Today's Conscientious Objector and the Draft workshop was a reeling success! About 30 teens and numerous adults shared pizza and refreshments while they learned some pointers on filing as a coscientious objector. Kay Ellison of Vancouver for Peace led the 2-hour session. Cindy Fisher did initial "ice-breaker" games and John G. of the War Resisters' League in Portland explained some requirements.
The difference between being a pacifist and a conscientious objector was explained. A pacifist will not use violence, even to protect themself, while a C.O. is conscientious opposed to all war. Two identical forms were distributed, one for those from religious-based communities, and the other based purely on one's conscience. The form is to be submitted and mailed, along with a copy to oneself. It was recommended to mail it certified, signature receipt requested. One could also give an attorney their copy and/or put it in a safe box.
This documentation would help so a draft board couldn't say you were filing C.O. on the spur-of-the-moment. It was said we should work to make war obsolete. The teens were given lots of other information, including the "required" selective service registration for 18-yr. olds. It was suggested one write in they are filing as a C.O. on the registration form; however, a letter could be submitted later, if they didn't so note.
The youth group included both sexes. Girls are no longer the weaker sex or relegated to the kitchen, as in the Vietnam War. I was pleased with the turnout. If the draft is implemented, it was said the group will definitely meet again, and I will storm the streets! PEACE.