EPIC Action During US Air Force Band
Performance at Evergreen – 1972

By Regon Unsoeld

Note: The US Air Force was the source of much of the devastation rained down on the small agrarian countries of Southeast Asia during the Indochina War. Sophisticated bombs and chemical weapons destroyed villages and vegetation, killing millions of people and poisoning the land and water for decades to come. Opposition, especially from college campuses across the nation, challenged the government’s promotion of the war. The Evergreen Political Information Center took advantage of a teachable moment during a US Air Force Band concert. Regon Unsoeld, a founding member of EPIC, shared this account.

EPIC organized an action during a concert by the US Air Force Band on Feb. 3, 1972. We attempted to address the underlying public relations function of the band and its appearance at Evergreen. We disseminated flyers before and during the event, and distributed a followup piece several days later critiquing how we thought the action had gone. 

Using a PA system, we announced that we would be showing a slideshow to reveal the actual military purpose of the air force in Southeast Asia, noting that we were not attacking the individual band members, but rather bringing attention to bear on the actual role of the air force itself, especially in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. We hung some sheets from the third floor balcony directly over where the band members performed in the main library lobby.  We then projected onto the sheets a slideshow titled The Automated Air War which was from National Action/Research on the Military-Indistrial Complex (NARMIC), a group affiliated with the American Friends Service Committee.  

In the aftermath of this action, the Evergreen administration issued a memo restricting such political actions in the future. This in turn led to the organizing of the DemoMemo Coalition that campaigned to overturn new restrictions on free speech on campus. 

This is the text of the discussion piece that was distributed later: