by Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
Vietnam War veteran and political activist, Scott Camil, will speak about the release of the new Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Gainesville 8 collection on Wednesday, March 12 from 12:50 to 1:40 p.m. at the Ustler Hall Atrium on the University of Florida campus. The event is co-sponsored by the UF Women’s Studies Department.
Last fall, the oral history program completed interviews with participants in the Gainesville 8 trial. As part of this collection, Camil and jury members donated personal documents to the oral history program that he will share at the event.
Danielle Ragofsky, an undergraduate volunteer at the oral history program, spent numerous hours sifting through the documents with Camil to prepare for permanent housing at Library West. The documents and oral history collection will be available for the community and students to use. Camil will also share his thoughts on patriotism, activism and government spying.
The Gainesville 8 was a group of seven Vietnam War veterans and one sup- porter acquitted nearly 41 years ago for conspiracy to violently disrupt the 1972 Miami Republican National Convention. The trial gained national attention when charges were filed against the activists organized through the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (V.V.A.W.): John Briggs, Scott Camil, Alton Foss, John Kniffin, Peter Mahoney, Stanley Michelson, William Patterson and Don Perdue.
The VVAW planned a non-violent dem- onstration to prevent conflicts similar to those seen in the 1968 Democratic National Convention. However, FBI investigator and informants inside the organization testified that the VVAW had other violent motives and plans.
A decorated veteran, Camil first gained prominence as an opponent of the Vietnam War as a witness in the Winter Soldier Investigation and a member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. His story is a remarkable one.