agrees with the reasons people don’t and won’t comply with registration or a draft, the Commission needs to be brought to realize that a draft is not “feasible” because so many people would not comply, and because noncompliance would render it unenforceable.

That’s the lesson of the last 38 years of failure of draft registration. We need to teach that lesson to the National Commission on…

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