THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Saturday, May 8, 1971
Page Ten THE MICHIGAN DAiLY Saturday, May 8, 1971
- 4 HURRY! MUST
37,MALE REND SOON!
POLICE VS. PROTESTERS
Who won the battle of D.C.?
(Continued from Page 1
Protest leader Rennie D a v i s
acknowledged the tactical defeat
of Mayday by Monday after-
noon - shortly before his arrest
by the FBI on charges of con-
spiring to violate the civil rights
of the public by causing disrup-
"Our biggest problem was fail-
ing to appreciate the extent to
which the government would go
to put people on the skids," he
Carl Zeitlow, a -Mayday tacti-
cal coordinator, also conceded
defeat. "By the time the rush
hour really got underway 2,000
of our people were already under
arrest," he said. "We were out-
In all, police made over 11,000
arrests in a little over 72 hours.
By Thursday afternoon there.
was, quite literally, no one left to
demonstrate. Most of those who
had not 'seen arrested appeared
to have left the city. 200 of the
remaining protesters were ar-
rested Thursday morning as they
marched to the South Vietna-
The demonstration leaders ap-
peared, however, to score a
subtle point from the mass ar-
rests-their goal of non-violently
sabotaging the government un-
realized, they became a move-
ment of prisoners and their mes-
sage_ came from behind the bars
and wire of the temporary de-
tention facilities which sprang up
at various points in the city.
"Washington is a police state,"
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they cried-held without food,
water, lawyers, phone calls-and
not informed under what charges
they were being held.
The police cynically agreed.
"The revolution is under arrest,'
said a smiling lieutenant, stand-
ing by a busload of protesters be-
ing herded into a camp on the
Redskins practice field.
To an extent the courts and
the press agreed. Many of those
arrested have been released on
the judicial orders. Both The
Washington Post and Evening
Star pointedly ran first-person
stories by staff reporters who
had been picked up in the sweep.
Can the admitted failure of the
Mayday actions be offset by the
protesters modified stance, the
adverse press reaction to the
police and the tactical setback
to the government in the courts?
Some observers doubt this.
Anti-war senators such as George
McGovern (D-S.D.) and Philip
Bart ID-Mich. have both called
the Mayday demonstrations
harmful to the chances of the
which would effect withdrawal of
all American troops from Indo-
china by the end of this year.
Also, local citizens, while appar-
ently overwhelmingly against the
war, felt bitter that they had be-
come the target of protest.
"Sure, I'm against the war. but
this isn't the way to stop it,"
said one disgruntled motorist.
Other citizens are more vehe-
ment. "Jail's too good for 'em,"
said a hardhat on a Pennsylvania
Avenue construction site. "tm
against the war, everyone's
against the war, but they've got
no right to block me on my way
Was it worth it to the protest-
ers? "The whole world is watch-
ing," they chanted as they were
arrested on the steps of the
House of Representatives, "the
whole world is watching."
But the world wasn't really
watching, at least not that
Observer's opinions on the
long-range importance of the
Mayday actions differ, depend-
ing on their political perspective.
"The protest was successful,
even though it failed," said one
obierver, "because it forced the
government to deal with the de-
monstrators on their own terms
- with troops, machine guns,
gas and helicopters. In short,
they'forced the government in-
to a repressive role while put-
ting themselves into the role of
But Davis himself remained
confident. "It was just a warm-
up," he said, released from jail
on $25,000 bail.
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