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May 25, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1972-05-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ROSE SUE BERSTEIN'
Kiddo--'Thou dost protest too much!'

ARLINGTON, VA.
R EPORTS of doubled security
precautions and intensified
police harassment of supposed
radicals never do justice to the
reality of actual encounters
with the authorities.
My problems, in fact, began
before I even got here, when I
unfortunately alighted onto a
plane bound ultimately for Mi-
ami. We were told that all pas-
sengers would be subject to
careful screening in accordance
with government regulations.
The guards stopped to chat
with each of us, presumably to
determine whether we were
psychologically fit to be pas-
sengers. Then we were whisk-
ed through metal detection de-
vices and our baggage was
checked. It would have been
kind of fun, if it had ended
then.
. After I got here, I walked
through the Capitol, where once
again I had to take off my
backpack for inspection. Off
again a few moments later at
the Museum of Natural History
and then at the Museum of
Science and Technology.
In fact, these searches would

have been rather funny, but f
the rest of my adventures.
BRIGHT AND EARLY Mo
day morning my real adve
tures began. As I approach
the Pentagon, trying to g
close to that morning's an
war protesters, a guard affab
told me, "They're all over the:
but you ain't going over."
I ignored him and forg
ahead.
I unsuspectingly asked ai
other guard where I could a
quire a Department of Defen
press tag. He simply said, "Y
can't. Go -over there," pointi
to the demonstrators.
Soon the first demonstrato
police confrontation materi
ized, right there on the No
man Mailer Memorial Steps.,
the police moved in, the esta
lishment r e p o r t e r s bristl
slightly, then fled, en masse,
the periphery of the skirmish
I waited, to catch the cot
ments of the protesters, w:
were jumbled together by poli
"riot batons" - also known
clubs - and then I attempt
to join the peripheral - al
known as safe-reporters.
TO MY AMAZEMENT, I h
a club jabbing my left should.

for
En-
m-
ed
et
ti-
ly'
re,
ed
se
'ou
ng
)r_-
al-
)r-
As
b-
ed
to
m-

I turned and looked inquiringly The sergeant walked off, ap-
at the offending officer, but he parently thinking he'd rid the
stared back with a blank gaze. Pentagon of my evil influence
Only then came the expla- with his threats. I, however, took
nation. Sgt. C. K. George, set a seat on the steps, and sat
apart from the "regular" riot basking in daydreams of inso-
police by his white shirt and lence-trembling just a bit, in
face, came up and began to case his threats had not been
shove me into the retreating empty.
protesters. "Get down there
where you belong," he said. THE REPORTER next to me
"I'm a reporter, I belong right giggled. I asked him whether I
here." had done something illegal.
"You ain't no reporter, you're "I don't know if you're legal,
just one of them," but I certainly am," he answer-
"What makes me legal is my briefcase. If I
had a backpack I'd be illegal too. You obviously
don't know how the government works."

counter with George, the 600
new demonstrators added their
presence to the crowd. I asked
one of the Alexandria, Va. po-
lice who had escorted the mar-
chers from West Potomac Park
what he expected would hap-
pen.
"Well they want to march on
the Pentagon." he said.
"That's the Pentagon right
there," he pointed out helpful-
ly. "And," he added, "It's all
yours." He smiled and I skip-
ped off, wondering why he was
so different from the sergeant.
WHEN THE demonstrators'
permit expired early in the aft-
ernoon, the police ranks had al-
ready been fortified and an ar-
my bus stood expectantly be-
neath the steps of the Penta-
gon.
A host of Pentagon employes
stood on the steps, watching,
waiting. The arrests began
when sonee of the crowd tried
to break through the police
lines to approach the defense
department's nerve center.
And the comments from the
steps were wild. "Those crazy
kids," muttered a lunch break
observer. "Look at the police,"
murmured another, "they show
admirable restraint."
As he spoke the police were
-dragging a protester by his hair
across the sun drenched tar
pavement. Other officers were
frisking a young woman, poking
in unusual places.
"I hope the rest of the buses
get here soon," said an officer
who had relieved himself of
duty to chat on the steps.
THE OTHER DAILY reporter
and I decided we needed some
refreshment, after sun - and-
battle bathing for seven hours.
We asked a friendly (non-
hostile) officer whether we could
go into a Pentagon cafeteria.
He told us we needed defense
department clearance - or
else permission from the boss,
Sgt. George.
We decided we could wait.
The Editorial Page of The
Michigan Daily is open to any.
one who wishes to submit
articles. Generally speaking, all
articles should he less than
1,000 words,

NIGHT EDITOR: LINDA DREEBEN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR: ARTHUR LERNER
ASSISTANT NIGHT EDITOR: -JIM OBRIEN
PHOTO TECHNICIAN: JIM WALLACE
44

ho "I am so a reporter," I ans-
ice wered,
as "Come on. Just shut up and
ed get down there," he finished
so , and walked off.
elt When the initial frenzy end-
ert ed, the 200 protesters stayed on
or. their side of the Pentagon steps,
and the police rearranged
themselves in two flanks -
one to guard the steps to the
building and one firmly en-
trenched in the middle of the
parking lot.
By now, most of the reporters
were perched on the steps near
the second row of police, where
they had a commanding view
of the police, the protesters and
any newcomers who might ap-
proach --- about 600 more
marchers were expected short-
ly.
I AMBLED timidly across the
parking lot, on my way to the
sIeps, but upon reaching my
destination, I neet Sgt. George
again. "Go back across the
street te ge ro-vled.
"Why?"
"We don't want you here."
"All those other people here
are reporters. Why can't I stay
here?"
"Because it's all right for
them. I don't want you here. Do
you want me to find a better
reason?"
Letters to The Daily should
be mailed to the Editorial Di-
rector or delivered to M a r y
Rafferty in the Student Pub-
lications business office in the
Michigan Daily building. Let-
ters should be typed, double-
spaced and normally should
not exceed 250 words. The
Editorial Directors reserve the
right to edit all letters sub-
mitted.

ed. "What makes me legal is
my briefcase," he elaborated.
"If I had a backpack, I'd be il-
legal too. You obviously don't
know how the government
works," he concluded with a sad
smile.
Not too long after my en-

"Poor fellow .. . He's paralyzed from the
neck up."

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