THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Liberal congressmen support
Thursday, May 6, 1971
the cause, debate over tactics
By ANITA CRONE
Special to The Daly
WASHINGTON - To varying degrees, a number
of senators and congressmen have expressed support
for protesters conducting massive civil disobedience
in the nation's capital.
Signs on at least three congressional offices yesterday
read "closed for business as usual," as two weeks of
anti-war protests culminated in a demonstration out-
side the Capitol.
Reps. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.), Tarren Mitchell (D-Md.)
and Ronald Dellums (D-Calif.), sponsors of a.House
bill promoting the People's Peace Treaty, addressed the
1,000 demonstrators wmassed in front of the Capitol'
Other sponsors of the bill include John Conyers, Jr.
(D-Mich.), James Badillo (D-N.Y.), -Shirley Chisholm
(D-N.Y.) and James Scheurer (D-N.Y.).
Most of the sponsors, while indicating strong sup-
port for the anti-war demonstrators express disapproval
of the tactics used by the more militant protesters.
Michell and Scheurer, however, say they approve of
tactics of non-violent civil disobedience such as mass
sit-ins. And an aide says Dellums feels that as the
protesters have for the most part been non-violent,
police have often over-reacted in their handling of the-
mass arrests this week.
Abzug has said that, as a mIember of Congress, she
can't support disruption of traffic. But Mondays she
went tp the stadium where a large number of those
arrested earlier this week are held, and was reported
"shocked at the conditions there."
Scheurer Tuesday accused the Nixon Administration
of being unresponsive to its constituency. He cited the
latest Gallup poll which claimed 73 per cent of the
American public is against the war. However, he added
that, "attacking the vehicles of members of Congress
and the administration is not the way to change
their minds on the war."
Rep. William Clay (D-Mo.), focuses his attack on
Nixon and the reactions to the April 4 mass march
against the war.
"And where was our President on Saturday, April
24?" says Clay. "He could be found in seclusion at his
retreat at Camp David. The President was as usual,
retreating from the American populus."
Conyers terms the tactics of the demonstrators "rath-
er elementary for 1971" but he says he deplores the
"military actions used to clear the park Sunday."
West Potomac Park was cleared early Sunday when
the Justice Department revoked permits for thous-
ands of demonstrators to camp there.
Michigan Senators Philip Hart and Robert Griffin
hold different views on this week's actions.
About 40 demonstrators from the University and
other Michigan colleges spent three hours last night in
Hart's office in the old Senate office building. a They
asked Hart to sign the treaty, but he declined on the
grounds that "it would hinder, not help the anti-
"What am I to do," Hart asked, "if I'm on the
Senate floor supporting the McGovern-Hatfield Amend-
ment and some Hawk asks me why I signed this?"
For a time demonstrators discussed sitting-in at
Hart's office to garner support for the Peace Treaty
but after prolonged discussion they left.
Griffin, on the other hand, although against the
war, has supported Nixon's policy. Griffin says he was
impressed by the Veteran's demonstration and that
the march of April 24 was impressive and for the most
part peaceful. But he adds, "lawless protests are not
as effective and cannot be tolerated."
Griffin met with Vietnam veterans on Monday and
Tuesday as well as with Michigan demonstrators who
came to his office.
CONGRESSWOMAN BELLA ABZUG attends rally outside Capitol.
In D.C.: Reactions to the actions
By LINDSAY CHANEY
Special to The Daily
WASHINGTON - The reaction by
the people of Washington to the disrup-
tions and demonstrations of the past
week has been mostly one of agree-
ment with the objectives of the demon-
stration but mild disapproval of the
"I wish they were a little more or-
derly," said a retiree who frequently
comes into the city. "Blocking traffic
and keeping people from work infringes
on other people's rights, you know." The
man added he "believes in their cause."
A woman who works in the Depart-
ment of the Interior, however, was op-
posed to the demonstrations and t h e
demonstrators. "I don't believe t h e y
should be breaking the law and disrupt-
ing traffic," she said. "Also, I don't
think they're sincere," she continued.
"A lot of them are just out for a good
"I want peace, too," she added, "but
not at any price." She said she "sup-
ports President Nixon."
Many federal employes who attend-
ed a noon rally yesterday in Lafayette
Park sponsored by Federal Employes for
Peace supported the demonstrators and
Some of the strongest support for the
youthful demonstrators came from a
man in his fifties who works for the De-
partment of Health, Education and
Welfare. "I support them all the way,"
he declared. When asked if he also ap-
proved of the civil disobedience tactic
of disrupting traffic, he also replied in
the affirmative. "They've tried every-
thing else," he said. "What else is
there to do?"
There were a few people, mostly busi-
nessmen, who were violently opposed to
One man who did not identify his
occupation said, "They ought to round
up all them bastards and put them
in a stockade until they straighten up
and are r e a d y to work." The
man expressed his desire that Barry
Goldwater were President because, "You
don't find this sort of thing in Arizona."
A man who was wearing a Nazi em-
blem on a red armband was also oppos-
ed to the demonstrators. "Everyone is
against-the war," he said, "but there
are honorable ways to be against the
war and there are treasonous ways.
"You will find," he went on, "that the
majority of these demonstrators a r e
leftists. And you will find that most of
the leaders are Jews."
The man felt that the honorable way
to oppose the war is to win the war.
CITIZENS OF WASHINGTON were the recipients of some of the civii disobedience
this week, including attempts to disrupt traffic during the rush hour. Above, a car
sits stalled in a Washington avenue.
Several Senate pages also expressed
their opposition to the war during de-
monstrations on the Capitol steps yes-
terday. One of them said, "I would be
out there protesting too, but I'm afraid
I would lose my job."
Many secretaries who work at the
Justice Department were in sympathy
with the demonstrators but felt that
they would endanger heir jobs by pro-
"Sure, I'm opposed to the war," said
one who identified herself only as
Kathy. "But I have to work to make a
living. If I were a student, I'd probably
be out in the streets too."
Another said she would like to join
the demonstrators, but was afraid she
would lose her job if she did. "Jobs are
awful hard to get right now," she said.
A woman who was selling flowers on
Pennsylvania Ave. said she "wished the
demonstrations would have some ef-
fect on Nixon's policies." But she felt
the demonstrations would accomplish
nothing and the demonstrators "were
probably wasting their time."
A man who identified himself as a
lawyer said, "These kids just don't un-
derstand how the political system
"In order to change anything, you've
got to get inside the system," he said.
"You've got to work your way up to
a position where people will listen to
Several young office workers with
short haircuts were opposed to the
demonstrations. "I don't know what
they're trying to accomplish," said one.
"The sysem works find if you know,.
how to use it."
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