Andy Stapp

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Andy Stapp has been a member of the Workers World Party and/or its youth arm, Youth Against War and Fascism YAWF since the mid-late 1960's. He created and led the anti-military group known as the American Servicemen's Union since the late 1960's, and its goal was to infiltrate the military and create internal dissension and even mutiny.

The only real congressional report on the WWP, the ASU, and other WWP fronts was put out by the House Internal Security Committee in April 1974, "The Workers World Party and Its Front Organizations", A Study, HISC, April 1974, including Index, and it contains a lot of information on Stapp and the ASU.

ASU

In the spring of 1967, when Stapp was an enlisted soldier at the artillery training center at Fort Sill, Okla., he was court-martialed for refusing to open and turn over a footlocker full of anti-war and pro-socialist magazines. This sparked a struggle that shook up the base.

Activists from Youth Against War and Fascism supported Pvt. Stapp's battle with the officers. The case ended without Stapp having to serve time in the stockade. He already had the backing of a core of his fellow enlisted GIs and the sympathy of most people in his barracks.

"The civilian anti-war movement was tremendous," said Stapp. "But the anti-war feeling among the GIs was even greater.

"At Fort Sill the brass baited me constantly, calling me a communist, trying to drum up a frenzied reaction. I was in contact daily with hundreds of fellow GIs. None of them were openly hostile. Most were friendly. They loved that I was dishing it out to the officers and attacking the war."

By the end of 1967 Stapp and other GIs, Marines, sailors and airmen from around the United States founded the American Servicemen's Union. The idea caught on fast. Within two years the ASU had over 10,000 members. Its newspaper, The Bond, had 75,000 readers and correspondents wherever the Pentagon had troops.

"While we didn't win union recognition," said Stapp, "we were a factor in ending the war."[1]

References