Daniel Brustein is a physician and industrial hygienist and has lived in Cleveland Heights, Ohio since 1976. In this interview, Mr. Brustein discusses his experiences as part of the anti-war movement during the 1960s. Specifically, he covers the topic of draft resistance and his involvement with Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Boston-based resistance groups The Resistance and the Boston Draft Resistance Group. He was also a part of the Pentagon Protest in 1967. Mr. Brustein served almost eighteen months of a three year prison sentence for resisting the Selective Service Act. Much of the interview centers on his experience in Franklin County jail and later Ashland federal prison. The Kent State University shooting and Attica prison riot are also mentioned.


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Brustein, Daniel (interviewee)


Randt, Naomi A. (interviewer)


Protest Voices



Document Type

Oral History


78 minutes


Naomi A. Randt [00:00:01] My name is [Naomi A. Randt]. It’s the 29th of July, 2016. I’m with Daniel Brustein.

Daniel Brustein [00:00:06] That’s correct.

Naomi A. Randt [00:00:07] In Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Would you please state your name for the record?

Daniel Brustein [00:00:10] Yeah, my name is Daniel Brustein.

Naomi A. Randt [00:00:12] Could you spell your last name?

Daniel Brustein [00:00:14] B as in boy, R, U, S as in Sam, T, E, I, N.

Naomi A. Randt [00:00:19] I’ll start with some basic questions. When and where were you born?

Daniel Brustein [00:00:24] I was born in New York City in April of 1950.

Naomi A. Randt [00:00:29] Did you grow up in New York City then?

Daniel Brustein [00:00:30] Yeah, we lived in New York from the time I was born until I was 13 years old. When the family moved to Columbus, Ohio.

Naomi A. Randt [00:00:38] That must have been quite the move for you.

Daniel Brustein [00:00:40] It was pretty disruptive. None of the family particularly cared for Columbus, but my dad’s business was here and I was just entering high school, so it was a complete change of friends and, and atmosphere. And as I say, it was pretty disruptive.

Naomi A. Randt [00:01:01] Did you have any siblings?

Daniel Brustein [00:01:03] I had a younger brother and a younger sister, and we all loved Columbus so much that when I graduated high school, I immediately left for college. When my sister finished her junior year in high school, she moved to Israel. And when my brother graduated, he immediately left for college and took two or three months. Later, my parents moved to Cleveland. [laughs]

Naomi A. Randt [00:01:24] That’s quite the whirlwind tour.

Daniel Brustein [00:01:26] Yeah.

Naomi A. Randt [00:01:27] What did your parents do?

Daniel Brustein [00:01:29] My mom was mostly a homemaker when I was growing up. She had worked as a bookkeeper earlier and stopped working outside the house when I was born. While we lived in Columbus, she went back to work, first doing retail sales and then eventually going back to bookkeeping. My dad, when I was growing up, was a shipping clerk in a women’s garment factory in New York. And they discovered that he was a pretty personable guy. And eventually he started doing a few days a week in the sales room. And then he started traveling in a Midwest territory, and eventually he ended up selling women’s blouses at wholesale in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and West Virginia, which is why we moved to Columbus.

Naomi A. Randt [00:02:18] And what was your childhood like?

Daniel Brustein [00:02:21] Ooh. Do you want to be more specific? I mean, I can babble, but-

Naomi A. Randt [00:02:27] Maybe a little bit about your time in New York City versus Columbus?

Daniel Brustein [00:02:29] Okay. Yeah. I was born in the Bronx, and we moved into the house that I. The apartment that I remember growing up in when I was 18 months old. So although I don’t remember the neighborhood that we first grew up in, my aunt and several friends still lived there, and that was in the central east Bronx. We moved to an area that we always called the West Bronx, but it’s now called Morris Heights, and since it’s south of Fordham, it’s also called the South Bronx. When I was there, it was primarily Jewish and some Italian. And in the area that drew folks to our public school and junior high school, there was a fairly large Black population and some Hispanics. I grew up across the street. I grew up near Tremont, University Avenue, across the street from a junior high school, which also had a kindergarten in it. So for my first year of public school, I actually walked across the street to go to school. For the next six years, I guess I walked almost two miles to another public school that was an elementary school. And what I remember was, in school, when I was growing up in New York, students were rated essentially in the school you were in, in the grade you were in, you were rated from one to whatever the last number of students was. And then they put the first 30 in the first class, the next 30 in the next class. So if you were in 512, you knew that you were at the bottom in that school. And having never been in 512, I don’t know what effect that might have had on kids, but having been in the top crew, I can tell you that we got an excellent education. The teachers were superb, and the teaching was great. And that was both in public school and in junior high school. There were four of us in our second grade class who skipped the third grade. That was a fairly standard sort of thing, but there was no formal program about it. That is, the second grade teacher could name those kids who, almost always women, she thought could afford to skip the third grade. And then you just went to the fourth grade, which meant I arrived without knowing how to write in script and without having certain other basic skills. The teachers in the fourth grade were used to having a handful of students in their class like that, and so they worked with us. And, you know, the reason you did that was because the teachers thought you could do it. We all did fine. At the school system was divided so that you went to junior high school for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade. And there was another program where you could take the 8th and 9th grade together. And that was done with a full classroom of students. The school that I went to, I believe the first three classes, about 100 students were in that program, which was called the seven eight special progress program. So I was in the group that was in the chorale. There was another group that did orchestra music, and another that did visual arts, I believe. I wasn’t really great at chorale. Me and Dave Greenberg, one of the other kids who’d been with me, since we skipped the third grade, Mrs. Morris would reach out, and every once in a while I’d say, Dan, when I wave at you, you and David just mouth the words. [laughs] But again, the teaching was excellent.

Naomi A. Randt [00:06:05] Was the junior high then a private school, or was that-?

Daniel Brustein [00:06:07] No, the junior high school was a public school, 82. This was one that was directly across from the apartment that I grew up in. And we had 1700 students from as far away as the South Bronx and northern Manhattan. Most were closer in, like I was, but we had kids from all over, from a fairly wide range of New York, but it was geographically determined.

Naomi A. Randt [00:06:34] Was there a lot of interaction between the different classrooms in the same grade level?

Daniel Brustein [00:06:39] Not a whole lot. That is, you spent your whole day in a classroom with one teacher. No, that’s not true. You spent a whole day moving with your whole class from one classroom to different teachers. So all 30 kids who were in my homeroom were also in my same science class, same chorale class, same social studies class. We had a huge schoolyard, and there was interaction there. And actually, I had friends in both the- I pretty good friends in the orchestral music group and some in the visual arts group and some who were in the special progress group but not combining classes. If you were younger, they wouldn’t do that. So one of the four folks who I skipped the third grade with was also in an advanced program, but he took 7th, 8th, and 9th grade separately. And I kept in touch with Peter through junior high school until I left, because at the end of junior high school, he still had another year to go and I moved to Columbus.

Naomi A. Randt [00:07:47] How did you feel about having to move to Columbus?

Daniel Brustein [00:07:49] I hated it. I didn’t have a- I thought it would be an adventure when we set out to do it, although I was not real happy about leaving my friends, and I found that the social situation in Columbus was very different from New York. One major thing was many people in many of the kids I knew in Columbus during my sophomore year in high school began to drive, and I couldn’t because I was two years younger than they were. And that was a big part of the social life. But it’s also a very big move from, from a dense urban community to a suburb. And Columbus is far more conservative town than, politically conservative than New York, certainly than the areas the community in New York that I was part of.

Naomi A. Randt [00:08:46] What was your high school experience like in Columbus?

Daniel Brustein [00:08:54] I made several friends. I did well in high school, and I always felt like I was on the outside. I was anxious to finish up and get out, and my first assumption was that I assumed I would think about going back to college in New York, but I’m not sure at what point I made the decision to consider something different. Although actually, during the first two summers, at the end of my sophomore year, end of my junior year, I did actually go back to New York, live with an aunt, and worked at the Jewish Community Center summer camp, where I’d been going as a camper since before I entered the first grade. And that was fun because I was pretty much on my own. My aunt treated me as an employed young adult, which was pretty good for a 14 year old, and I had been riding the New York City subways by myself since I was six or seven. So I had the run of the city and still had many friends who lived in and around New York from junior high school. So spending the summers in New York was great. By the time I was- I may be one of the very few people who can say that my parents were the ones who encouraged me to go to Antioch College, which is where I ended up going. They came home, I don’t remember, sometime in my junior year, perhaps, and said, we just went to a Shakespeare festival in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and there’s a college there we think you’d be really interested in. I don’t remember when I first visited. It’s possible that I didn’t visit until one of my acquaintances from Columbus, who was a year ahead of me, went down there and I went down to visit him. But I sure liked the campus. It was described in an article in the Post magazine or something like that, as a small slice of Greenwich village among the pig farms of southwestern Ohio, which was not a bad characterization. So I applied to Ohio State University. I applied to Columbia. I applied to a few other schools and to Antioch, and the only schools that admitted me outright, or Antioch and Ohio State. And there was no question where I was going. So I was happy to get out of Columbus and start Antioch in 1966.

Naomi A. Randt [00:11:46] Is that where you got involved in the draft resistance?

Daniel Brustein [00:11:50] No, actually, I was involved in antiwar activities starting during one of the summers that I was in New York. And I- Boy, I may or may not have attended any anti war demonstrations in Columbus. I suspect I didn’t. I suspect there weren’t any during the time that I was in high school because, remember, I graduated in ’66, but in November of ’65, I attended the second large SDS nationwide antiwar demonstration in Washington, the one where Carl Oglesby spoke. So I was active in the anti-Vietnam War movement since before graduation. Certainly during the end of my junior year and during my senior year in high school. And I continued that activity when I got to college.

Naomi A. Randt [00:12:43] What was that SDS meeting like in November 1965?

Daniel Brustein [00:12:49] Oh, well, it was- It was a large demonstration in. Well, large by those days’ standards. There were, I don’t know, maybe there were ten or 20,000 people there. Demonstration in D.C. And there were buses that came from other places to participate. I was in Columbus, and there was a. There were, I don’t know, three or four buses, I think, that went from Ohio State. And I was one of the younger folks on the bus. Most of the students were college students. I was still high school, and it was a fairly conventional Mall demonstration. There was no march. There were a batch of speeches. I don’t remember chants, but I suspect there were. I know there were signs. And as I say, Carl Oglesby gave a speech that was, that over the next couple of years became a very notable speech in the antiwar movement and on the left, because he went a lot farther than simply saying the war was violent and wrong. He made a point that the war represented- It was not a mistake. It was a conscious outcome of U.S. foreign policy. And although I know that there were other people who had thought about that until then, up until then I think that the only real tone of the antiwar movement was a pacifist and nonviolent tone. Oglesby’s tone was not violent, but it certainly was not pacifist. His critique was not a critique of war. It was a critique of the politics of this war.

Naomi A. Randt [00:14:34] What did you think of Oglesby?

Daniel Brustein [00:14:38] I was raised in a pretty conscientiously left-wing family, and these ideas were not new to me, but I recognized the fact that they hadn’t been part of the antiwar movement up until then. I thought the speech was great.

Naomi A. Randt [00:14:54] Did you end up joining the SDS?

Daniel Brustein [00:14:56] You know, I cannot find my old SDS membership card, but, yes, I formally joined SDS at Antioch for a couple of years and attended meetings there.

Naomi A. Randt [00:15:06] What was that experience like?

Daniel Brustein [00:15:08] I have absolutely no memories of it. What I do remember was that at Antioch, especially, there were many sectarian left-wing groups, SDS being the least sectarian of them. And I was interested enough to try and draw the distinctions between them, not very successfully. I could certainly recognize different styles, but in terms of actually understanding the difference in their politics, I still couldn’t really tell you. [laughs]

Naomi A. Randt [00:15:47] Do you think that was part of the problem of the left at the time, that there were so many-?

Daniel Brustein [00:15:50] No, not yet. And that is, whereas there were at Antioch and elsewhere, there were many different groups. It was not until probably after the ’68 Democratic Convention that actually began to splinter the left, but not during those first couple of years. And I also think that, whereas the eventual effect was really destructive, the type of ideological seriousness and the level of analysis that led to that was very healthy. People had different views of how the world works, and it was reflected in how they organized themselves into groups and how the groups organized others. And I think that that’s- You have to do that.

Naomi A. Randt [00:16:45] Was there a lot of that kind of organizing at Antioch?

Daniel Brustein [00:16:48] Antioch was a small place. We recognized for the most part that we were just organizing other students. There were demonstrations in Dayton, at Wright-Pat Air Force Base, and down in Cincinnati. But Antioch is a very, what, what was, and to some extent still is, a very unique place in that, when I was there, it was a five-year school with a comprehensive co-op program. So of the five years, you spent two years, maybe two years and one quarter away from campus on co-op. Some people did co-op on campus, but most did it away. And so there was. People got out into what we always call the real world and were involved in other things, so that I actually ended up doing some of my co-op in, well, some in Boston, and became active in the Boston draft resistance movement.

Naomi A. Randt [00:17:41] What was the nature of the co-op in Boston? What were you doing there?

Daniel Brustein [00:17:47] In Boston, I worked for the geology, geophysics department at MIT, and I helped to establish the reference sample of minerals that was used to analyze the rocks that came back from the moon in 1969.

Naomi A. Randt [00:18:01] What was it like to work on that project?

Daniel Brustein [00:18:05] It was interesting in the abstract. I thought I was a geology major. I ended up not doing that, but I love geology. It was interesting in the abstract in that I understood why this was important and what we were doing. It was interesting for about two or three weeks, learning the technology. But what you’re doing when you’re operating an X-ray diffractometer to establish a reference collection at my level as a technician is you sit in a really nice lab office overlooking the Charles River, and you grind up rock samples, stick them into a machine, wait two hours while the machine processes them - now it probably takes 15 minutes - pull off the paper graph - now it all just goes into a computer - and set up the next one. So it was on a day to day basis, it was really boring. On the other hand, I had the run of both Harvard and MIT campuses, where there was lots of stuff going on. And it was Boston which was a fun place for a college student in the sixties.

Naomi A. Randt [00:19:13] What were some of those things that were going on?

Daniel Brustein [00:19:15] Well, there was lots of political stuff. There was lots of cultural stuff in terms of music, speeches and that sort of thing. And there were also other odd opportunities. I actually enrolled in the amateur shooters club and learned how to use a 22 long rifle in the MIT basement where they had an indoor shooting range. So there were lots of different things. I also was a fairly serious photographer, and I would spend days walking Boston taking pictures, some of which I still have up in the wall here. They’re not bad, even in retrospect.

Naomi A. Randt [00:20:00] How long were you in Boston for?

Daniel Brustein [00:20:02] Well, several different co-ops on and off. My first co-op actually was at Cornell University, and that was the beginning of ’67. I think my second one was the end of ’67. And then I know I was there January. I was supposed to be there January, February, March of ’69. But actually by then I was already involved- By then I actually had been arrested, had been tried, had. Well, the- We can get into the chronology, but I didn’t spend all of that quarter in Boston.

Naomi A. Randt [00:20:41] How did you end up being involved in the Boston draft resistance movement?

Daniel Brustein [00:20:50] There was a guy named Lenny Heller from Berkeley who came through Antioch sometime fairly early on - I don’t remember when - and he talked about draft resistance as a political means to raise opposition to the war. And as I remember, he was quite specific about the fact that college students are privileged and that we’ve got a way out of the draft, which a lot of others don’t, but that we also have access to a critical part of the population, which is a voting middle class in terms of our parents and friends. And we needed to grab their attention. That the demonstrations we’ve had so far had not seemed to do that, but that by refusing to register for the draft and being willing to serve time in prison, we could get people’s attention. And I found that pretty compelling. In October of 1967, there was a huge antiwar demonstration in Washington D.C. Abbie Hoffman got permission to levitate the Pentagon four feet. I don’t think we quite made four feet, but there were several hundred thousand people there. And in the week, I believe, was the week before that demonstration, there was a major anti-draft, major anti-draft demonstrations all over the United States. In Boston at the Old North Church, I believe, there was a demonstration where people burned or turned in their draft cards, and I don’t remember how many did that. It was probably 50 people or so. I was still 17, but I’d already made the decision that I was not going to register for the draft. And so I filled out a little note pledging not to register for the draft, and I dropped that into the urn as it went around. And then the next weekend, I was in D.C. for that big antiwar demonstration, and I went to pretty informal meetings of the Boston Resistance. There were actually two groups in Boston at that time, the Resistance, which are those folks who were refusing to register for the draft, and the Boston Draft Resistance Group, which was counseling people in how to get deferments, including deferments as a pacifist, but also other deferments if they qualified for it. And if you’ve done it, I don’t know if you’ve done any research on this. There’s an interesting book out about the Boston Draft Resistance movement that paints the two groups as being at ideological odds and continually fighting, which is not true. They got along just fine and had a good-natured competition over ideology. For instance, in one of the Boston, in one of the newsletters, and I can’t remember which newsletter it was, it was probably the Resistance newsletter, reviewed the previous week’s touch football game, which the Resistance won because we weren’t weighed down by draft cards. [laughs] The book is by Mike Foley, and a lot of ways it’s really very good. It does a good job of laying out the chronology and events that went on. But I think that he over, as I say, I think he overemphasizes ideological differences which were there, but in, at least in Boston at that time, did not divide people.

Naomi A. Randt [00:24:34] Can you describe a little bit what those ideologies were?

Daniel Brustein [00:24:37] Well, the difference, as I’m saying, between the Resistance and the Boston Draft Resistance Group was whether you use the techniques of the draft system to avoid going to Vietnam, or whether you refuse to cooperate with the system completely as a protest against the war. And make no mistake about it, the folks in the Boston Draft Resistance Group were opposed to the war, often for the very same ideological reasons that the folks in the Resistance were opposed. In some cases, it was simply a question of tactical differences. In some cases, it was a lot more substantial than that. But like I say, these were not groups that were at, at war with one another by any means.

Naomi A. Randt [00:25:27] Can you talk a little bit more about that, when you turned in that note saying that you wouldn’t register for the draft, but what that day was like?

Daniel Brustein [00:25:37] Well, it was part of a whole- Well, it was a part of about a month, a very, very active political work across the United States. There had been the organizations separately for the for a draft resistance demonstration that had been organized throughout the east coast. I think it started on the east coast, but eventually it covered all of the United States. That was also the week that Che Guevara was killed, within a month at least, of the October 16 demonstration. And then there was a demonstration in D.C. that was aimed at the Pentagon. It started as a rally on the Mall and then was a march across the Potomac to the Pentagon. And I suspect that, well, it’s obvious that a lot of people understood that this was not going to be a peaceful demonstration. When demonstrators arrived at the Pentagon, there were chain link fences that I believe were not routinely there, I’m not sure, that had been set up all around the Pentagon. And they just came down under the weight of people literally just leaning on them and walking across them. People didn’t have to climb over them. There were enough people that they just came down. And I remember being at whatever entrance of the Pentagon it was that I arrived at - I have no idea geographically now - that about 30 people, once we cleared the fences, there was a couple hundred yards to the front door. About 30 people just began running and hit the front door of the Pentagon, which was open, went in, and I said to myself, this does not end well. And within five seconds, they literally came flying out, followed by the 101st Airborne, which clearly had enough, had thousands of troops inside, and there was probably other groups beside that, but I’m pretty sure the area where I was was 101st. And they surrounded the Pentagon with fixed bayonets and secured the perimeter. This was late in the afternoon. There were enough demonstrators to surround the Pentagon outside their ring, 20, 30, 40 deep. And then folks in the back began throwing stuff. Folks in the front began yelling that you’re hitting us and you shouldn’t be throwing stuff at the troops anyway. There were clearly a batch of folks up- All the folks that I saw up- I don’t know what happened in general. The fact that there were people throwing stuff at the troops told me that some people were not doing what I saw up front happening, which was talking to the troops about how they were being used as pawns in a war that they shouldn’t have been fighting. And the troops just looked scared. I don’t think that they were particularly scared of us. We were unarmed. They had weapons and bayonets, but they had folks behind them who, and I think that they didn’t know exactly what they were expected to do. I didn’t see any brutality on the part of the troops, once they secured their perimeter. They were pretty rough getting people back. Once they secured their perimeter, I didn’t see anything. But once night came down, they, whoever, the authorities, selectively lit up sections of the perimeter. And then federal marshals, not the troops, began circulating behind the troops and selectively pulling individuals from the demonstrators and beating the shit out of them behind the lines. And that went on for about an hour and a half. And somewhere around 10:30 or 11:00 I said, it’s time for me to leave.

Naomi A. Randt [00:29:30] What did the group do when they started seeing these people getting pulled?

Daniel Brustein [00:29:33] Well, for one thing he did was he just backed up three or four feet. The marshals were clearly not going to come much farther through the police lines than that. And at first, people were actually grabbing at the folks who got grabbed and trying to keep them from being pulled through, which in some cases did work, in some cases didn’t. And there was a lot of yelling.

Naomi A. Randt [00:29:55] How did you feel while this was going on?

Daniel Brustein [00:29:58] It was very easy for me to just back up enough with other folks so that I didn’t feel like I was in direct line where I was at risk. I felt that it was important to have a really spirited demonstration. And I also felt that at some point we weren’t going to be proving very much more by being there. And I said, and that was the point. When I decided that I was going to leave, it wasn’t because I felt more threatened at that point, although I was perfectly aware that other people were drifting away. The fewer demonstrators there were, the more likely that they were to be in danger. But that was also the fewer folks you have, the less point you’re making. At some point it’s better to have an organized end to the demonstration and no one else was organizing it. I left, and I think that what happened was within an hour or so of when I left, most other people did. I don’t know. I don’t remember. I’m sure it was publicized. I’m sure I read it in the paper. I don’t remember what happened for the rest of the night. I think there were people there till the next morning.

Naomi A. Randt [00:31:09] Were you involved in any other demonstration like that and that large scale?

Daniel Brustein [00:31:17] Yes, and I can’t remember specifically which one. I know that fairly, that fairly late there was a large demonstration in New York with another draft card burning and that I was there, and I don’t remember when that was. That was. That was not the October ’67 demonstration, but I think sometime in ’68.

Naomi A. Randt [00:31:48] Was this at the Whitehall?

Daniel Brustein [00:31:50] No, I don’t remember. Whitehall was associated with another demonstration. I don’t remember which one it was. I think that was later. I think that was ’69.

Naomi A. Randt [00:32:02] Were you involved in trying to spread the antiwar movement to other people, get other people involved?

Daniel Brustein [00:32:08] To some extent? I certainly spoke to, I certainly spoke to other students and lots of folks I knew. When I was on co-op jobs, I spoke to people, but the co op jobs I had were the ones that I had at that point were all, were all either in academic atmospheres or- I worked the summer of ’68 at the South Side Settlement House Camp out of Columbus. The south side settlement house was a traditional, classic settlement house in a poor neighborhood in Columbus that did a wonderful job of providing services in that neighborhood and ran a summer camp in southeastern Ohio. And I worked as a counselor at that summer camp. I wasn’t challenging anybody’s politics at that camp, although actually one of the other counselors at that camp was in favor of the war, made a decision to enlist, and three months after being sent to Vietnam, he was killed in a munitions explosion, in a U.S. munitions explosion. Somebody I did not know well, I can’t remember his last name. I, you know, I did- I did some pretty basic stuff, like when I was at Cornell in January, February, March of ’67, there was, there was often or always an SDS table up in the student union and I would sometimes man it. Even though I wasn’t a Cornell student, they were perfectly happy to have me there. I don’t remember specifically doing stuff like that when I was in Boston, but I suspect I might have.

Naomi A. Randt [00:34:01] Can you talk a little bit about the chronology of how you came to be arrested?

Daniel Brustein [00:34:08] Yeah. Having made the decision that I wasn’t going to register for the draft, I pretty much knew what I was going to do. And in April of ’68, I prepared a news release, sent out a letter to progressive organizations in Columbus asking them to join me. And on my birthday, I went down, I put on a jacket and tie, and I went down to my draft board and handed them a statement saying I was refusing to register for the draft because of my opposition to both the draft and the war. And the statement had my name, address, and birthday on it. And essentially the clerk just accepted the statement, didn’t say anything, and that was the end of it. I don’t believe there was any press actually at the draft board at the time. And then I- That was April. I waited about six weeks for something to happen. Nothing happened. And I decided that- And during that time, I was working on and off with one of the anti war offices at Ohio State. I decided that I needed to see more of the country before I disappeared, so I hitchhiked from Columbus to Los Angeles to San Francisco and by a circuitous route back to Columbus over several weeks. When I got back, still no contact or anything else, so I arranged- That was when I arranged to work with the South Side Settlement House, SSS camp, and I worked there through the summer. At some point in the middle of the summer, when I was home for a weekend in between camp sessions, the FBI came to my door on a Saturday morning, and I was arrested, taken downtown, fingerprinted, booked. I had the name of a local attorney’s group or attorney who I called, and after a couple of hours, they came down. I was released on my own recognizance, and that was it for then. The trial was scheduled for October of that year, of ’68. So it was just about six months after I failed to register, and the trial was in Columbus. So I was actually back at school at Antioch, off co-op and back at Antioch, and I came up for the trial. Several friends came up as well. I had decided at that point that I didn’t- I didn’t need to make any more. Refusing to register and being consistent about that was all that I necessarily needed to do, and I didn’t need to inflame the court. So I asked my lawyers what the best way to handle it was, and they said, whatever you want. We’re here to do what you want. However, if your goal is simply to go through the process and not inflame things, let us make the legal arguments. You don’t make a statement, and we’ll leave it at that. I said, fine, let’s do that. So that’s, that’s what I did. And then the judge was very busy with a whole bunch of other stuff, so I went back to campus, October, November, December, and then in January, I went back to Boston to work at MIT. And in mid-February, I got a call from my attorney saying that the judge had made a decision that- I don’t remember whether they told me that I was guilty, but I think I- But I- But I think I knew it pretty much. They must have, because I remember what they told me was, you’ve been found guilty. We have technical grounds for appeal, which you will lose, but if you want to stay out for a few more months, we can do that. If you don’t, we don’t have to appeal. It’s up to you. I had just started my relationship with my wife at that point, who was also in Boston, and I decided that if I could stay out a few extra months, that was fine. I knew I was going to lose eventually. I said, fine, let’s do the appeal. And I said, okay, if we appeal, you’ve been out on your own recognizance. This is not going to be a problem. Just in case, bring along a toothbrush and a book, but you’re going to be released in February. I went in, I was found guilty. I was sentenced to three years in prison, and they took me away to jail. I was in county jail in Columbus for the next four weeks. County jail was a very, very different experience. I was on the best floor because the feds arranged to keep their federal prisoners in the county jail rather than building another facility for jail facilities. It’s not a prison. This is where people are kept temporarily. And certainly there weren’t that many federal people temporarily being held, so you were kept in county jail, Franklin County Jail, and I hate to think what the other floors were like, but you would not have mistaken this for anything other than a jail. There was a bull run down the middle, cells lining the outside, although not the wall. There was a service run outside the cells and then the outside of the building with windows. So you were in between a service run. You could see the windows there. And they were also barred because actually trustees ran the service run. You had the cell, which were two-man cells, and then the big run. And I remember there were probably 30 cells or so. All the cell gates were operated mechanically, not electrically and not individually. So they were run from a single place up front. And I believe there were two guards for each shift for 60 prisoners. I was there on a- Came in on a Tuesday. I don’t remember at what point my attorney came to visit me, and, you know, he said, we’re pursuing the- We’re pursuing getting you out. We’re pursuing the appeal. We don’t know how long this is gonna take. By the way, another one of our clients is here, is coming here, and he’s someone you could learn a lot about surviving in prison from. We’ll tell him. Introduce yourself. And the person- It was a guy named Red Armstrong. Red Armstrong had been one of the leaders of the prison revolt at the Ohio Penitentiary the year before. Four guards had been killed, and Red had been charged with being a leader of the revolt because everyone testified that he made sure that more people weren’t killed, and that proved that he had power over the other prisoners, and therefore he was responsible. And the- What I remember about this guy was he was absolutely imperturbable. And I was sitting watching TV with him. We weren’t chatting because he didn’t have much to say. But a fight broke out, and he didn’t blink and he didn’t move. And after the fight, calmed down, all that without looking at me, he said, just remember, if it’s not your fight, you don’t have to have anything to do with it, and you’re better off that way. And I said, fine. Now, I don’t remember whether that was before or after I had my fight, which was Sunday night. We were watching TV Sunday evening, and the guards had left the floor, which they clearly were not supposed to do. I was standing, chatting with a couple of guys, and there were a few other people standing right next to us who were throwing a pillow back and forth. And I was oblivious. I didn’t realize that this was intentional. They were regularly missing the pillow, and it was hitting me, falling at my feet, you know, at my knees, no big deal. But at one point it landed on my feet and was on my feet. So I just kicked it away. And I heard somebody yell. I turned around, I got sucker punched. And I am sure that they did not expect what I did next, which I can’t see a thing once my glasses are gone and my glasses were gone. And I’ve never been great at a stand up fight, but I can wrestle just great. And I jumped the guy - it was clear to me who had punched me - I jumped him, and within a few minutes, no further punches were thrown, but within a few minutes, I was on top of him. I had him down. And I distinctly remember saying, if I want to, I can kill him because I got his head on a concrete floor. And at that point, the guard came and pulled me off him. And what I remember thinking six months later was how phenomenally lucky I was that that happened then. Because had it happened six months later, I would’ve hurt the guy really bad. I would not have hesitated. But the fact that I hesitated, and it was just short meant that nobody recognized, I think, that I was actually in control enough to have hurt him and didn’t. And I fought back. So that was good enough. I never got into another fight in prison. And what I found out was that, well, there were two guys who happened to be with me in county jail at that time from Kentucky, younger than me, in on a kidnapping charge. They had taken their father’s gun and hijacked a car with a young woman in it, taken her across state lines. Nobody got hurt physically, and they got busted, and they were in on interstate kidnapping charge. One of them went down to the same federal prison where I did, eventually. I was only there in county jail for four weeks. For three weeks. At the end of three weeks, I was transported to federal prison in Ashland, Kentucky. I was there for one week, and then I was released on parole on- Excuse me, on, I was released on my own recognizance while waiting for the return on my, on, the answer on my appeal. I was out from March- Too much detail or? Okay, I was out from March of ’69 until November of ’69. And I lost my appeal and was told to report to return to prison. So I went back. My dad took me down to the Franklin County Jail in November 5 or something of ’69. I don’t remember the exact date, and I never actually went. I went into the building, but was never behind bars in jail. My dad was there. The federal marshal came down, and he said, if you have any valuables, give it to your dad. You can keep your civilian clothes, but you’re going to trade ’em in when you get down to federal prison and be taken away. You’re being transported today with a really dangerous criminal. So you need to be aware of the fact that normally I wouldn’t bother to put you in leg irons and waist chain and all that, but we are because you’re going to be chained to him, because we’re concerned about him. I said, okay with me. I had learned during the four weeks that I was in prison that it’s perfectly fair for the marshals and the guards to label somebody as dangerous. I had to make my own judgment when I met the person. So they brought this guy down, and he walked into the area where I was, and he said, Dan. And I said, Jerry. And he was the other kidnapper who I had been in with. He’d been in there for the full six months. I don’t know why, but he had been finally sentenced and was going down to the federal prison with me. What I found out was that his buddy, who’d gone down ahead of time, had- When Jerry came down, I came down with him. Jerry told him that Dan had come down with me. And this other guy, whose name I can’t remember, I said, oh, yeah, he was the guy who was in that fight, and that’s all that it took. People knew in federal prison that I’d been in a fight, and that they had to deal with that if they were gonna deal with me. And I never had another fight, as I say, in federal- I never had a fight in federal prison.

Naomi A. Randt [00:47:21] Was it difficult to go back, having been out from March until November, knowing-?

Daniel Brustein [00:47:28] It was difficult. It would have been much worse had I not spent that week in federal prison, because county jail was, I mean, in county jail, you sit in a cell or you sit on the run and you don’t do anything and you watch TV and you read in federal prison, whereas I hadn’t been given a work assignment or anything else like that, it was clear this was a place where you lived as opposed to being stored. So, yes, it was hard going back, but not as hard as it could have been. And also, I had met a few people when I was in federal prison. I think I never got out of the intake area in the evenings, but I had gone through some of the intake during the day and got to meet a few people. So I had some idea of who I was going to be with when I got back down there. And actually, when I got back down the second time, when I got to serve the bulk of my sentence, in the interim, a guy named Bruce Dancis had been admitted. Bruce was the SDS organizer at Cornell, and I knew him from Cornell. He was also a guy from the Bronx. We had very similar backgrounds. We had not- We knew each other from Cornell, but had not gotten along particularly well. We didn’t get along poorly. It’s just that when I was at Cornell, I was working on building the 10 billion electron volt synchrotron. And Bruce’s political analysis was overly simplistic. And he said, if you’re working on anything regarding nuclear physics, you’re working for the war machine. I said, that’s not quite true, Bruce, although I’m willing to consider that possibility. But when I got down, we got to know each other, and we got to know each other well. Bruce was always very annoyed with me, though, because I’d been down. I’d been in prison that February. And so my federal prison number, 17936, was lower than his. His was 18 something. So that was in- I got back down to prison in November of ’69. There were about. There were 500 people about. And this was a federal youth center in Ashland, Kentucky. It had been a regular adult prison. It was reportedly the most secure, non-walled prison in the United States. Again, you wouldn’t have mistaken this prison for anything other than a prison, either. There were triple barbed wire fences around it, guard towers. When I arrived, the guard towers- First arrived, the guard towers were armed 24/7 by guards with M-16s. They discontinued that somewhere while I was in prison and put down a 24-hour dog and truck guard. Plus there were electronic sensors in all the fences. And they guarded the- They put guys in the towers when people were out on the yard. When I first arrived, when I first came back, I went only very briefly through the intake because I’d already been through it before. And was assigned to a barn. There were several different cell types. There was a detention cell block, which was secure cells with solid doors and small celled windows that looked out. There was the intake cell block, which was a classic cell block with two tiers of cells in the center. And then there were the barns, which were- I think there were three barns. Had 88 beds each. They were divided in the middle. Each side had 44 set up. Eleven beds in two rows against the outside, two rows down the center, and two completely glassed in recreation rooms. They were places to play cards with a table or to watch TV in the center and then a guard room. So I was in one of those. And I was there for, oh, six months, maybe a little longer, maybe nine months. Sometime the following summer of ’70, I had enough seniority and little enough trouble that I was moved to one of the honor blocks, which looked just like the detention block. The difference being that you had a key to your own cell. So did a lot of other people. But you had an individual cell with a water fountain and a light, and you were allowed to have your own radio. So you had some privacy. And it was- Well, you had some privacy except that the bathroom was located at the front of the cell. At the front of the block. With no walls overlooking the main run. So if you were taking a shit on Saturday during guest visiting, the guests walking down there might very well just glance to the side and see you on the pot. A lot of guys made a point to do exactly that. [laughs] And so- And there was that- And there was one other type of cell block, which was the- There was an honor building. There were, I don’t remember how many, maybe 20, 30 inmates who went out daily for- I don’t know if anyone was on work release. Everyone that I remember was on study release. And they went into Huntington to college. While I was there, we were told, draft resisters, war resistors are here for punishment. You’re not going to college. That changed after I left. I had another buddy there who eventually ended up taking college courses in Huntington out of that release center.

Naomi A. Randt [00:53:35] Did you end up serving the whole three years of your time?

Daniel Brustein [00:53:38] No. Almost no one did. In those days, if you earned good time, which I did all but one month, for that month, you got one half, half month off your sentence. So if you stayed out of trouble, if you served two years of a three-year sentence, you walked out the door, no parole, no probation, no nothing, you were gone. But most draft resisters, I’m pretty sure this was true, most White draft resisters served 18 months. Most Black draft resisters served about 24. And that was my experience. We only had one or two Black draft resisters in Ashland. They served slightly longer than the rest of us. During somewhere in the interim, while I was appealing, my attorneys went back to the judge and asked and made a number of requests, only one of which that was granted was my sentence was changed from an A to an A-2, which means that I was eligible for immediate parole, which is actually a real drag. One of the best ways to control people is to let them know you’re up for parole in another couple months. If you know, hey, you got 18 months and then you’re up for parole. It makes life a lot easier. But I was eligible for immediate parole. The one good thing that happened was I went up for parole about two or three months after I arrived because that’s how long it took. And I got a one year settle or something. I don’t remember. I went out for parole again in November or December of ’70, and I got what was then considered a very long settle. I actually got a parole date for March 28th or 29th or 30th, something like that, of ’71. So I served just under 18 months. Just under 18 months total of the four weeks at the beginning and then the 16, 17 months later on. And I had made a decision that if I didn’t get paroled to go back to school the beginning of April, that I would refuse parole, do the last six months, and then I wouldn’t be on probation for another year and a half. A lot of people don’t believe that. But once you’re in that, what’s another six months not to have to hassle with a parole officer? Worth every- Worth every minute of it.

Naomi A. Randt [00:56:04] So you ended up on parole afterwards?

Daniel Brustein [00:56:06] I ended up on parole, that’s right. I saw my parole officer two or three times. And then he says, I don’t need to watch you. Don’t bother me. Call in. Actually, I think, I think the last time I was supposed to actually see him was September 13, 1971. I don’t know if you remember- September 14. I don’t know if you remember what happened on September 13, but he told me he didn’t need to see me, and I probably didn’t want to see him. September 13 was Attica. And I just- I don’t remember whether I called in once a month after that or whatever, but I know I didn’t see him again.

Naomi A. Randt [00:56:53] While you were in prison, was there any sort of organization against the war while you were in prison? Or was it just-?

Daniel Brustein [00:57:00] There was no- Actually, there were no. There was no demonstrations or activities against the war. We talked a lot about it, and we all had the same conclusion. We kind of paid our dues. We have a responsibility to make sure that we continue to study and understand what’s going on. And we read and talked a whole lot, very conscientiously. But we engaged in no specific protests. I remember the first- I was in between other job assignments and working on a landscaping detail on May 4, 1970. I was sitting outside the honor dorm where we had powered push mowers for hundreds of acres. I don’t remember how many acres. A whole lot. Many football fields. Probably not hundreds, but many football fields. So no one griped, particularly if you took a break whenever you wanted to. And I was taking a break, smoking a cigarette, sitting underneath one of the open windows of the honor dorm, when I heard the first report on the local Huntington news station, which said, seven. Excuse me, four national guardsmen at Kent State University have been killed by violent, armed protesters. That was the first report of Kent State. By the end of the day, they had corrected it. But that was the first report that I heard. And we talked about what we should do. We may have worn black armbands. I don’t remember. The only protest that I remember being involved in, and I’ve spoken to one other person, Bruce, about this. He doesn’t remember it at all. I know- Most positive he was involved as well, was there were movies every Saturday night and during, and I don’t know if I remember this correctly, but I think during the winter, the movies were mandatory. During the summer, you could either go out on the yard or go to the movies. But they wanted everybody in one place, and we had. There were two- They got people through in two groups because you couldn’t fit 500 people in the gym all at once for the movie. And the first group that had seen the movie said that it was preceded by a really racist old cartoon, you know, the old bone-in-the-nose cartoons? And a group of us refused to go to the movie, even though it was mandatory. And I know that that was the month that I lost my good time. I didn’t get my $5 commissary pay, and I didn’t get my ten days good time credit for that month. But that was the only actual demonstration that I remember which was acknowledged as a demonstration by anyone else. There were other acts of defiance that some people took part in, none of which happened to involve me. They varied a whole lot. There was a clear racial divide in the prison with some folks who would have nothing to do with folks of the other race, a bunch of folks who didn’t seem to care much. But social groups were segregated, and a large handful of us who made a point of having integrated social groups, and that worked. But I remember there was one night when there was something like a Temptations special was on TV the same time there was a Merle Haggard special or something similar. And at that point, it was early on when I was there, and I was still in the barns. There was one TV in each barn, and people just made a decision. One TV is not enough. And when this special has come on, we’re not gonna beat each other up. We’re gonna smash out all the windows. And there were a whole lot of- Everybody had a combination lock, and if you put a combination lock in a sock, it can do a lot of damage, and you can still control your lock. It was one way in which people got beat up. There’s also another way in which windows got busted. And a whole lot of windows busted. And the interesting thing is, I remember nobody was disciplined, and within two weeks, there were two TVs in all the cell blocks. [laughs]

Naomi A. Randt [01:01:25] What was your reaction when you were sitting underneath that window and you heard these reports coming in from Kent State?

Daniel Brustein [01:01:38] You know, we were watching 500 deaths a week on TV in Vietnam at that point, I think we had already seen several SDS bombings in, you know, the Bank of America bombings. Actually, one of the folks involved in the Bank of America group in New York was sent to our prison for long pre-sentencing investigation. It was- It- It was just- I think, I think Orangeburg in Florida [Orangeburg, South Carolina], where several Black students have been killed, because a few days before that, it. It was just par for the- Par for the horrible course at that point, it meant a little more to me because it was Ohio, but not a whole lot. You know, I wasn’t that secular. I’m not saying- I’m not saying that I didn’t mean anything. I’m saying that it was just par, par for the course.

Naomi A. Randt [01:01:50] A certain desensitization almost?

Daniel Brustein [01:02:52] Yeah. Mm hm.

Naomi A. Randt [01:02:55] When you ended up getting out of prison, did you continue with any sort of demonstration against the war?

Daniel Brustein [01:03:02] To the extent that I could. I was on- I was on parole, so I was actually. There was a demonstrator there was a large demonstration in D.C. in April or May of 71, and I was not. My parole officer specifically did not give me permission. I was required to stay. I was required to stay- It was closer than state borders. I don’t remember a couple of counties or something between Columbus, where my parents lived, and Yellow Springs, where I was in school. And I asked for permission to go to the demonstration. He said no, so I didn’t go. But there were other demonstrations in the area that I took part in. The antiwar movement had become much more secular and much more sectarian and much more divided while I was in prison, and I was well-aware of that. But the result was that many who were on the political left when I came out made the assumption, because they just didn’t bother to think, that I was a pacifist, and therefore they weren’t interested in me and I wouldn’t be interested in them. And when I made it clear that wasn’t the case, they made it clear that they still weren’t interested in me. And that was very difficult because a lot of the folks I worked with before simply were not interested in working with me politically. I think that- I think explicitly, they viewed me as a liability in that I was on parole and who knows whether I could be turned or what else? And I understand that concept, but the other concept that was much more difficult was they clearly just weren’t interested in what my politics were. You were in prison for refusing the draft. You’re a pacifist or something like that. We don’t care. So there were other folks around. I was involved in antiwar work and political stuff after I got out, but it was not pleasant. It was very difficult for a couple years after I got out, adapting to being out of prison, and I had kind of anticipated that possibility as I was preparing to leave during the last few months that I was in prison. In looking ahead, I thought that that might happen.

Naomi A. Randt [01:05:32] Was there anything that you tried to, I mean, was there anything that you could try to do to try and- Or was just being aware, was that all you could really do to kind of prepare for life outside of prison?

Daniel Brustein [01:05:43] Oh, no, I don’t think there was anything more that I could have done. The most important thing was actually having a plan for what you’re going to do. My plan was to go back to school, which seemed the obvious thing. When I got out, it was real obvious to me real quick that I had no stomach for being in school. I got permission for my parole officer to drop out, and I went to work as a carpenter, cabinet maker, which is what I had done when I was in prison. The first six months I was in prison, I worked in the, I worked in the prison hospital and swore I would never have anything to do with healthcare. The next six months, I did a bunch of different things, and the last six months, I worked in the carpentry shop. And the officer who led the carpentry shop was actually a guy who lived in town. He was a local contractor. He worked full-time at the prison, but he had a real contracting business on the side. He had skills, and he was a decent guy and was willing to teach if you were willing to learn. And if you weren’t willing to learn, he didn’t want you in his shop, and you got transferred somewhere else. So I learned basic carpentry and cabinetmaking skills, and when I got out, I was able to- I worked briefly doing residential carpentry and didn’t like that much. And then got a job in Cincinnati at a really neat architectural woodworking shop, where we did architectural millwork and commercial cabinet work. Great, great place to learn the trade. I worked there for on and off over the next several years, probably a total of about two years.

Naomi A. Randt [01:07:16] Did you end up going back to school in the end?

Daniel Brustein [01:07:18] Yep. I worked for about a year and a half full-time as a cabinet maker. Then I returned to University of Cincinnati as an undergraduate, finished up in two years. So I’d had three years at Antioch and then two years at University of Cincinnati. And I had a scholarship. I worked summers. My wife was working, and I worked while I was at school. I had yelled at my parents because they insisted on paying my student loans while I was in prison. I said, you know, this is the perfect excuse for not paying back loans. I’m like, it’s not your job. It’s mine. But they paid my loans while I was in prison. When I got out, I took them over and started paying them back again, my Antioch loans, but I was- I don’t- I may have had a- By the time I got rid of my- On top of my campus job and my scholarship, I don’t know that I had anything left to pay except living expenses for University of Cincinnati. And I graduated with a degree in economics in 1974 and immediately went back to work as a construction carpenter because I had no idea what to do with an economics degree. So I worked union construction for the next year. I helped to build the- Helped to build a nuclear power plant in Moscow, Ohio, the Zimmer plant. We did such a great job the NRC shut it down and refused to allow it to open as a nuclear plant. It was eventually converted to steam. It’s the largest single-unit power plant in the United States of any type. It’s bigger than Davis-Besse and bigger than Perry, but most- And I worked there for a couple months. Most of the time I spent actually hanging ceilings throughout northern Kentucky and Cincinnati area and some other union construction. And then my wife and I had married during my senior year in college, and she had an undergraduate degree in sociology. Actually had a pretty good job for a while, working as a counselor in some poverty program in Cincinnati, and she hated it. So she decided that she wanted to become a lab tech. And she had- She had- I don’t remember whether she had any physical science in undergraduate school. I think she did. But she started taking night classes at the University of Cincinnati and got a job at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati as a lab tech. And while taking night school classes, she met and got friendly with one of her professors, who taught at the University of Cincinnati in the environmental studies department. He offered her a job, and she moved from NIOSH there, which was a, I mean, those two departments were very close. So she moved over there. And somewhere in the middle of my year working as a carpenter, he and Joan were chatting, and Joan was complaining about the fact that I was making more money when I was laid off - which you were periodically as a carpenter all the time - laid off as a carpenter than she had when she was working full-time as a silkscreen printer, which she had done for a couple of years. And Les said, well, Dan’s undergraduate degrees in economics, and he has, and he started out as a physics major. Well, we can give him a full ride if he wants to become an industrial hygienist. And I’d worked eight of the twelve months of my year as a carpenter, which was more than anybody else who wasn’t part of a construction family, you know, had their own family business. But I hated not working, and I was ready to do something else. So I went to graduate school at the University of Cincinnati to get a master’s degree in industrial hygiene. I spent a year in classes. During that time, my wife discovered that it was actually easier to get into medical school than it was to get into med tech school. She applied to medical school, and we ended up moving to Cleveland, where she started school at Case Western Reserve, the medical school here, and I went to work for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as an industrial hygienist. So my plan when I got out of prison was to go back to school. I ended up doing very different stuff.

Naomi A. Randt [01:12:03] What’s the-? I’ve never of an industrial hygienist.

Daniel Brustein [01:12:06] [laughs] Have you heard of OSHA?

Naomi A. Randt [01:12:08] Yes.

Daniel Brustein [01:12:09] Okay. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is responsible for guaranteeing safety and health in the workplace. It does that through law, through regulations and standards that employers are required to follow. Among those are regulations limiting the amount of noise, dust, and chemicals that people can be exposed to. An industrial hygienist is the person who works for OSHA and measures the noise, dust, and chemicals, or who works for the company and helps to control the noise, dust, and chemicals. So it’s a- Many of the people who do it have undergraduate degrees in chemical engineering, chemistry, or something similar. I had an undergraduate degree in economics, but I had a pretty good physical sciences background, and I did fine in graduate school. So it’s kind of an engineering graduate degree. So I came by, I worked for OSHA as a compliance officer, an industrial hygiene compliance officer, for a little over two years. And then I went to work for the United Rubber Workers Union out of Akron as a staff industrial hygienist on their international staff for about five years. Rubber making is a chemical industry, and there’s lots of interesting stuff, lots of interesting stuff for industrial hygienists.

Naomi A. Randt [01:13:29] It’s safe to say that you’ve enjoyed your work?

Daniel Brustein [01:13:32] I moved to Cleveland in 1976. We had 17,000 steelworkers in the Flats at that point. There were 8,000 rubber workers in Akron, and we had at least three coke ovens between here and the Pennsylvania border. It was a goldmine for an industrial hygienist. It was wonderful. And I was a political activist, a physical scientist, and I had a degree in economics. Everything you could ask for, I mean, you had to deal with what’s the problem? How can you afford to fix it? And politically, how are you gonna get it done? It was great. It was wonderful. And now there’s a lot less industry here. I understand all the reasons for that. It’s somewhat less exciting. But there aren’t many other people around here who’ve got to walk on two or three coke ovens to see people exposed to lead at three and four times the current exposure limits with clinical, unequivocal lead poisoning, who have seen a few places where people work with those materials and it was properly controlled, or who got to see all the big industrial operations that I got to see while I was working for OSHA and for the Rubber Workers and to see the difference between how a company in Pulaski, Tennessee, deals with stuff - the home, the founding place of the Ku Klux Klan, by the way - makes rubber versus a place in Kitchener, Ontario. It was fascinating.

Naomi A. Randt [01:15:17] Sounds like it.

Daniel Brustein [01:15:18] Yeah.

Naomi A. Randt [01:15:20] I think that’s all for my questions.

Daniel Brustein [01:15:23] Okay.

Naomi A. Randt [01:15:24] I was just going to ask you to spell Bruce’s last name.

Daniel Brustein [01:15:27] D-A-N-C-I-S. And if you do a quick Google search for Bruce Dancis Resister, you can buy his book. I’m in the index. There’s only a brief mention of me, which is all I deserve there. And actually I’m also mentioned briefly in Mike Foley’s book.

Naomi A. Randt [01:15:46] Yeah, I read most of that. But is there anything else you wanted to mention before we end?

Daniel Brustein [01:15:54] About a year ago I got a call from a filmmaker who was making a film about the draft, and he wanted to interview people who’d been involved in the draft resistance movement. And I agreed. It was clear, shortly into the interview, that he had an agenda. And his agenda was if we have a draft that helps prevent bad wars and therefore if you are opposed to bad U.S. military policy, you should be in favor of a draft because people who are drafted fight against being involved in bad wars. And I explained that that is true to some extent. It’s completely obvious from the fact that we were involved in Iraq, in South America several times, and in other places without a draft, that you can have bad wars without a draft as well as with a draft. And what’s more, during World War Two, I believe we should have fought that war and should have had a draft. It was appropriate. So I think that what? That it’s inappropriate to say you should always have a draft because that will help to prevent wars. I was opposed to the draft during the war in Vietnam because it selectively pulled people of color and poor White Americans to fight a war that shouldn’t have been fought by anyone. And we went around and around like this because he simply wanted me to say what he wanted to get on film and refuse to accept that. I still think that my approach was correct, as I explained it then. For a good couple of years after I got out of prison, I thought that it simply had not been worth it, that we had that draft. Resistance took too many people too far away from the struggle for too long to be worth it. But I consistently ran into other people, including veterans, who said you guys helped to end the war.

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