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May 07, 1971 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1971-05-07

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

Mayday: DC as armed camp
Imprisoned in a grand sweep

WASHINGTON, D.C. - I was arrested
at 8:50 a.m. Monday morning for trying
to ask a policeman a question. It might
have been my long hair and blue jeans or
it might have been that the tall black
officer. didn't like reporters, but what-
ever the reason, he grabbed my arm and
took me into the middle of Dupont Circle,
where there were already about 80 kids
sitting around the fountain.
At 9:15 about 60 of us were loaded onto
a D.C. Transit bus and started on our way
to the D.C. Jail. On the bus, people shar-
ed food and cigarettes and morale was
generally high. While we were stalled in
heavy traffic just outside Dupont Circle
a young lady in a red plastic raincoat
came up to the bus and gave us some
food. As she was walking away from the
bus a motorscooter cop jumped off his
bike and grabbed her. He dragged her
back and put her on the bus.
"You like these people so much you
can join them," the officer said.
Nobody knew where we were being tak-
en, including the cop stationed at the
side door which had been kicked out by
some kids trying to escape. All we knew
was we were being taken through the
black ghetto where the blacks lining the
sidewalks kept giving us the power fist
and yelling 'right on.'
We pulled into the D.C. jail parking lot
which was lined with barbed wire. Every-
body on the bus decided to walk out with
hands on head POW style. As we walked
out, we were greeted with cheers a n d
chants of 'power to the people' from the
250 people already there.

people that they legally didn't have to
give any more information than their
name and address.
The officers in charge of prbcessing
seemed to think otherwise. They said we
had to give name, address, age, where we
were arrested, what time, our fingerprints
and let them t a k e our picture. If we
didn't we were told to come back when
we would. Later in the evening s o m e
G.t.s who were stationed outside the pris-
on volunteered to set up tents because it
looked like we were going to be kept over
night and the weather reports said it was
going down to 45 degrees. It went down
to 35.
Daily-Tom Gottieb At around midnight the first buses ar-
rived to take the protesters away to the
d clung to peoples' various po1 i c e precinct stations to be
people come into booked. 70 of us were piled into an army
with blood. A med- paddy wagon-and driven to the ninth
d was quickly filled precinct station which is in the middle
racked skulls and of the black section of the city. When we
ng run over by the arrived we were filed between two lines
of soldiers from the 82 airborne who were
People gather in the equipped with M-26 and gas guns.

We filed into a small recreation area
of the prison enclosed by high brick walls,
barbed wire, and guard towers with shot-
guns clearly visible in the windows. The
jail yard was about 50 by 75 yards in-
cluding an old basketball court and vol-
leyball net both of which were in use
most of the day.
THE FEELING in the yard was good.
People were dancing, singing, chanting,
playing basketball with helmets. A few
frisbees were floating around. Regional
groups had put up signs on the walls so
new people could find people from their
states and sign lists for bail.
The prison guards told us they didn't
know anything about getting out. Said
one guard, "they just told us to keep you
here that's all they told us." The guards
were pretty nice, though, they gave us
two meals.
Through the day I kept getting whiffs

of tear gas which ha
clothes and watched
the jail yard covered
ical tent was set up an
with people w i t h c
crushed toes from bet
motorcycle police.
Seeing a group of p


corner of the yard I walked over and one
of them said "Sit down, brother, wanna
smoke some d6pe. We gotta smoke fast
cause I don't think it's cool to smoke dope
in jail." So for fifteen minutes about 100
people smoked grass as fast as t h e y
could. It was pretty weird.
BY THIS TIME there were over 1,500
people in the jail yard and we were cold
and angry. People kept asking the legal
observers who were also arrested when
we were getting out. One replied "If they
were following the law we wouldn't be
here in the first place." They also told

THIRTEEN OF US were placed in a
five by seven cell with one wooden bench.
We were there for about four hours while
the police took us by twos to pay ten dol-
lars collateral and to get a trial date. In
the cell with me were two guys from Kent
State, a couple from D.C. and a few from
New York. Most were disgusted and plan-
ning to get home as fast as they could.
But a few said they were going to be out
on the streets the next day because "We
came here to end the war and we're not
leaving till its over

Driving through the chaos

WASHINGTON, D.C. - I leave
home Tuesday in the early morn-
ing, remembering how much
time it took me to get down-
town the day before. My aim-
the Federal Triangle, the area of
our nation's capital-where the
business of national government
is focused.
I hadn't made it Monday, al-
though I could have if I were a
determined government employe
with working knowledge of Wash-
ington's side streets.
The car is keeping up a steady
25 m.p.h. down Wisconsin Ave-
nue into Georgetown, home of
diplomats and gathering place
for freaks. Georgetown, with its
headshops mixed among expen-
sive antique and jewelry stores
seems a strange host for the
policeman and military police
alternating positions along the
road every few yards. The khaki
and camouflage helmets seem
incongruous in front of the ning-
teenth-century buildings. So do.
the bayonets.
THERE HAD BEEN even more
troops Monday. Monday it had
taken me 45 minutes to cover the
territory I covered Tuesday in
only three.
There's the corner where I was
stopped Monday behind the
'Prison truck'. Actually it was a
bus, an army khaki-colored bus,
full of what the media call "use-
ful protesters."
The boy, clad in blue jeans
and army jacket, and the in-
evitable bandana to mask the
tear gas, had talked to the pris-
oners through the bus windows.
Then he had knelt down by the
tires, and from my car, I saw
1dm flash a knife.
The nearest soldier turned and
then quickly turned away as the
boy pocketed the knife and dis-
appeared into the jungle of un-
moving cars and trucks. Right
on! The troops don't care-it's
the D.C. police who are getting
I was disappointed when the
bus started up normally-I won-
dered when the leak would flat
its tire.
The bottom- of Wisconsin Aye-

nue is clear Tuesday, except for
the troops waiting for the pro-
testers that wouldn't come.
HoW COULD THE officitls
seriously expect them to show?
Half of them had spent the gr'y-.
er part of the previous day in
jail, and passed that night wan-
dering around the city, trying to
find shelter, where they would-
n't be arrested for vagrancy. No-
body was in any mood to try once
again to "shut down the govern-
As I turned onto M Street and
headed towards Pennsylvania
Avenue, I flashed back gainv t
the day before. It had been a
nightmarish picnic, then. Sinny.
warm, a pretty Washington day
with a touch of tear gas in the
air, and the sound of helicopters
heading toward the Washingten
Monument to land troops. I had
stopped my car in the middle of
M Street and stood outside like
all the others, watching the po-
lice and army buses being loaded
in the unrealistic distance.
The radio was telling the com-
muters standing beside their cars
that "the scheduled blocking of
the government by stopping traf-
fic has proved a minor irritation,
Most arteries are free for traf-
fic, and their is only a slight
disturbance . ..."
Motorcycle cops d a r t e d
through the stalled M Street traf-
fic, demonstrators ran from po-
lice and tear gas like groups of
-startled animals, a dozen at a
time. Some stopped near us -the
woman in the car in front of me
struck up a conversation with a
red-headed student. The jacket
said Cornell-this was upstate
New York's region to block.
"But why?" she asked.
"I want the war to end. I'im
sick of marches," Cornell's rep-
resentative replied.
TUESDAY, there is nothing to
mark the spot where my car
was stopped-traffic continues
by, the troops, bored after Mon-
day's excitement, leaned against
the low wall on one side of the
Washington Circle, Michigan's
target, was given over to troops

where Monday, the troops ,po-
lice, and demonstrators hd
shared the scene. I head tip Nt'x
Hampshire Avenue, still going
fairly fast for a Washin ,ton rush
hour. I have given up .my plans
for Federal Triangle- -,was
clear that I'd make it witi ino
trouble and that so ;it,::_ ttte
Dupont Circle, too, is g ivn
over to troops, but not as imany
as on Monday. I remembeired
trying to edge my car into the
traffic circle between tse motoi-
cycle police. Mine was the only
civilian car there, practically,
others having been smart enough
to bypass the circle.
Again, the remembered smell
and feel of tear gas conneacted
my stomach. On another trip
downtown Monday I had been
stopped three blocks north of
Dupont by two foreign cars with-
out drivers in the middle of the
street. As commuters had honked
and sirens screamed behind and
in front of us, one protester gave
me a leaflet telling me not to go
to work, and explaining the May
Day Tribe's tactics of massive
civil disobedience.
"Stall your car, sister," she
advised. "They'll never know
you did it on purpose, and it
would really help." I nodded
vaguely, wondering why I knew
I wouldn't do it. I wonder whe-
ther she got arrested, with he:
leaflets. Probably. Twelve thou-
sand is an awful lot.
The cars were off the streets
now, a day later, as were. the
debris" and the trash cans and
the cinder blocks that had
marked Connecticut Avonue Mon-
I continued up Connecticut into
the suburbs, completing in about
half an hour what had taken me
two hours the day before. I was
too relieved to be out of Wash-
ington traffic and the .military
presence in the city to wonder
what- it was supposed to prove,
what it did prove, and whether it
was worth seven thousand ar-
rests and all that tear gas.
I STOP TO PICK up a hitch-
hiker leaving town, and continue
on the way.

Today's Army Wants to Join You
420 Moynard Street, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Editorials printed in The Michigan Doily express the individuot
opinions of the author. This must be noted in all reprints.
Friday, May 7, 1971 News Phone: 764-0552
Sienir Editorial Staff
Co-Editor Co-Editor
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NIGHT EDITORS: Rose Sue Berstein, Mark Dillen, Jonathan Mitter, Robert
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