“The American war machine reaps a whirlwind that engulfs our country and threatens the world. Three billion dollars a month, which could be spent to attack the intolerable conditions of our disinherited cities is spent instead to kill and destroy in Vietnam. The insulted’ and injured at home have no choice but to act out their despair by rebelling.”
With these words the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam is calling upon those opposed to the war “to escalate the quality of their opposition by intensifying activity in their communities, and by converging on the Capitol on October 21st.”
In an exclusive to the Berkeley Barb, our sister underground paper, Jerry Rubin reported, “We’re going to make a circle around the Pentagon with people opposed to the war. According to American Indian lore,” he said, “the pentagon is the symbol of evil. In order to drive out the evil, the Indians would draw a circle around the pentagon.”
The siege on the Pentagon Building will drive home a change in the mood of the peace movement—a change from dissent to active resistance.
Ed Chalom, Chairman of the Detroit Area Mobilization Committee, feels the march on Washington will be effective politically. “It certainly won’t end the war,” he said, “but it’s one other avenue toward that. No one avenue does enough, but we are obliged to use every avenue available to use.”
Black power, woman power, labor power, student power and hipp power will all be aimed at the heart of America’s war power. Groups and persons ranging from the Women for Peace to the Diggers are already making plans for the “Peace Fest” at the Pentagon.
As Rubin reported, “I want to make it clear that we will make a clear separation of the people—perhaps a hundred thousand—who just want to make their presence felt, and the people who want to disrupt the military through civil disobedience. I expect several thousand people to block the doors, to close down the Pentagon as long as they can. We’ll go in if we can,” Rubin said. “We want to confront the generals, MacNamara, the Commanders.”
He also pointed out that since the Pentagon is military ground civil disobedience might be met with troops.
Most of the demonstrators, not expected to engage in civil disobedience, will flow around the Pentagon to stage plays, rock bands and speeches and other assorted festive activities contrary to the spirit of war.
“We hope that October 21 will begin waves that won’t stop” Rubin said. “The peace movement is moving from verbal protest to direct obstruction. The days of march-listen-go home are gone. This time we will definitely be heard.”