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May 05, 1971 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-05-05

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-eunesay,may), l97
Washington A tactical shift


Special To The Daily
WASHINGTON - In a new burst of
militance f r o m the peace movement,
massive civil disobedience in the streets
of the nation's capital has gone well be-
yond the more traditional forms of pro-
test against the Vietnam war.
The tactic, reminiscent of the civil
rights demonstrations of a decade ago,
culminated Monday in the arrests of
over 7,000 persons for civil disobedience.
The unprecedented attempt to para-
lyze the city by snarling rush hour traf-
fic contrasts sharply with past large
scale anti-war protests. Marches and
rallies were massive, although some-
what narrowly based. Most were peace-
In November, 1969, some 320,000 peo-
ple - mostly students and other young
people - jammed the streets of Wash-
ington to protest American involvement
in the Indochina conflict. In May, 1970,
over 100,000 converged here to demon-
strate against the expansion of the war.
However, while the April 24 demon-
strations in Washington and San Fran-
cisco show the tactic of the large rally
is far from dead, the rally may no long-
er be the dominant tool of the peace
Instead, the mass march is becoming
only one facet of a new, broader-based
and often more militant movement
which relies on non-violent civil diso-
Answering the call of t h e People's
Coalition for Peace and Justice (PCPJ),
groups here began gathering at West
Potomac Park after the April 24 dem-

-~DVL--- rrss-uaily-Terry McCarthy
OVER A ONE WEEK PERIOD, anti-war demonstrations in Washington have turned from the traditional mass
peace march to much more militant displays - civil disobedience by thousands of protesters. The first demonstra-
tions, on April 24, featured a mass march to the Capitol by up to 500,000 people (left). Six days later, on April 30,
the smaller but sizable group was blocking the doors of the Department of Justice, the third federal agency to be the
victim of the newer tactics (right).

onstrations. They h a d a government
permit to assemble, although no t to
camp ,from April 24 until May 9. The
demonstrators renamed the park Al-
gonquin Peace City,
Algonquin Peace City housed several
thousand protesters and was divided in-
to regional areas, with each region in
charge of a specific bridge or traffic cir-
cle to block on Monday and yesterday.
Peace City, near the Washington
Monument, was dissected by the so-
called Ho Chi Minh Trail. Protesters
spent time in countless strategy meet-

ings and lessons in civil disobedience, as
well as by nightly camp fires, jam ses-
sions, and plentiful, ever-present drugs.
Peace City characterized t h e "life
culture" of the demonstrators as much
as their politics. On Saturday, an all
day rock festival swelled t h e park's
numbers to over 50,000 people.
On Sunday, however, the government
suddenly revoked the permit for the
park. The morning saw a mass exodus,
ending with the arrest of several dozen
people who were not out by the police
noon deadline.,

Apr1 Minga N
By ROSE SUE BERSTEIN SMC withheld their support from the placard reading "War is unhealthy
special to the Daily more militant tactics, channelling their (NIH) and insane (NIMH)," referring
WASHINGTON-- On April 24, as energies into the march and a national to the National Institute for Health
ASHINGON -s Onr plng 2 s moratorium on "business as usual" and the National Institute for Mental
a number of groups were planning this shdldfrtdy elh
week's massive civil disobedience in the scheduled for today. Health.
capital, a crowd estimated to he rally marked the first time a Several groups with dramatic p r e-
nation's cany a crowd e edpto permit had been granted for a demon- sentations paraded through the crowd.
include as many as 500,000 people stration on the Capitol lawn. Spokes- "Tewri«riigorlvs h a
thronged to Washington to demand an en o NA saithe ante "The war is draining our lives, the war
end to the Indochina war. men for NPAC said they wanted to is draining our lives, the war is draining
Gatherinith r focus their demands away from Presi- our lives," intoned a cluster of protest-
E eing in the mrin at h dent Nixon and towards Congress. ers chained to one another, attired in
Ellipse, south of the White House, the The protesters comprised a broader ghoulish costume.
protesters marched to the Capitol spectrum of citizens than had many
grounds for an afternoon rally addressed previous demonstrations. At the front "Nixon will bring us together", read a
by about 40 anti-war speakers, ranks were several hundred Vie t n am placard bearing crosses in a grave-
The primary organizers of the day Veterans Against the War (V V A W), yard - for the poor, the rich, the young,
of protests were National Peace Action and hundreds of additional veterans the old, for blacks and for whites, for
Coalition (NPAC) and Student Mobil- were interspersed among the crowd. men and for women.
ization Committee (SMC). A contingent of perhaps five hund- Many marchers carried signs relat-
Although the groups advocating the red federal employes marched beside ing their anti-war sentiment to other
actions now in progress supported the the many youthful marchers. One fed- social issues. One such sign protested,
earlier April 24 protests, NPAC and eral health service employe carried a See MASS, Page 14

Once the camp was evacuated, the
loose organization which held t h e
would-be Mayday protesters together
evaporated. Sunday evening was a time
for regrouping, finding places to stay,
and trying to plan for Monday morn-
ing actions. Although several thousand
demonstrators left Washington after
the camp was evacuated, at least 10,000
stayed to stage their scheduled block-
ades Monday morning.
The city was far from closed down
but anti-war people managed to snarl
Washington rush hour traffic-in some
places for as long as two hours-and to
keep at least Monday's actions within
the realm of non-violence.
W i t h. Monday's traffic stoppages
marking the premiere of a new tactic
for American anti-war demonstrators, it
was unclear whether the tactic w as
more or less effective than the massive
peaceful rallies sponsored by other
The two coalitions responsible for the
bulk of the recent anti-war activities,
while they agree on the ultimate goal
of ending the war, now differ signifi-
cantly on this matter of tactics.
The National Peace Action Coalition
(NPAC), an off-shoot of the New Mo-
bilization Committee to End the War,
still aims actions toward broadly based
massive peaceful demonstrations.
Co-sponsor of t h e April 24 march,
NPAC calls for an immediate end to the
war and supports legal and non-con-
frontational activities. NPAC's actions
range from electing anti-war congress-
men to pressuring for a moratorium to-
day on "business as usual."

Reporter recounts experience in D.C. jail

(Continued from Page I)
ticism from some legal authori-
Judge Harold Green of the
D.C. Superior Court issued a
show-cause order Monday night
requiring police officials to jus-
tify the mass arrests.
Under normal police proce-
dures for mass arrests, those ar-
rested are informed of their
rights, told the exact charges
against them and photographed
at the scene of the arrest. This
procedure was not generally fol-
lowed Monday, although it re-
instated during arrests yester-
Shortly after arresting me,
Officer Mike Mood, badge num-
ber 2544 pointed to a long hair-
ed photographer and said to an-
other policeman, "There's an-
other one of them, get him."
Mood was tired, but he seem-
ed happy about overtime pay
because of this week's demon-

strations. "Let's see," he said to
a policeman standing next to
him. "This has been 25, 26, 27
hours, at $9 an hour that
"You guys knock it off,"
warned an officer who appeared
to be in charge at the scene.
Mood became silent.
When the prison bus arrived,
the arrested group consisting of
about 25 people boarded it for a
20 minute ride to the lock-up at
the Municipal Bldg. On the way,
the bus stopped to pick up an-
other group which was arrested
on the bridge itself.
This second group of demon-
strators had been victims of tear
gas before being arrested, and
the gas filled the whole bus,
causing considerable discomfort.
At the jail, men and women
were separated, and the men
were led to a cell block contain-
ing 25 individual five feet by
seven feet cells.s

It was now shortly after 7
a.m. and the police continued to
bring in prisoners for an hour
and a half.
The tear gas from the cloth-
ing of the prisoners who had
been gassed filled the cell block.
"Whew, this is bad," coughed
a guard as he brought in pris-
"You don't have to stay here,"
shouted someone from a cell.
Shortly after 9 a.m., prisoner
processing began - names and
addresses recorded, fingerprints
and mug shots taken. The pro-
cessing for the cellblock lasted
until 3 p.m.
To pass the time, the prison-
ers sang songs, chanted and
continually called out to the
By 11 a.m., the prisoners had
settled down somewhat. Tear
gas apparently had dissipated,
but it was hotter and more

humid than ever, and the venti-
lation was very poor.
The prisoners had all taken
off their coats and sweaters, and
some took off their shirts as
At 11:10 a.m. the occupants of
Cell 39 were taken downstairs to
be processed. Fifteen minutes
later, processing finished, we
returned to the hot, humid air
of the cellblock.
Shortly after 1 p.m., about
half of the occupants of the
cellblock were taken out to be
arraigned in court. The police
officer said there was only one
van to transport prisoners, so
the rest of us would have to
wait for a while,
During the afternoon, the cell
members discussed the relative
merit of getting out on bail or
staying in the jail to keep the
jails full. Three occupants of
Cell 39 decided to definitely stay.
At 6:30 p.m. we were finally

fed - two baloney sandwiches
Shortly after dinner, a police-
man came into the cell and an-
nounced that if we each had $10
collateral, we would be able to
go free. However, someone threw
half a sandwich at him and he
stalked out saying, "You'll stay
here all fucking night for that."
He was back again ten minutes
later and everyone was quiet.
It took more than two hours
to process everyone out of jail
who wanted to leave. A guard
came around to each cell and
lectured on the merits of going
free on $10 collateral as opposed
to staying.
Nonetheless, the three mem-
bers of our cell who earlier plan-
ned to stay remained firm.
Cell 39 was allowed to leave at
8:30 p.m. As we marched out of
the cellblock, a smiling sergeant
reminded us, "You had it good.
This could have been Chicago."

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