“Gainesville 8 Reunion Brings Recollections, No Regrets,” The Gainesville Sun, by Ron Cunningham, September 8, 2013.
August 31, 2013 marked the fortieth anniversary of the acquittal of eight Vietnam veterans, the “Gainesville 8,” indicted for conspiracy to violently disrupt the 1972 Republican National Convention. A reunion of the activist veterans, lawyers, and family of jury members associated with the historic trial gathered over the weekend of August 31 to remember events surrounding the wrongful prosecution of eight veterans and record oral histories of their memories with the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program.
See also, “The Gainesville 8 and a Nixonized World,” on WashingtonsBlog.com by David Swanson on August 23, 2013.
“The evidence will show that the seven of us who went to Vietnam spent a total of 111 months over there, received 57 medals and citations, and were all honorably discharged. The evidence will also show that we threw our medals away out of shame, because we knew that what they stood for was wrong. For myself, the throwing away of the medals I once cherished was the cutting of the umbilical cord between myself and the government lies, such as, ‘We are helping the people of Vietnam…’”
-Vietnam Veteran Scott Camil, at the opening of his trial in 1972
See photos and read SPOHP’s press release for the event, “August 31, 2013, Gainesville 8 Reunion Celebrates Acquittal of Anti-War Activist Veterans on 40th Anniversary.”
The 1973 trial and Gainesville’s role in the peace movement gained national attention when charges were filed against eight activist veterans organizing through Vietnam Veterans Against the War, John Briggs, Scott Camil, Alton Foss, John Kniffin, Peter Mahoney, Stanley Michelson, William Patterson, and Don Perdue. They were acquitted of all charges in 1973.