A Penny for Their Thoughts: Draft Resistance at the Poston Relocation Center
57 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2004
Resistance to the Japanese American internment by the small handful of internees whose cases went to the United States Supreme Court is well known. Resistance to the internment, however, ran broader and deeper than those few cases would suggest. This article tells the story of the just over one hundred Japanese American internees from the Poston Relocation Center who resisted the military draft in 1944 in protest of the deprivation of their rights as U.S. citizens. They were prosecuted for draft evasion, and a federal judge sentenced sub-groups of them variously to terms of 3 years in prison, 1 year in prison, and a fine of one penny. The article defends these shifting and seemingly contradictory sentences that the judge imposed on the Japanese American draft resisters of the Poston Relocation Center as accurate reflections of the complex and varied motives of the draft resisters themselves.
Keywords: Japanese Americans, internment, draft resistance, civil liberties
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