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November 14, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1971-11-14

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Number 52 Night Editor: Geri Sprung

Sunday, November 14, 1971










WASHINGTON (Oct. 25, 1971)-Four
barefoot people grabbed hands in
the cold rain and started dancing,
mud splattering their blue-jeans.
Others huddled under umbrellas, shi-
Behind them loomed the Washing-
ton Monument, and in front, a stage.
Of the 300 that had gathered ear-
lier for an anti-war rally and march
to the White House, only 50 remained.
Rennie Davis, one of the rally lea-
ders, stood dripping wet on the stage,
but he spoke to the crowd as if it were
5,000 instead of 50.
He urged those who wanted to leave
to do so, at least for a few hours.
"But the Vietnamese people have
been fighting their struggle through
many monsoon seasons," he said. "Ev-
en if there were a monsoon at the
Washington Monument today, I'd
He didn't. Instead he postponed a
scheduled phone call from North Viet-
namese and Vietcong delegates in
Paris, then withdrew to an uptown
church to discuss plans for civil dis-
obedience the next day.
"What are we doing here, anyway?"
asked one college-age youth as he left
the muddy monument grounds.
"I'm bezinning to wonder," his
companion replied.
So were most, of the neoole. Osten-
sibly. the week of Washington actions
was billed as Phase One of a cam-
paign to evict President Nixon. It was
sponsored by the People's Coalition
for Peace and Justice, but even PCPJ
leaders seemed unclear of what they
* * *
ANN ARBOR (March 25, 1965)-
Students and faculty gathered
through the night and into the
morning to hear lectures, see films
and discuss the Vietnam war.
The 12-hour program, sponsored
by University professors, has been
heralded as the first anti-war

ian terminology--Phases One, Two,
and Three.
Phase One was composed of the Oc-
tober actions in Washington. Three
days of a teach-in thinly disguised as
a grand jury inquest. Then two days
of abortive demonstrations, climaxed
by the arrest of Davis and 297 others.
Phase Two is projected as an "edu-
cational campaign" designed to reach
Americans throughout the country
this winter and spring. Other panels
will be formed, PCPJ leaders will
speak, and the movement will enter
system politics with forays into state
and national primaries.

being killed - Asian men (and wom-
en and babies) are dying from Amer-
ican bombs. And as the American
death count in Indochina has de-
creased, so has anti-war activism.
The time for excitement, for in-
spiration, for gut reaction has come
and gone.
But PCPJ is trying to revive it, to
revitalize the flagging spirits (and
numbers) of the movement. For this
they will need new tactics, new rea-
sons to fight the American system.
Their Evict Nixon campaign is not
so much a new series of tactics, as
the old methods couched in new lang-

"Harvard, Buffalo, A.nn Arbor -
places the leadership has traditionally
come from-are the last places to look
right now. The despair, the bitterness
there is too deep. It's the Podunk places
that are going to give the leadership

TO BUILD A national movement,
culminating in some sort of apoca-
lypse at San Diego, PCPJ is going to
have to do better than that.
They are going to have to find more
people - many more people -- and
mobilize them.
The excuse this time was that Phase
One was for "getting our own heads
together," but now, with presumably
together heads, PCPJ has to go about
finding the masses.
"We want to go to San Diego with
not just a half-million freaks," Davis
exhorts his youthful followers . "I
mean, everyone should bring t h e i r
parents, ferchrissakes."
But first, PCPJ must get parents
"The American people are not bad,
just confused," Chicago seven defend-
ant John Froines said during Phase
One. "They're fragmented and iso-
lated. We have to prove to them that
we have the same goals - we have to
bring them together."
"We've developed a rhetorical style
that ,speaks to just ourselves," he ad-
mits. "We've got to get out of that."
PART OF THE WAY for the move-
ment to 'get out of" its isolation from
the rest of the world, PCPJ believes, is
to broaden the scope of its protests.
The People's Panel in Washington
was one example of this. Once con-
tent to tell about the horrors of the
Indochina war, the anti-war leaders
branched out, discussing such topics
as prisons in America, imperialism,
poverty, racism, sexism and repres-
The slightly melodramatic, words of
PCPJ leader Paul Mayer, indicted in
the conspiracy to kidnap Henry Kiss-
inger, introduced the new, improved
teach-in. "This panel is being con-
vened by the cries of the victims all
over the world," he said. "We are here
to respond to the cries from Indochina
and Attica, of the welfare mothers,
the unemployed, women and gays."
But hand-in-hand with the new,

-Rennie Davis

-Courtesy of Jeremy Jacobs
Evicting the Nixon evicters, October, 1971


3,000 demonstrators and National
Guardsmen and police reached riot
* ~* *
NEXT YEAR it will be San Diego's
turn, PCPJ vows.
PCPJ leaders -- especially those
veterans of the Chicago riots and sub-
sequent conspiracy trial - are quick
to promise it won't be like the 1968
Democratic Convention "unless San
Diego has a mayor like (Chicago May-
or Richard) Daley."
However, PCPJ clearly hopes t h e
rally in San Diego will have the samo
strong effect on the 1972 national
elections as the 1968 disruptions in
Chicago had - in linking Humphrey
with the protesters, thereby hurting
his credibility.
It is not quite clear how this cam-
paign will "drive Nixon from political
power." PCPJ expects to support no
.alternative presidential candidates,
and San Diego is not expected to be
the kind of revolution that will leave
Nixon literally hanging from con-
vention hall rafters.
PCPJ, in fact, is not quite sure what
it expects to happen in San Diego. A
major riot would not have the same
shock to the American system t h a t
Chicago did, for the system has be-
come numbed to that kind of protest
since 1968.
Certainly, too, PCPJ has no illus-
ions about its chances of raising
enough voter support to oust Nixon,

PCPJ's jump into electoral politics
is to end in Phase Three-a cataclys-
mic rally at the Republican National
Convention in San Diego.
But to hold the rally, PCPJ will
need people.
* * *
WASHINGTON (Oct. 22, 1967) -
Police and army troops arrested 300
of 30,000 protesters in front of the,
Pentagon yesterday; shortly after
100,000 persons rallied against the
war on the grounds of the Lincoln
WASHINGTON (Nov. 16, 1969)-
Close to 500,000 anti-war protesters
marched from the Capitol to t h e
Washington Monument grounds in

uage. And, at least during Phase One,
the people didn't go for it.
dicted that 3,000 to 10,000 people
would march and get arrested in
Washington - the figure turned out
to be closer to 1,000 marching, with
only 300 willing to add yet another
symbolic protest arrest to their re-
PCPJ leaders then promised t h e
masses would come during the rallies
held last week in 16 U.S. cities, co-
sponsored by PCPJ and the National
Peace Action Coalition (NPAC).
But the largest turn out was San
Francisco's, with 10,000 marchers, and
Detroit was second with only 5,000.

"Harvard, Buffalo, Ann Arbor --
places the leadership has traditionally
come from - are the last places tc
look right now," he admits. "The des-
pair, the bitterness there is too deep.'
"It's the Podunk places - Texas
Oklahoma, Florida - that are going
to give the leadership now," he says
The "Podunk, places," where people
missed the '60s wave of emotional
anti-war protests, are where PCPJ
is searching for leadership now.
In the "Podunk places", PCPJ fig-
ures, people still have ideals, have
not been numbed from trying. Bui
in those places, there is not the stim-
ulation or level of consciousness that
the mainstream of political life had
when the great protests began. And
it is this ignorance, this apathy, that
PCPJ is struggling with, rather thar
again face the cynicism, the bitter-
ness of Ann Arbor, or Cambridge o
New York.
* * *
WASHINGTON (May 5, 1971) -
Over 12,000 demonstrators h a v e
been arrested during the last two
days of civil disobedience here.
The arrests came as protesters at-
tempted, to "stop the government"
by holding a series of traffic tie-
ups at key intersections in down-
town Washington.
The arrests made in massive
sweeps by police, National Guards-
men and army forces, have been
challenged as not having followed
legal procedures.
* * *
ACCORDING TO AT least one of the
movement's faithful, D a v i s
doesn't need his two million organiz-
ers, or his massive education c a m-
A 16-year-old f r o m Ohio, who
claims to have thrown a dozen tear-
gas cannisters back at police during
the Mayday actions, says the October
arrests "were even better."
"Only 300 got arrested, and it ac-
complished the same thing as all
those people did in May," he said. The
accomplishment, he feels, is to "get
people to know we mean business."
A student from Oswego, New York,
disagrees with such tactics, saying he
was "disappointed by Mayday. It
didn't seem to accomplish anything,"
he said. "Businessmen would have
gotten paid if they had stayed home,
but they went to work just to spite
us. All I learned in May was about
the police."
The New York student, sitting in
the church PCPJ used for temporary
housing, is much more enthusiastic
about the education prong of PCPJ's
new campaign. "This is meaningful,
this panel. If we can get some of this
information out, it'll tell people a lot
more than sitting in the streets does."
But, while the first of PCPJ's prob-
lems is to get the information out, and
the second is to convince people that
the information is meaningful a n d
worth fighting for; the most import-
ant question is still how the fighting
is to be done.
PCPJ seems to be trying everything
at once: teach-in, electoral politics,
and confrontation actions. And even
they do not know which action or
combination thereof will work.
one 18 year-old black drop-out looked
at the coterie of middle class whites


-J -iy-Jay uassiay

-Daily-Tom Gottlieb

Chicago-August, 1968
'teach-in' on Vietnam. Plans for
similar actions have been announ-
ced around the country.
About 3,000 students attended the
controversial program, which was
marred by three bomb threats
against the war protestors.
* * *
THE FIRST part of PCPJ's campaign,
in Washington, was a new sort
of teach-in. Titled "The People's Pan-
el: A Grand Jury Investigation into
American Life," the action consisted
of "testimony" about life under the
Nixon Administration and an indict-
ment of Nixon for "crimes against the

Washington-November, 1969

Mayday-May, 1971

near-freezing weather yesterday, in
the largest single demonstration
ever held here.
WASHINGTON (April 25, 1971) -
A week-long series of sit-ins and
arrests at government buildings
culminated yesterday in a march to
the Capitol by some 500,000 people.
** *
WHERE HAVE the marchers gone?
According to one national poll,
73 per cent of the American people
are against the war, but it appears
that the once substantial base of
marchers is no longer there.
It's not hard to put a finger on

Obviously, the marchers of yesteryear
are not ready to march again soon.
So, last month, it was only the
PCPJ faithful, the hard core, w h o
trooped to Washington from as far
away as Minneapolis. A few of the
curious also came to the final rally
and the march, but that was it.
"I'd be hypocritical if I said I was
here for PCPJ," admitted one high
school woman. "I'm here because it's
interesting, and because Bobby Seale
is supposed to speak." (He didn't, but
made a videotape recording instead.)
Besides the core of 300 who got ar-
rested, and the 700 curious people
fll'fll 7 7 Xl tnhnfl f l nnfi a 7On r1 f 11

broadened base of attack towards the
new, broader base of people, go the
traditional tactics of confrontation.
"Just because you start a new direc-
tion doesn't mean you give up every-
thing you've done in the past," Fro-
ines says.
A two-pronged attack is planned for
the primaries. First, PCPJ plans to
work through the electoral system,
supporting local candidates, and per-
haps running some of their own un-
der an Evict Nixon party. And se-
cond, the group plans confrontations.
"There will be actions built around
every primary," Davis promises. "And

-Courtesy of Jeremy Jacobs
Phase One-October, 1971
with no alternative in sight.
But what happens in San Diego
will be crucially important, not only
to PCPJ, but to the entire anti-war
movement, because, PCPJ, for all its
failings, is about all the organization
the anti-war movement has at this
So, somewhere in between the sys-
tem politics and the traditional move-
ment confrontations lies the solution
PCPJ must find.
DAVIS, WHO THINKS at least part
of the solution lies in organizing a
broad-based mass of people, is wor-

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