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May 14, 1971 - Image 5

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-05-14

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

Friday, May 14, 1971


Page Five

Catch-22, Washington style

tIT5Olt'S NOTE: The following are
scenes which were enacted in Washington,
D.C., during the Alayday demonstrations.)
HE SCENE is a Washington street-
corner. The time is 5:30 in the
morning. The light is given by street.
lamps. A uniformed traffic patrolman
stands center stage on a corner.
Radio: DuPont circle is quiet. No sign
of people at the Pentagon. Uh-oh. Scoot-
er patrol to Key Bridge.
Three scooters take off. On one is a
sergeant. He is followed by two police-
men in day-glow orange vests. They
exit stage left.
Radio: More troops to the bridges.
Enter three people. They look around,
nod to the policeman. They walk around
the corner (the entire stage) and nod
to the policeman again. They are wear-
ing back packs - some of them carry
sleeping bags. A busload of police cross
the stage.
Radio: Here they come. Send reinforce-
ments to all circles.
More people have come into view. They
begin to cross the street with the "walk-
4 wait" signs. The policeman on the corn-
er tightens his belt and straightens his
uniform. Other policemen join him. They
each go to a corner.
Policeman on corner: Go to the corn-
er. (Points to another patrolman). I'm a
pacifist. (He makes a peace sign.)
Man: So are we, brother. No head
splitting, no violence. (He joins the group
that is crossing the street) The group
has grown noticably. They can't all cross
with the light.
Radio: Roger. Will send them to Penn
and Constitution. They should be ar-
riving soon.
Policeman: I see them.
The demonstrators are still crossing
the street. Sirens sound. Police on scoot-
ers arrive, along with buses. The police-
men get out and start rounding up the
demonstrators. They separate them into
three groups. At the same time, amid
cries of "right on" and the singing of
"We Shall Overcome" another group
of demonstrators is repeating the actions
of the first. They, too are arrested.

Radio: We got the group at the Penta-
gon. They only got to throwing distance
of the steps. Boy, did they cause some
excrement there. Got a couple of re-
porters, too.
Singing group:
Old MacDonald had a farm- e-i-e-i-o.
And on this farm he had some
pigs. e i e i o.
With an oink, oink here, and-an oink,
oink there, here an oink - there
an oink - everywhere an oink oink.
Old MacDonald had a farm. e-i-c-i-o.
Policeman in the middle of the street,
directing traffic takes a bow.
A BUS PULLS up, discharging more
policemen. The demonstrators on the
corners are put on the busses, kissing
and raising their fists. The police quick-
ly round up the demonstrators In t h e
Reporter: That makes about 700 at
this target alone. Enough for one cell.
College reporter (approaching police-
man): Excuse me, sir. How could I stay
out of your way and still get my story?
Policeman: Come right this way. (He
takes him to a waiting bus.) You can
get a good story this way.
Radio: Send the bus to DuPont and
Scott. They're's a lot of them here.
Policeman: (shouting) Hey man. They
want buses t he r e (gestured to crowd
of demonstrators.) Are we supposed to
serve tea here? They can wait.
Suddenly there is a loud pop. A smoky
substante comes from stage left.
Demonstrator: This is a gas. (takes out
a bandana, while others pull out gas
masks and other paraphenalia).
Radio: 10 o'clock and the traffic i ;
normal. All areas start phase two.
The police put the demonstrators into
buses and they don't have room for about
20 of them.
Police disperse and walk up to individ-
uals walking on the streets.
Policeman: Come with me please.
Policeman: Would you step over here.
They have assembled about 20 people
into a circle.
Sergeant: This is an unlawful assembly.
You are under arrest.

SON STAGE LEFT the scene is Dupont
circle. Cars are going around in cir-
cles. Surrounding the buses are a group
of national guardsmen. They all stand
at parade rest and carry guns. Surround-
ing the cars, a group of demonstrators
and other people cross the street. The
people in suits and dresses are inter-
mingled with the levied and backpacked
people. Street lights flash their walk-wait
signs at intervals. Most of the people
cross the street with the signs. Occasion-
ally one or two will cross against the
Policeman:as demonstrator crosses
against the light) You there, c o m e
here. (the demonstrator approaches):
That's jaywalking. It's against the law.
You're under arrest.
Demonstration: For jaywalking?
Policeman: That's right. (He puts his
arm around the demonstrator and car-
ries him into the center of the circle.
Meanwhile a man and a woman, both
well-dressed, cross against the light)
Policeman: You there. That's j a y -
walking. Go back and do it again.
Man: Wait a minute. (looking at
watch) I'll be late for work.
Policeman: (impassively) Go back and
do it again.
The man and woman do in-
deed go back and do it again. It is im-
portant that they protest loudly; and
equally important that the policeman
make no move to arrest them.
Demonstrator (to policeman): Is it all
right if we go in the circle and talk to
the guardsmen?
Policeman: That's forbidden. It's a
police line. No one except authorized
personnel can cross the police line.
Demonstrator (waits till policeman's
back is turned and makes a dash into the
circle and approaches a guard.) Excuse
me, can I talk to you.
Guardsman: Sure.
Demonstrator: Why are you here? Do
you agree with the war? It's killing
people your age. You were lucky. They
couldn't get out.

Guardsman: I have a job to do. I've
got a family. Do you think I like being
here away from them?
Demonstrator: But then you should
be with them. We don't hate you. Why
don't you join us. Got a question for
you. If you don't hate me, and you were
ordered to, would you beat me on the
Guardsman: If I were ordered to I'd
kill you.
THE SCENE IS in front of a con-
struction project. The Washington
Monument is' in the background. A little
to the right we can see the Capitol
Building. Demonstrators are sprawled on
the grass. One of them reads the Wash-
ington Post.
Demonstrator: 3,000 arrested at Jus-
tice Department. Where are they putting
all the people. That makes over 10,000
arrested in two days.
The scenery lifts up to reveal on one
side a small cell with 16 people in it.
The majority of the people are in the
center of the stage as policemen walk
in with fencing. They surround the de-
Demonstrator: Where are we?
Policeman: This is the Washington
Redskins practice field. Make yourselves
at home.
Demonstrator: But there's no water,
no food, no toilets. We've been here for
hours. I got here before the sun came
up, and look-- it's night. I want a
Policeman: You'll get one. We have
5,000 people in front of you. You'll have
to wait till you're arraigned.
A tent is being set up in the center
of the fenced area.
Policeman: There's shelter; toilets are
being set up in the back.
Enter black people carrying food.
They throw it over the fence.
Policeman: If you like these people so
much, we'll let you join them.
The people with food ignore him. They
continue to throw it over the fence. The
demonstrators retreat from the fence
and the people go home.

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