4. GI and Vets March for Peace – Oct. 12

Keith Mather, one of the GIs in the “Nine for Peace,” has been in the stockade since his arrest back in July.

Suggestion: Stay on the left (north) side of the stockade for this stop, but walk a little ways back towards the front of the building.
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Yet the strong support network who had encouraged Keith’s protest — of family, friends, and political allies — had not forgotten about him. Even more of the public heard about his protest through the widespread coverage in the press.

On the other side of this wall are the rooms where Keith would have been allowed his brief but regular visiting hours. Clergy and family members came to see him — his mother and siblings provided constant support, as did members of the peace movement who posed as his relatives. One woman even maintained the pretense of being Keith’s fiance! These activists served as important conduits of information to and from the outside world. They kept prisoners aware that they had support from people beyond the stockade walls.

And support was growing.

This is where two others enter this Presidio story. Lt. Susan Schnall was a US Navy nurse who became deeply involved in helping organize the GI & Vets March for Peace, which was planned in support of the “Nine for Peace.” Listen to her story in the video below.

Also, Randy Rowland was becoming active in the GI movement. He was an AWOL soldier, but decided he would turn himself in to Presidio Command at the culmination of the march. By the end of the day, Randy would indeed be in the stockade. There he met the GIs inside who were very angry over the murder of Richard “Rusty” Bunch the day before. Quickly, he began helping them with their idea for Presidio prisoners to hold a demonstration of their own.

Video

[WATCH: 3 min] Navy Lt. Susan Schnall reflects on her efforts to organize the GI and Veterans March for Peace.

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