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September 03, 1996 - Image 8

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The Michigan Daily, 1996-09-03

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1

8A - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, September 3, 1996

Campaign

M r

Adventures
in politics:
Democrats
mzChicago
Last week I went to a really big party.
Attending the Democratic National
Coivention as a reporter in Chicago was
an eye-opening experience. I got to see
the heart of the nation's democratic
pmrcesses: political
speeches, world
leaders, flags, ban-
nrs, buttons and
hqopla.
,But, amid the
gala celebrations
ad the political
hdbbub, I saw a lot
of damn funny i<
stuff going on. So,
I'm sharing the JENNIFER
"Top 10" behind-
the-scenes antics I H ARVEY
found at the DNC.
A10. In the middle of an interview I
pw one intoxicated delegate go up to
Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and tell
him his glasses were "sooooo sexy."
She repeated this several times.
. 9t Although I can't say I actually saw
rpy own facial expression, I'm sure it
was pricelessly funny. Being a small-
town girl, I thought I would just walk out
of the United Center on Chicago's west
side to catch a cab. I had a delightful
encounter with a charming gentleman
who informed me that he was "sick of
white maggots like me being in town
just for the fucking convention" I'm
sure my face told of my dismay.
I8. A dorky Chicagoan was trying to
start chants Thursday night. While he
was :very enthusiastic, he seemed to
inspire those around him to roll their
eyes or switch seats. The man continu-
ally belted out chants that were far too
long to be chants. "Go Bill, go Bill all
the way into the 21st century with your
mighty vehicle for change." The guy
actually thought people would join in.
7. A gaggle of Chicago Fire
Department rookies told me that they
were trained as part of the defense
force for the DNC. "We practiced hos-
ing down protesters. We aren't worried
about security. This city is safe." They
said, however, that they had never actu-
ally fought a fire. Then they offered to
take me and my fellow reporter for a
tour of Chicago on their fire truck. I've
never seen a city with such fabulous
public servants.
6. The get-ups people donned to go
to the convention hall cracked me up.
Somehow, I don't think white Keds,
blue pantyhose, red-and-white striped
shorts, a dark red jacket and flag ear-
rings signify the epitome of patriotism.
5. Thousands of women screamed
with delight at a video of Vice
President Al Gore without a shirt.
Enough said.
'.4. On Thursday, thousands of bal-
loons were released on the crowd. Many
popped, sounding exactly like gunshots.
Dripping sweat, the secret service agents
seemed to be saying to themselves,
"Don't dive on the president, don't dive
on the president."
3. The delegates did La Macarena
every night. It is not a dance designed
for people wearing orthopedic shoes.
2. The members of the Louisiana

delegation called everybody "babes"
even Janet Reno and Donna Shalala.
One of them told me 10 minutes with
him would make me a Democrat.
1. Credential deals. Getting the
required credentials to actually get into
the hall inspired a bevy of drug-deal-
like interludes between eager
Democrats. The difficult-to-obtain
passes were passed around in alley
m eetings and elevator shafts. "You got
the stuff?" "Yeah, but don't tell any-
body where you got it"
Ahh, Chicago.
- Jennifer Harvey can be reached via
e-mail at jenkat@umich.edu.

Flashback to Chicago '68: A time of 'chaos'

Convention stirs memories of
political activism, police brutality

sy Laurie Mayk
Daily Staff Reporter
CHICAGO - They came back.
Their hair was shorter, the anger in
their voices had given way to nostalgia
and experience, and they talked of a
country on welfare rather than a coun-
try at war.
When the Democratic National
Convention - and several members of
the infamous Chicago Seven -
returned to Chicago last week, they
talked of unity and change and occa-
sionally paused to remember the city's
last political convention - an explosive
mix of young activists and police forces
in 1968. Now a trophy for survival,
Chicago '68 still lingered in the air for
those who witnessed its chaos and emo-
tion firsthand.
"The first day I got here I took a walk
down to Grant Park and stood on the
hill where the statue is, where a lot of
the protesters climbed the horse and the
statue of General Logan, and I sat there
for an hour and thought - this is where
I started. This is where I really began to
get involved in politics," said G.T.
Long, a Michigan Democratic Party
field worker who attended the '68 con-
vention as a volunteer for the McCarthy
presidential campaign.
"That's the first thing I did when I
came to Chicago - I didn't go to an
event, I didn't meet a politician
- I walked back to Grant
Park and sat there for a good
hour and just thought about
why I'm getting involved, .
and how I'm getting
involved and why I'm still
involved," Long said.
Having been a candidate,
campaign organizer
and occasional pro-
tester, Long has come
full circle and ended
up back at the grass-
roots level with young volunteers on
campaigns, he said.
"(Conventions aren't) as much fun as
being with a whole group of people
who don't know how to spell politics,"
Long said. "You show them how to do
it, you take 'em door to door and you
say we're going to make something
happen. I think that is what came to me
when I was sitting there next to that
statue ... I started in the streets and I'm
still in the streets."
It was in the streets of Chicago that
protesters insisted "the whole world"
was watching, and the Chicago Seven
made a name for themselves in anti-war
protests that turned violent, then manic,
when word of Mayor Richard Daley's
"shoot to kill" order hit the streets.
"It was panoramic chaos, just every-
where you went," Long said.
The officers on duty for the '96 con-
vention were briefed on protest and riot
measures, but their interference in the
demonstrations were minimal - a
police line was formed
Tuesday night when a group of about
200 protesters approached the security
lines. Security guards joked with dele-
gations about "old times" and vendors
sold T-shirts depicting officers holding
night sticks and threatening a return to

Chicago '68 for the new generation.
California state Sen. Tom Hayden, a
University alum and one of the Chicago
Seven, found himself back in the Windy
City - this time as a member of the
party against which he protested in
1968. More than a quarter of a century
after the trial that Hayden called "a
watershed experience for an entire gen-
eration of alienated white youth,"
Hayden is still preaching reform. From
the 1996 convention hall, however, his
advice to young reformers is to mobi-
lize within the system by raising a voice
and a ballot.
"I'd say what Henry David Thoreau
said - vote not with a piece of paper
but with your whole life," Hayden said
in an interview. "Voting with your life
means, you know, talk back to your
teachers, to your employers, join orga-
nizations, bring back some kind of par-
ticipatory democracy on a local level.
And also vote - voting is easy."
Today's youth has been offered "a
token of gradual acceptance," Hayden
said. The events of the '68 convention
resulted from the inability of the youth
to participate within the process,
Hayden said.
"It was the old order trying to contain
the uncontainable energies of the war
movement, of the black movement,"
Hayden said. "Remember there was a
draft ... if you were an 18-year-old guy
you could be drafted and taken to
Vietnam but you could not vote against
the politician that sent you there"
Even as a protester amid the
chaos on the streets of Chicago
in 1968, Hayden said he
1 hoped those inside the hall
would push for
progress.
"My political hope
was in the Democratic
Party; my moral hope was
in the students in the south,"
Hayden said.
At a "Return to Chicago" event to
kick off the convention last week, mem-
bers and supporters of the Chicago
Seven reunited and Hayden reminded
voters and the party that "we're still out
here.'
"Just as there was a fight over a soul
of the Democratic Party in 1968, 1
would predict there will be a fight over
the soul of the Democratic Party in the
next four years," Hayden said at the
event.
Chicago Seven defendant and Black
Panther founder Bobby Seale charged
the democrats to see themselves as "real
revolutionary humanists."
"The struggle continues," said Seale,
whose revolutionary tactics have been
both criticized and studied since the
inception of the civil rights movement
in the south.
Speakers at the event vowed to
remind '96 delegates of the moral
issues advertised by the '68 convention
and the trial that followed.
Chicago Seven attorney Leonard
Wineglass read a passage written by
defendant Abbie Hoffmann in 1986.
"It's true we were young, reckless, arro-
gant and headstrong, but we were right.
I regret nothing," he wrote.

Above: Chicago police officers E wrest
protesters at the 1968 Democraltic
Convention.
Right: Protesters clash with poliIce
armed with tear gas at the '68 conven-
tion. Anti-war protests and demn ands to
stage demonstrations in Chicag ols
Grant Park led to bloody riots ai a d the
trial of University alum Tom Ha ilen and
six other protesters.
Left: Protesters perched on the tstatue
of Gen. Logan in Chicago's Grai Kt Park
in 1968.
;File photos
Although the seven men - odiginal-
ly eight before the death of Jerry- Rubin
- were acquitted in the trial, the <confu-
sion and sensitive issues of w tr and
presidential politics divided their ;gener-
ation and the rest of society.
Despite "rhetoric" from both parties
about the challenge of the future ,nd the
promise of the youth, audience mem-
bers should remember "you mean tre by
what you do and what you spen d your
money on and not what you talk about,
and those in power are more incli ned to
take care of themselves in tennis of
where they put their money," H atyden
said,
"So schools remain underfundc i, the
environment is being parceled out , pris-
ons are being built faster than uni yversi-
ties, so those arc the things that Oc ght to
disturb young people."

But concern about different issues is
sometimes perceived as no concern at
all - today's youth lacks the single-
issue motivation that the war provided
in the '60s.
"Today I think the youth lacks that
one issue, that purpose," Long said.
"We (in the '60s) learned very quickly
that government can be very helpful to
you or it can be very harmful to you and
if you didn't get involved, you might be
sent to Vietnam, you may never come
back."
Young reformers and political hope-
fuls today are no less prevalent, but per-
haps a bit more discreet.
"Today's youth are less likely to stage
a protest and more likely to get involved
within the system" said Bob Burns, 24,
Michigan's youngest delegate to the
1996 convention and a senior at Eastern

Michigan University.
"I don't see the same energy level as
in '68,' said Michigan state Sen. Alma
Wheeler-Smith (D-Salem Twp.), who
attended both the '68 and '96 conven-
tions. "We really have to work to get
young people re-involved."
The delegates, and even the few pro
testers, at the 1996 Democratic
National Convention didn't make as
much noise as the participants in 1968.
But from the statue on the hill in Grant
Park, their chants still echo across the
country whose judgment they ques-
tioned.
"I decided that something there
struck me, that there is a way you can
make change," Long said. "I just
thought that this is where something h,
me that I'm going to stay with th
process and see what happens."

aa n e i

I

Candidates fight for heart of Big Five' i '96 campaign

Los Angeles Tunes
CHICAGO - Start on the New Jersey side of
the Hudson River and head west - across
Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan - then skip
across Lake Michigan to Illinois' furthest edge.
Welcome to Main Street of Campaign 1996 - the
road President Clinton and Republican challenger
Bob Dole will travel almost obsessively through
the Nov. 5 election.
The Big Five states traversed by this 1,000-
mile-long causeway provide 99 electoral votes,

better than one-third of the 270 needed to win
the White House. And with the nation's two
biggest states, California and New York, seem-
ingly denied to Dole as things look now,
Republicans acknowledge that their standard-
bearer must win at least three of the Big Five to
defeat Clinton. (Democrats claim that Dole real-
ly needs four.)
The good news for Clinton, coming out of last
week's convention, is that based on recent surveys,
he would sweep all five if the election were held

today.
The hope for Dole rests on the reality that the
election is si ill nine weeks off- and that either his
own stratag ums, some Clinton blind-r or some
unforeseen (ternaf event will turn the tide in his
favor.
The impo rtance of the Big Five not only will
force both # andidates to commit much of their
resources w ithin those borders, but also serves to
tailor the is,, te agenda to suit the tastes of their 52
million citi; rns.

In California, issues such as inmigration i
affirmative action may be the hot buttons. In o;
parts of the country, cultural issues, such as school
prayer or gay rights, may dominate.
But here, more bread-and-butter concerns pre-
vail - and shape the presidential debate.
"These states make up the great industrial heart-
land," said Democratic pollster Mark Mellman.
"The people who live there are common-sense,
middle-class, solid citizens who look at New York
and California as cultural extremes."

Half-Price Tickets
for U of M Students
I -I
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>3 I 1 p
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I

Kemp campaigns through Michigan

FLINT (AP) - Touting r nning
mate Bob Dole's economic a genda,
Republican vice presidential n+ Dminee
Jack Kemp pledged it would rest ure the
American dream of upward mot ility.
"We want labor to prosper. V A0 want
capital to flow into the neighbo rhoods.
We want downtown Detroit to be an
enterprise zone. We want Flint to be at
full employment with rising wa Ves," he
told about 300 people outside a block

party.
Yesterday was day three of Kemp's
seven-day, 12-state swing that includes
stops in inner cities - part of his
pledge to reach minority voters. Kemp
was in St. Louis earlier in the day, mak-
ing an appearance with Dole under the
Gateway Arch.
Kemp said the Labor Day stop to
Flint was a natural because he wanted'
to be in "the heart of labor country

U.S.A:' Flint is home to tens of thou-
sands of blue-collar - and unionized
- automotive workers.
He told the predominantly white
crowd that Republicans would bring
people together.
"We want to heal the wounds. W
want to reconcile not only races ano
ethnic groups - we don't believe in
warfare between labor and capital
Kemp said.

Irn

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