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AS SOON’ AS the marchers reached the Pentagon parking area where they were allowed to assemble, the division that had been disputed and glossed over by some became apparent. While some groups gathered to hear speakers, others lunged forward against the roped boundaries set by the troops. The diggers, a group of hippies, followed an old Indian legend regarding five-sided objects and tried to surround the building to exorcise the evil demons. Demonstrators hurled rocks, sticks, and bottles into the ranks of the security forces. Marchers confronted the troops taunting, “Join us, join us.” “Uncle Tom,” called a Negro marcher to a young Negro soldier. A girl danced before a line of soldiers inserting flowers into their rifle barrels. One soldier was seen to burst into tears; girls with cameras took pictures inches away from the faces of the crying soldier. When the crowd got too close the soldiers put on gas masks and the crowd rushed back. Marchers struck soldiers, soldiers pulled a w a y, and marshals clubbed. Dagmar Wilson, the president of the Women’s Strike for Peace, was clubbed and kicked. Dr. Spock warned marchers fleeing down a ravine to beware of poison ivy. Once a group of demonstrators broke through the line of soldiers and raced inside the Pentagon. The doors slammed shut for a few moments and then opened as soldiers with rifles and tear gas in hand came pouring out, swinging rifle butts and kicking the demonstrators. Newsmen watched three police soldiers beat a prone demonstrator until he began screaming, “For Christ’s sake, stop it!” Elsewhere a marshal screamed, “Kill ’em, kill ’em.” By this time, Mailer, Dellinger, and other leaders had . been “symbolically” arrested. The front steps of the Pentagon were jammed with protestors and ropes were lowered for others, who scaled the walls. Extemporaneous leaders urged the crowd forward. Some came, but the vast majority stood back, watching, uncertain of the objective, unsure of the consequences, and embarrassed and uneasy at the situation. The atmosphere assumed an uneasy entertainment quality as large numbers simply stood or lay exhausted on the grass or sat under trees watching the movement of troops, listening to the loud speaker: “We need a doctor, we need a doctor,” came the frantic call. And then “we need a lawyer, we need a lawyer,” and people laughed. The crowd was noticeably thinner now, dispersed along the side of the Pentagon. The black nationalists had split off after the rally at ‘the Memorial and were meeting elsewhere. The Jefferson Airplane, a musical group, had gone to sing at the steps of the Jefferson Memorial. Others had headed home, queasy about the confrontation. A few groups, like the Pittsburgh Veterans for Stopping the War in Vietnam, regrouped and surged forward, pushing more people up the steps. By five o’clock the North Vietnamese flag waved from the front steps of the Pentagon and blood was splattered inside the door of the building and along the steps. Exhausted groups began to assemble for their buses in the parking lot. A few hundred would hold out until Sunday night, camping on the Pentagon grounds. SATURDAY afternoon the eval uations were already being made. Was the march a success? Was the fact that over five hundred had demonstrated their willingness to grapple with police and soldiers and thousands willing to attend the rally, did that make the anti-war demonstration a success? At a news conference the following day, after they’d paid their fines and been released perfunctorily \(except for Mailer, who delivered an anti-war diatribe in the the day had been a success. “A tremendous victory,” Dellinger said. “The Pentagon’s activities were clearly disrupted for the day,” and “the American people clearly demonstrated that they insist the war be stopped.” It is true that the Pentagon was disrupted for the day. But was the aim to disrupt the Pentagon? Was it to enter, as some attempted to do? Or was it intended Washington, D.C. The citizens’ march here in opposition to America’s participation in the Vietnam war occurred on a beautiful fall day. The experience reminded me in a way of attending church, only more so; most of the crowd was unusually well-behaved and well-dressed. I have never been in a crowd where there was almost no loud yelling by the young, no drinking, and so many people concerned about their fellows, including strangers, in the group. “You go ahead,” “Come sit with us if you are alone,” ancj similar expressions of comradeship and consideration were heard throughout the day. It was though everyone was saying to everyone else, “This is difficult and expensive, but I am proud you made this effort.” I have never had such a beautiful day with other human beings. I could be proud. It was almost like a religious experience; there seemed hope that man’s humanity may exist, after all. The right to protest implies the means to do so. But there appeared to have been little appreciation of this view by those government officials, I gatherwho were responsible for setting up the temporary facilities in anticipation of a massive crowd. At the Pentagon grounds there were no Red Cross tents, no ambulances, no water, no soft drinks, and far, far too few toilets, made available for the demonstrators’ use after the two-mile walk. Many of us who were too tired to walk back, which included most of us, wanted to be merely the symbolic confrontation? No one was ever sure and the “symbolic” and early arrests of the leaders like Dellinger seemed their own admittance that the objective was uncertain. It turned out to be a “do your own thing” demonstration by default and that concept was simply untenable. For those who did not choose civil disobedience were nonetheless implicated in the violence by their very presence. And when the news films were relayed to the great American TV audience, it was the violence that was seen, not those people standing back under the trees wearing “we don’t want violence” buttons and feeling frustrated once again. And for the serious business of trying to influence the powers that be, to halt and desist in the war, this is a grievous problem. For once again it was the radical Berkeley demonstrator type that was most prominent in the October demonstration, seeming to dominate, in the public’s mind, the anti-war movement. There are all types of people who are so frustrated by the war they are ready to undertake civil disobedience to demonstrate their fury at administration policy. But few of them here were willing to make an attack on the Pentagon. 0 to go on through the Pentagon grounds to a highway just beyond, there to hitch a ride or flag a cab. But access to the highway was cut off by bristling ranks of soldiers, who knew of our plight. Some of the troops smiled at us; a few others said the only way back to Washington was the way we had comeby foot, since no cars were permitted in the rest of the Pentagon area that day. The roads were clogged with demonstrators returning on foot. Hoping to avoid the long walk back to the bridge that connects and Washington I went to the river bank and tried to hitch a ride iri one of the numerous boats. I ran up and down the bank, calling for a ride, offering money, but no response, until, finally, two young men who worked at the Pentagon came by and decided they would take a load of us across. Others who had participated in the demonstration came running to the bank when they saw us leaving, to beg the young men to return. At first the men did not reply but finally said they might return for others, ‘but did not. In retrospect, it seems remarkable to me that,so many men participated in the demonstration, considering the threats of riots and imprisonment \(it had been announced beforehand that facilities were available to detain 40,000 persons, if that The press reports were disappointing to me; I think the crowd was larger than Noi’enzber 10, 1967 11 To Move a Government