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October 24, 1967 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1967-10-24

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Seventy-Seven Years of Editorial Freedom

ere Opintions Are Free, 420 MAYNARD ST., ANN ARBOR, MicH.
Truth Will Prevail

NEWS PHONE: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



The Future of Dissent:
More Blood, Less People

mentators to Saturday's attempt to
se down the Pentagon was one of pious

regret over the change in
the protest movement.-
peaceful marches to this
one. Jimmy Breslin and
among others, noted with
how impressive the earlier
all the white collar people

character of
from earlier
more violent
Carl Rowan,
great respect
activity was,
who partici-

pated, the calmness of their protest, and
the general decorum which was main-
When turning to the current protest
they could see only wild-eyed, bearded
radicals running about breaking all kinds
of middle class social norms and being
generally obnoxious. For the most part
they are objectively accurate, but they
failed to note why.
WHAT HAS HAPPENED to the "proper
and respected" dissenters from Mr.
Johnson's War? It seems that except for
the continuing verbal protest, not much
is being done anymore. What is import-
ant here, though, is that nothing has
changed for the better since the war be-
gan. Policies once seen as execrable have
been continued or even extended, making
them even more odious, and more such
plans are constantly being devised.
What then is this minority to do? Even
if it were a majority, it has no way to act
with political effectiveness until 1968, by
which time the land of Vietnam may not
be inhabitable.
But even as a minority, it has been
totally ignored, excepting an occasional
"peace offensive," which has as much
chance of success as a Vietnamese tree
against American defoliants.
And these earlier dissenters have been
willing to go to work every day and con-
tinue their normal American lives despite
the impotence of their collective polit-
ical power. The affluence of their own
lives is, understandably, more important
to them than the ideals they had earier,
Others, however, disaffected and alien-
nated from the socio-political main-
stream of American life, will not tolerate
this impotence, and do not have any
great stake in the material wealth which

the United States, can promise to every
good little girl and boy who grows up to
be just what the Establishment wants
them to be.
The nature of the American political
system explains, then, why demonstrators
today have that "lean and hungry"
look. They are, in fact, outside the main-
stream of American life, for those in the
mainstream will not go to the trouble
of voicing their dissent to the point that
it becomes personally dangerous.
IT IS UNFORTUNATE, but unavoidable,
that in our society continuing unpop-
ular dissent cannot remain viable for,
long. Instead, because of social factors, it
must be relegated to socially inferior'
minions, shock troops in a sense, who
can make the program more acceptable
merely "by the continuing presence of
the ideas at some future date. One can-
not be respectable, dissenting, and un-
hypocritical all at once, for one is ignored
by the powers-that-be, and to do less,
than what is necessary is, de facto, to
The protest has developed to its pres-
ent state because of this continuing frus-
tration. The movement has dared to
escalate from verbal protest to non-
violent protest and from there to the
current symbolic violent protests.
The next step is non-symoblic violent,
protest - most likely in the form of
sabotage. This is a possibility that has
been -- and is being - considered by
the leaders of the left.Once again, as
the left becomes more desperate, it will
decrease in numbers and social base, and
the remaining groups will be farther and
farther outside society.
"Whether the establishment will be
able to stymy the movement before it
gets that far is questionable. Previous in-
stances in history seem to indicate that
either side may yet win. But whatever
the outcome, the path of intentional dis-
sent promises only more blood.
Unless President Johnson acts soon,
the United States may become a far
more dangerous, unpleasant place to live
than it has been for some time.

o. T e
rof the author-
ity ofthe government to which one owes obedience,.
and resistance to Its officers and laws. . . 2. Open
resistance to, or defiance of, any authority.h.r
3. Disobedience to a legal command or summons,
formerly resulting in actual outlawry and later in
certain penalties.
ANYWAY YOU LOOK at it, the march on the
Pentagon Saturday-and its concurrent sit-in-was
an act of rebellion that America has long needed. It
marks the first time that a large group of citizens has
gone past the "democratic ideal" of dissent and accepted
large-scale resistance as the form of expression to this
nation's war effort in Southeast Asia.
Still, Saturday's demonstration should not be called
a revolution. On a grand scale the numbers were too
small, the action was too limited, and the results prob-
ably will not have a "total affect" on our government.
Revolution, no, but rebellion, yes.
What did happen by the northeast wall of the Penta-
gon should be explained. Of the 100,000-plus marchers
that treked to the "war building," 20,000 remained to
By late afternoon large groups of marchers attempt-
ed to break the government roadblock set up by over
2500 paratroopers (Vietnam educated) and national
guardsmen (all white). In one surge about 500 of the
demonstrators pushed past the front-line defenses and
reachedsthe Pentagon wall. A few managed to get into
the press door but were clubbed back by troops on
guard marching inside the building.
The army then attempted to re-establish its de-
fenses and prepared for further action. The orders were
given to use force if necessary to prevent other demon-
strators from reaching the wall at the top of two small
hills. I was among four students at the bottom of the
lower hill confronting guardsmen who had established
a perimeter to prevent demonstrators from encircling
the building.
AT ABOUT 5:30 WE heard noises from above where
an additiona'l 500 marchers had apparently broken the
army's defenses to reach the northeast side.
Two of us climbed to the top, where soldiers were
again attempting to reconstruct their defenses. In-
dividual demonstrators were trying to break through

the lines and were being indiscriminately beaten back.
The soldiers did not play around with pushing and
shoving tactics: they went for the head and blood
flowed freely. One trapped demonstrator was encircled
by four or five swinging guardsmen who wouldn't stop
beating him. Individuals in the crowd became enraged
and about fifty of them charged the soldiers who were
clubbing the boy.
The army then pulled out their gas masks and began
firing tear gas into the crowd. We were engulfed in
the first wave of the bluish white smoke along with
about fifty others. No. one-save the military-could
breathe, and everyone began coughing, choking and

Confrontation at the Pentagon
By John Lottier
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was placed in baskets and lowered by rope to the crowds
Within a half hour food and water started pouring in,
and the people "upstairs" began to feel what every-
body called a real sense of community. Supplies kept
coming throughout the night; the demonstrators offer-
ing food and water to the soldiers, who were on orders
not to accept anything.
There was one major problem. By 8:30 people began
to realize that it had been almost. twelve hours since
they had taken care of certain basic physiological ne-
cessities (there were no announced public lavoratories
at the Lincoln Memorial). Groups of 15-20 demonstrators
organized a "leak-in" on the Pentagon. Women's "rest-
rooms" were set-up in the bushes. Everyone, except the
soldiers, were temporarily relieved. Within thirty min-
utes, however, they too were given permission to "de-
foliate" the bushes against the wall.
AS THE NIGHT progressed, some people began filter-
ing back to their busses to return home from the na-
tion's capital. A hard core of about 750, though, re-
mained. At about 11:00 the army called out the canine
corps. The dogs were used to "search and destroy" the
"strategic hamlets" where smaller groups of individuals
congregated around campfires (There were five or six
campfires on top). Some of the more activist students
reacted by throwing lighted flares at the lines of sol-
diers, but things quickly settled down again, and the
basic course of non-violence, at least among the dem-
onstrators, was restored.
Many of the marchers were spending their time talk-
ing to the individual soldiers, questioning them about
their actions, and explaining to them how their actions
were detrimental to peace.
Perhaps the symbolic highlight of the evening was
when I saw one soldier defect to those sitting-in (most
demonstrators concurred that at least- three deserted).
He simply dropped his ammo belt, threw down his gun
and joined a group of student demonstrators around
a campfire. Both the people and the army were momen-
tarily stunned, but massive cries of enthusiastic cheer-
ing caught the attention of three other soldiers, and they
quickly pulled him out of the group and shoved him into
the Pentagon.
Hopefully individual actions like this-with individ-
ual soldiers renouncing the creed of war-will set the
trend for the future.



crying. We began to retreat down the hill, but no one
lost their head, and nobody was hurt except for the
temporary disability caused by the noxious gas.
SOON THE SUN was setting and when we did reach
the Pentagon wall people began to burn their draft
cards. (Although not everyone participated in this act,
some 150-200 destroyed their cards as the crowd cheered
them on.)
People realized that there was no place to get food
or water, and everyone began contributing money that



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Violence in Washington


Ili.L 3itbhihaY:HadiSy dic I?

THERE were heroes made on the steps
of the Pentagon Saturday.They were
heroes because they felt strongly enough
about something to defy the authorities
that perpetrate what they oppose. They
were heroes because they were totally
committed to an ideal.
But the heroism stopped at a point.
It stopped when the people on the Pen-
tagon's steps would not accept the bur-
dens of their action.f
It is man's morally based right to
voice dissent when he is opposed to the
actions of other men, even if that dis-
sent reaches past the boundaries of legal
action. If it were not man's right to sit
on the steps of the Pentagon in violation
of civil law, then it can also be said
that in Budapest of 1956, it was not man's
right to break civil law to free himself
from what he considered oppression. It is
the exact man-made nature of civil law
that makes it breachable by other men.
But when one decides to move from
the quiet area of the picket line and
the protest speech and chooses to enter
the arena of law violation, then he must
accept the enforcement code of those
who have written the rules of just what
constitutes violation.
For this reason, when certain of the
demonstrators, toting flags of the Viet
Cong, attempted to break army lines
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Editorial Staff

early Saturday afternoon and were greet-
ed by viciously-swung clubs of federal
marshals, they had received the penalty
for their actions. No matter what may
be thought of the principles and beliefs
of those who charged, they must be ad-
mired for the extent to which they tried
to enforce this belief. But when they cry
of police brutality, they are abdicating
their self-inflicted burden of responsi-
IT IS TRUE, later in the evening, that
the marshals and some of the regular
army troops overstepped bounds of de-
cency and iumanity. Standing on the
Pentagon's steps, watching the flow of
blood and hearing the crack of wood
and skull, was terrifying and sickening.
When some of those among the demon-
strators rose to ask members of the press
corps standing behind army lines to
"print what you see -- tell America about
the brutality," one felt guilt from the pro-
tection afforded the press by the initer-
vening army lines.
But what can be said now? It should
have been pointed out before that one
cannot expect federal marshals equipped
with two-foot and three-foot nightsticks
to hold them at their sides whenn pro-
voked even in the slightest. It should have
been pointed out before that what hap-
pened in Oakland and Madison could
very easily be repeated in Washington.
This is not to sympathize with the law
enforcement tactics employed at the Pen-
tagon, but it is necessary to be realistic.
One cannot cry police brutality any
longer in what mobilization director
David Dellinger calls a new "resistance,"
as opposed to the movements former
"simple dissent." The cry now has a
hollow ring, a stale sound of a plea heard
many times before.
1V rrTX ' 'K h ir~vAE TrP h a e i n ri vsr mn rl

Letters: Replacing Johnson in

To the Editor:
IN A BRIEF address to the State
Central Committee of the
Michigan Young Democrats, West-
on Vivian urged his audience to
adopt a "positive" approach-to
be for an alternative candidate
rather than simply against Pres-
ident Johnson's renomination.
It is clear that the political im-
plication of this view is creation
of a broadly based, loosely organ-
ized opposition to the President's
renomination-andthis is precise-
ly what we in the National Con-
ference of Concerned Democrats
want to achieve. I can see no basic
conflict between what Vivian
wants and what we seek-we both
want to replace Johnson with
someone who will stop the war
and reorder national priorities.
At the same time the former
Congressman made two claims
which seem doubtful to me.
FIRST, he seemed to believe
that it was a foregone conclusion
that the Republicans would nom-
inate either Reagan or Nixon. This
1s a dubious prediction-especi-
ally if disaffected Democrats make
it abundantly clear that we will
not, under any forseeable future
conditions, vote for either of these
Republican contenders.
In this, as in so many other po-
litical situations, a tragic proph-
ecy can be self-fulfilling if it re-
sults in one's refusing actions de-

candidacies-and, in this connec-
tion, inducing Senator Eugene
McCarthy to speak at the 2nd
Congressional District's annual
dinner on November 10th is an ad-
mirable move in that direction-
I canot really see how being for
any of four or five alternative
candidates (for example, McCar-
thy, McGovern, Church, or Hart-
ke) is more "destructive" than
being for one of these men.
And there is some tactical ad-
vantage to, keeping, the choices
open. For we want to elect peace
delegates to the National Conven-
tion who are committed to re-
storing emphasis on vital domestic
programs by dleescalating the
pointless Vietnam intervention.
And we can best do that if all
of us who want some- alternative
to President Johnson remain suf-
ficiently united to maximize our
political power rather than frag-
menting it by divisively beginning
now to quarrel about who the
President's opponent should be.
STILL, A YEAR ago it would
have been inconceivable to sup-
pose. that our problem would be to
decide on which alternative to
back. We have come a long way.
The meaning of Zolton Feren-
cy's call for an open convention
and Vivian's belated outspokeness
on both the Vietnam war and the
desirability of an alternative to
President Johnson is that the

have managed to complete our
education here at the University.
Since we have been here for four
years, we believe we are qualified
to compare previous Homecomings
with the one for this year.
When we learned that we had
a Negro for our Homecoming
Queen, we thought the University
had really progressed to a con-
structive attitude: We mean, we
were impressed that the Commit-
tee allowed itself the luxury of
being objective.
We were wrong. We saw no
smiles at the Announcement; only
quiet whisperings of "MynGod!
She's colored!" We saw only an
extremely minute picture and a
few sentences in our famed paper,
The Daily (who gave last year's
queen complete front-page cover-
age). We heard no cheers at the.
These points we could overlook
with disgust. It made us protest,
however, to see the total lack of
respect shown to Opal Bailey as
she walked across the football
field. The entire student body
stood in the stands mute; not even
extending the courtesy of clap-
ping. There was silence in the
YES, THEY proved their point.
Everyone now knows that the stu-
dent body disapproves of a Negro's
selection. However, in showing

made only because of the reduc-
tion in funds threat.
As we take our leave of the Uni-
versity, we will not feel pride. We
will not feel obligation to contri-
bute to the Alumni fund (our
brown skins were not appreciated
as undergraduates so our green
money shouldn't be either).
We will not boast of the liberal
progress supposedy being made
And-don't worry-we will not
encourage our friends and rela-
tives to come here.

WE WILL leave with one thing,
however, and that will be the
knowledge that, in this modern
age, the University of Michigan is
still as primitive and backward in
its attitude toward Negroes as i'
used to be. The only difference i
that the atitutde is now disguise(
by tokenism and phony smiles.
Michigan IS the University foi
Rich,, White, Ignorant People!
-Ivey Leftwich '88
-Paula Chester '68
--Brenda Jones '68



"It Says We Should Send Forth A Hawk"
- - r r . r '
' 60 f

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