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The anatomy of
a civil disaster
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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 1968
NIGHT EDITOR: PHILIP BLOCK
Thanks but no thanks
By JENNY STILLER
Special to The Daily
BERKELEY, CALIF. - Things
have been happening on. Tele-
graph Avenue this weekend. Noth-
ing quite the size of the mess in
Chicago last week, but then
Berkeley is a much smaller town.
The trouble began Friday eve-
ning, with a rally called by the
Young Socialist Alliance to ex-
press solidarity with the Chicago
protesters. Sound trucks had been
advertising the gathering since
Thursday afternoon, and the large
crowd turned out at the corner of'
Telegraph and Haste to hear the
speakers and see what was hap-
Those sponsoring the rally had
a permit for a sidewalk meeting
only, and everyone was slightly
afraid the cops would move in to
break up the meeting if the crowd
began to spill out ontb the street,
which they were almost sure to do.
They would also be slightly disap-
pointed if nothing happened.
There were quite a few people
in Berkeley feeling even more re-
sentful of the police than usual
this weekend as a result of the
Chicago brutality, coming right on
had ignored the crowd for another
half hour. The speeches were re-
portedly so dull that no one would
have stayed around for more than
fifteen minutes after the time the
cops moved in. Berkeley Mayor
Wallace Johnson and the police
had come in for quite a bit of
criticism at that time, and it
seemed Friday that they had
learned from experience.
THIS WEEKEND'S RALLY was
also a dull one in comparison to
others this reporter has seen.
There were around 1,000 people
there, although the Chronicle
later called it 3,000. None of the
three scheduled speakers had
much to say, while the impromptu
orators who later climbed onto
the sound truck that was serving
as a speakers platform were for'
the most part inarticulate when
they were not unintelligible. A
few people moved among the
crowd passing out water-soaked
rags "For tear gas," explained the
girl who handed me one.
There were also quite a few
photographers present, much to
the discomfort of many who fear-
ed dater harassment by the police.
STATE DEMOCRATIC leaders hardly
had time to exhale the tear gas that
perfumed the air in Chicago before they
all showed up for the state 'convention in
Grand Rapids last weekend.
But the one-day rest was enough for,
many to re-appraise t h e actions their
party and its representatives had taken
at the national gathering in Chicago. It
was sufficient time for the party's leaders
to realize that it would be a long, arduous
task to bleach clean the muddied record
they had drawn for themselves last week,
and that the job had to begin immediate-
So t h e y did a number of things in
Grand Rapids. They repudiated Mayor
Daley and the Chicago police. They pass-
ed a Vietnam plank very similar to the
moderately dovish minority plank that
was repudiated in Chicago. They incor-
porated in the state platform a provision
for a student seat on the governing
boards of the state universities, and call-
ed fqr a general increase in the students'
role in University decision-making. They
solemnly condemned "attempts to penal-
ize educational institutions for the ac-
tions of some students and faculty." They
nominated a Regental candidate - Rob-
ert Nederlander of Birmingham - who
had the express approval of several in-
fluential liberals on the University fac-
There can be little criticism of the sub-
stance of the Democrats' actions and ex-
pressions. But this year, in a time during
which t h e realities of political parties
"THE NUMBER of North Vietnamese
soldiers entering S o u t h Vietnam is
greater than at any time in this war. We
estimated that 30,000 or more North Viet-
namese soldiers entered South Vietnam
-Johnson at press conference July 31
"The Pentagon in the past has claimed
it takes 4 to 6 months to refine infiltra-
tion figures. Until Wednesday (July 31)
the latest available infiltration figure was
for last December."
-George C. Wilson from the Pentagon
in the Washington Post August 3
"Week by week the number of North
Vietnamese army personnel in South
Vietnam mounts steadily."
-Harriman at the Paris talks, July 31
"North Vietnam Troop Pullback Esti-
mated at 50%."
-Christian Science Monitor headline
the same day
-I. F. STONE'S WEEKLY
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DAVID KNOKE, Executive Editor
and their actions are agonizingly clear,
substance is not at issue: it is motivation
that is crucial.
FOR THE DEMOCRATS did not change,
really, on the trip f r o m Chicago to
Grand Rapids. The party's historical leg-
acy of coalition policies - primarily the
labor-intellectual affiliation - is rooted
in an internal toleration that is disinte-
grating rapidly. It once was the case
when the labor interests were common
with those of the intellectuals, but the
latter have moved on from social welfar-
ism to Vietnam and the blacks, while la-
bor has not.
It is the same party; there has been no
change. While it is true that McCarthy
forces took control of Detroit's 17th Dis-
trict and continued strong in the Second
(Ann Arbor) and Sixth (Lansing) dis-
tricts, this is not enough to change the
state party's entire complexion. The dele-
gates who returned from Chicago to meet
the party workers in Grand Rapids did
not really find aliens. But for those few
they did find, concilation had to be prof-
fered. Platforms had to coincide with the
desire to keep the dissidents happy with
So, just as much as their substance is
beyond question, their aim is grossly re-
proachful. The sole wish of a party which
would cheerily conduct itself as it did in
Chicago and would only then attempt to
heal its image by paying heed to those
who threaten to desert, is merely accomo-
dation for its own sake. The Democrats
are well aware that without the support
of the so-called "McCarthy Wing" of the
party, without any attraction for disen-
franchised youth, the party has little
hope. The long standing coalition of odd-
ly-associated liberals that has comprised
the Democratic power base can by no
means afford the splits rendered in Chi-
So the Democrats, realists to the end,
have accomodated. On each issue on
which they took reasoned and reasonable
action in Grand Rapids, they can be ap-.
plauded, and on these issues they can
earn the support of those who agree with
them. But they probably will not - they
should not - gain support for the party.
For the problem is this: For too long
in our history, Americans have flocked to
the shelter of the party system for no
reason other than security. Ideology has
never really existed. Democrats support-
ing Humphrey can find themselves far to
the right of his Vietnam views as easily
as they may find themselves far to the
left. What is needed in regard to the na-
tion's ailments is orientation toward is-
sues, not toward false political groupings.
CONCERNED CITIZENS should let the
Democrats know that t h e y will not
support Democrats if they' wish peace,
but that they would support peace along
with the Democrats. Similarly, if the
Democrats wish war, they should not be
deserted: possible supporters should
make it clear that they will never join.
Keep up the fight for the issues, you
supported in Grand Rapids, Democrats,
but don't delude yourselves into thinking
that will get us back. We've learned our
"The town was literally crawling with cops ;
over four hundred patrol cars with three or
four men to a car. They weren't just from
Alameda County, either. Alongside the cars
from Berkeley, Oaklarid and Richmond were
some from Walnut Creek, San Francisco, the
Californiar highway patrol and all available
ranks of helmeted patrolmen ad-
vanced. Some panicked and ran
screaming down the street. Police
barricades were set up as the tear
gas cleared the area, some cops
using billy clubs to emphasize
their message: "The word is Go
Home"! Finally things quieted
down, after twenty-seven people
had been arrested for everything
from possession of marijuana to
assault with intent to murder.
Altogether, the authorities came
off looking very, very good.
Saturday was mainly spent in
wondering what was going to hap-
pen Saturday night.
The town was literally crawling
with cops; over four hundred
patrol cars with three of four men
to a car. They weren't just from
Alameda County either. Along
side the cars from Berkeley, Oak-
land, and Richmond, were some
from Walnut Creek, San Fran-
cisco, the California Highway Pa-
trol, and all available sheriff's of-
fices. I counted eight cars, at the
corner of Channing and Tele-
graph alone at one time that
ACTIVISTS TOOK to passing
out leaflets, very different in tone
from the usual "barricade Bullet".
In an explanation that was prac-
tically an apology, one leaflet
read., "A couple of brothers took
out their tension on the Bank of
America. Their target was right
but their timing was wrong. When
we use violence, it must be plan-
ned, and with some chance of
maximum damage to them and
minimum to us. A few people
busting windows or a couple of
sporadic fights with the cops
means more of us beaten or in
jail. It doesn't mean the Bank's
been overthrown or the cops con-
trolled . -. .
"TONIGHT THE POLICE WILL
BE LOOKING FOR TROUBLE.
They are on mass mobilization,
and the national guard is on alert.
So if you're on the Avenue, be
cool, don't give them a- chance.
Remember, there is a time we can
fight - when we pick the targets
and the t i m e s. FREE THE
STREETS! FREE HUEY!.
Surprisingly enough, the in-
junction to "keep cool," was fol-
lowed. Patrol cars circled the area
all night, while crowds lined the
sidewalks and cheered each time
one went by. We were treated to
such sights as a helmeted patrol-
man with gun, club, and gas
bomb on his belt good-naturedly
issuing a ticket for a traffic viola-
tion. 'All in all it was a pretty
EVERYTHING REMAINED quiet
Sunday until around 11 p.m.,
when a loud explosion rocked the
southern end of the Avenue.
People pouring out of their houses
to investigate the noise discovered
that the explosion had been caus-
ed by a homemade bomb detonat-
ed in one of the series of new
(and as yet unoccupied) stores at
the corner of Telegraph and
Dwight Way. A water main had
been broken and Dwight Way
was flooded with about two inches
of water. The police were keeping
the crowd back, successfully in
some areas, not as well in others.
One section of the crowd chanted
"pigs go home" in a monotonous
refrain, but for the most part
people were just outside to see
what was going on and left as
soon as they found out.
shortly before midnight the re-
maining crowd refused to respond
to orders to disperse and tear gas
was released for two blocks sur-
rounding the scene of the bomb-
ing. It was a foggy evening, and
the gas spread quickly through
the heavy air, billowing out in
light gray clouds from gas bombs
on the streets. (My roommate and
I watched the action from the
roof of our apartment building
until a sudden shift of wind sent
us coughing back inside.)
ON MONDAY, City Manager
William C. Hanley issued a state-
ment banning assemblies, meet-
top of the Czechoslovakian in-
vasion. In addition, the murder
trial of Black Panther Minister
of Defense Huey Newton in near-
by Oakland was drawing to a
close, and tension was rising
among local activists of all colors.
In many ways it would have been
quite a relief if something -
anythinng - would have happen-
ed to break the tension.
Something did, but it wasn't
really what anyone was anticipat-
AS THE RALLY began, its or-
ganizers warned the crowd that
the Berkeley police would not at-
tempt to break up the meeting if
it did not stay on the sidewalk, as
so many had expected. Instead,
plainclothes photographers would
move among the crowd, and
charges would be pressed later
against anyone the pictures ident-
ified as having been on the street,
illegally obstructing traffic.
It was a smart move. Late last
June, a similar rally expressing
solidarity with the striking
French students and workers, had
errupted into a mini-riot when
police moved in with billy clubs
and tear gas to disperse the crowd
which remained on "the Avenue"
after its permit expired at 10:00
p.m. In the "rioting" of the next
four days, curfews were imposed,
buildings burned, rocks thrown
and more heads beaten. It was
generally conceded that nothing
would have happened if the police
ings, parades, and the use of
sound equipment in public places.
The mayor issued dramatic pro-
nouncements about "arson" and
"murder" to the press: and in
general, representatives of the
Establishment showed evidence of
But not the street people. For
them the tension had broken. Two
law students just in from the East
asked a friend of mine Friday
night whether this sort of thing
went on every night in Berkeley.
She rubbed her eyes with a wet
rag and said she hoped not; it
was getting boring,
MEANWHILE we all went in-
side, and put Dylan on the record
player. "You don't need a weath-
er man to know which way the
wind blows." No sir. Not around
One. or two photographers were
on the verge of being roughed up
when someone on the truck grab-
bed the microphone and suggested
that those who were nervous about
the photographers find out who
they were and who they were
working forbefore taking any ac-
tion against them.
A good many of the people in
the crpwd seemed to be itching for
some sort of confrontation. As the
rally went on and no policemen
appeared, they tired'of listening to
speakers urging them on to revo-
lution. Some were in favor of
marching down to the Berkeley
Hall of Justice to "hit the pigs",
but somehow the action was never
Shortly after 10:00, the tension
of nothing happening got to be
too much for some activists, who
with cries of "down with corpor-
ate capitalism," began throwing
rocks through the windows of the
Bank of America and a couple of
nearby stores. This had the dual
effect of sending most of the less
furious straight home and bring-
ing out the police,' who suggested
the others do the same. Rocks
were thrown and one patrolman
was shot in the leg before the
police released tear gas. The
crowl advanced as the gas disap-
peared, and police released more.
AS THE TEAR GAS and clubs
came out, angry demonstrators.
shouted obscenities at the police
but kept their distance as the
on $10 a day
By LLOYD GRAFF
"G RASS IS GROOVY, grass is groovy, grass is groovy, groovy, man,
The chant was derisive as was the laughter flecked Yendition of
"We Shall Overcome," and "Where Have all the Flowers Gone." The
'V' symbolizing peace and goodwill replaced the salute.
"It was like being at a goddam circus with all them grubby hip-
pies putting on acts."
The reactions came from Illinois National Guardsmen and police
with which I had contact at my beach head, the Washington Park Na-
tional Guard Armory on the' youth side of Chicago.
Thankfully, I never had to test my ambivalence toward th vio-
lence in Chicago. I fought the good fight at Washington Park for a
week, tediously updating training records for an impendin'g inspection
of my unit. I did get a whiff of the action,however, when some clod
dropped a tear gas canister in the armory and set the "candy-ass"
clerks sprinting out the heavily guarded doors for clean air.
We couldn't run far, thought, because a wide barrier of concertina
wire (barbed wire that looks a bit like tumbleweed) encircled the ar-
mory, not so much to deter potential invaders but to prevent fallout.
* * * * *
I'VE BEEN A MEMBER of the Illinois National Guard for almost
a year now - long enough to make friends and enemies and get a
feel for the guys in the unit. The group is, quite representative of Chi-
cago - white Chicago, that is. The two blacks in the unit are well ac-
cepted, though. One is an officer, the other a Chicago Bear.
But the guys have been through two riots and a black march
through a belligerant white area. Liberalism hardly prevails.
I made an informal poll on how they thought they would vote in
the Presidential .election. About one in five expressed a preference for
Wallace. Most of the others voiced indifference about Humphrey and
Nixon, and only a sprinkle liked McCarthy. Almost everyone lauded
Richard Daley, but most bitched about the Convention being held in
Chicago. Their ox was being gored.
The big fear for most guardsmen and police which I talked to was
that the ghetto would go up.' That was why the 7500 Federal troops
were airlifted to Chicago from Ft. Sill, Ft. Carson, and Ft. Hood. No-
body was afraid of the demonstrators.
The atmosphere when the troops were alerted to go out on the
street was jocular on both Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Each
man had eight rounds of ammunition for his M-1 rifle, but few expect-
ed to use it. Frankly, the battle of Balbo and the Grant Park gassings
were a welcome change for most of the troops after the monotony of
armore existence. But the fact that the troops were well rested prob-
ably mitigated their retaliation against the demonstrators. The police,
who had been on 12 hour shifts for a week, were tired and obviously
much closer to the flash point.
EIGHT OF US watched the combat films over pizza. We were
hoping to catch a sight of our buddies on TV. What we saw were the
Bull Conner beatings which so reviled the media.
"Sock it to 'em, baby."
Shrieks, giggles, guffaws.
"Look at that blow to the kidneys."
"Oh the groin."
"Way to throw those grubby bastards in the van."
Laughter. The same kind you hear at wrestling matches when the
airplane spin and drop kick have been executed perfectly.
Naturally, the beatings were the main topic when the troops re-
turned to the armory.
Not a man I talked to faulted the cops. Repeatedly they told me
of the provocation - the taunts, bricks, bottles which were hurled at
"The TV doesn't show what brought on the blackjacks," they said.
"EVERYBODY GETS UPSET because a few newsmen get beaten
up. Hell, everybody out there had a camera and press credentials. Anti
all the newsmen looked like hippies. When you're in their swinging,
how can you tell a hippie from a newsman," one said.
Several policemen freeloaded on the National Guard at mealtime.
Their reactions echoed'those of the guardsmen, but their hatred of the
hippies was more pronounced.
"No wonder there's such a shortage of policemen. Who'd want a
job like this. Out there twelve hours a day and saving the goddam
city from a bunch of commies and all we hear is police brutality. The
TV guys don't mention all the cops who got injured out there, and
those hippies putting up the Viet Cong flag," said one young cop.
"This is why we got more guys leaving the force than we can sign
up. Not enough qualified applicants. Most of the applicants are ex-
cons, which disqualifies them."'
*4 * *
So as in all wars the villians are the heroes are the villians.
e * * *
FRIDAY MORNING Mayor Daley's cleanup crew and claque mop-
ped up the tear gas residue whitening the streets near the Hilton. And
Saturday the guardsmen, Daley's ten-6uck-a-day cops, happily rein-
filtrated civilian society.
' HOWARDl-[m -[J.
Around in vicious circles
MIKE KLINSKI was a miler on
the high school track team.
Spring days at the track were
often full of bitter, sweatoold
winds and gull-cry lonliness. Only
greenhorn sportswriters like me
watched unheroes like Mike leg
it round and round the track like
so many hydraulics throttled in
Mike had tried out for the foot-
ball team. He had breezed through
,wind sprints but the tackling
dummies had knocked him back-
wards on his ass and he hadn't
been jackrabbitty enough to make
Mike wasn't a very good miler
either because he didn't have the.
stamina to kick out for the'last
150 yards. I don't remember him
ever winning a blue ribbon, and
I don't remember him ever miss-
ing a practice or, a meet.
I USED TO kid him about be-
ing a cleaner, a leftover, a second-
class athlete in a second-class
sport. We were riding to neighbor-
ing farms some 20 miles f r o m
Good-natured kidding fu 11 of
encouragements and hellied har-
rassments. Somebody's got to run
track, he would answer, you know,
school loyalty. Sometimes he
would simply tell me to shove it.
Instead of going drinking or
roaming the "ins" on Friday and
Saturday nights Mike would have
to work at home wheeling the
stick-axled John Deere tractor
round and round his father's
farm. A good farm full of heady
wheat fields and cob-infested
corn fields, feeding over 100 peo-
ple either directly or indirectly.
MIKE ENLISTED with the Ma-
rines after high school, which I
entirely expected. I didn't see him
again until last New Year's Day.
Windowdressed like a flag-waving
fascist, which he wasn't.
The Marines. Discipline was a
doctrine of pig-feeding and hog-
butchering, Mike said, but some of
the earlowering was necessary, you
know, national unity and common
denominators. The s e r g e a n t s
Evil and full of marble-eye an-
swers. The guys. Good-natured but
full of crap.
VIETNAM. People there didn't
like the GI's. Because the GI's
had little regard for the pitiful
acres of rice a n d kapok, often
tramping it underfoot and razing
it to flush out Charley. Mikedidn't
1i k e the people there. Because,
very simply, the people there
didn't like Mike.
Mike and I talked about vicious
circles and how they trap people
into doing the wrong things for
the right reasons and how you can
only break out into bigger a n d
viciouser circles because the rea-
sons, which are always the same,
are always right.
WE TALKED about the reasons,
love of God, love of country, love
of brother, love of self. Hut, two,
three, four. . . .gimme a "Tee"
gimme a "Rrr" gimme an "Aaa"
gimme an "Lll"... What's it spell?
. . . C-E-N-T-R-A-L.. .Yaay!!
Mike died in Vietnam this sum-
mer because of an "enemy" explo-
2 itA l
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