Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Fugitive Generation (xix)


EMCEE, 29, is long-haired woman who wears jeans. She stands behind microphone in darkened coffeehouse. Only 5 of the 25 seats are occupied. Jim sits on a chair behind Emcee, holding hiss guitar.

EMCEE: It's been a long night. But there's still one performer left to hear on our "Open Mike Night" at the Ark Coffeehouse.

She looks down on her index card.

EMCEE (CONT'D): Let's hear it for Jim Wilson.

One person in audience quietly applauds. Emcee walks towards rear of coffeehouse. Jim pulls microphone closer to him. He remains seated as he sings.

JIM: Here's a song which I wrote that tells about the history of this country. It's called "Livin' On Stolen Goods." (he sings):

Oh, many, many ages ago
Red people lived alone
At peace with the buffalo
Oh, they're livin' on stolen goods.

To make money they came
The Anglos and their slaves
For housework, they had their dames
Oh, they're livin' on stolen goods.

And they brought with them their guns
And whipped and shot Black ones
They brainwashed their children
Oh, they're livin' on stolen goods.

And westward ho!, they marched
And shot down the reds who tried to resist
And this whole land they robbed
Oh, they're livin' on stolen goods.

And they cramped the Red people in camps
And ghettoized the Blacks
And now they're into Asia
Oh, they're livin' on stolen goods.

Amerika, your riches
Are based on your robbery
You white racists are doomed
'Cause you're livin' on stolen goods.

Yes, many, many ages ago
Red people lived alone
At peace with the buffalo
Oh, they're livin' on stolen goods.

After Jim stops singing, one person in audience applauds along with Emcee. A couple in audience gets up to leave. A second couple continues to make out in the darkness. Emcee returns to front of microophone.

EMCEE: Well, that's all the performers for tonight. We hope to see all of you this Saturday night, when Mike Cooney will be performing at the Ark Coffeehouse.

Jim packs up his guitar after lights are turned on. Emcee smiles at Jim.

EMCEE (CONT'D): I liked your song. Maybe next time you'll have more of an audience when it's your turn to sing.

JIM: Do so many people usually show up to sing for the "Open Mike Night"?

EMCEE: Usually even more than we had tonight. This is Ann Arbor, you know. Where everybody thinks he can make it as a musician.


Jim pickes up "Michigan Daily" newspaper from newsstand. He pays cashier, looks at headline and shakes his head.

C.U. Headline of "Michigan Daily"



Marlene is sitting behind People Against The Air War table. Jim walks to table and hands her newspaper.

JIM: Did you see the headline, Marlene?


JIM: They're bombing North Vietnam again.

Marlene puts down newspaper.

MARLENE: What should we do?

JIM: Hold an emergency meeting tonight to plan an emergency rally for tomorrow. We've been telling the campus that the war in Indochina was not over, for the last 3 months. And this proves to students that we were right.

MARLENE: That sounds like a good idea. Why don't you write out a leaflet now. And, when Rachel stops by the table, we can go over to the student government office and run it off for the lunchtime and afternoon class-breaks.


Marlene, Rachel and Jim stand on steps of grad school library in front of large crowd of student demonstrators. It's a warm spring day and Marlene is wering khaki pants and a t-shirt with the peace sign on it. She speaks through the bullhorn she is holding.

MARLENE: We are here today to protest the Nixon Administration's decision to again escalate its war against the Indochinese people.

We formed People Against The Air War a few months ago. Because we realized that an unpublicized, automated air war was still being waged against the Indochinese people by the Nixon Administration. And to let people know that weapons for the Pentagon's electronic battlefield in South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were still being developed inside University of Michigan laboratories. And were still being manufactured by Ann Arbor corporations. Like KMS. Like Hoover Ball & Bearing. And like Bendix.

Yesterday the Nixon Administration resumed the bombing of North Vietnam. And today, it has begun bombing the outskirts of Hanoi.

People Against The Air War demands that all U.S. bombing in Indochina be immediately stopped!

Demonstrators applaud.

MARLENE (CONT'D): We also demand that all secret war research for the Pentagon currently being done at the University of Michigan be ended immediately!

Demonstrators applaud.

MARLENE (CONT'D): And, finally, we want companies in Ann Arbor that currently manufacture parts for the electronic battlefield and the automated air war in Indochina to stop their war production now!

Demonstrators cheer and applaud.

MARLENE (CONT'D): We're going to now hear from a few more speakers, since people are still arriving at this rally. And then we'll be marching to demonstrate at the ROTC building, the war research labs and the military recruitment office. To express our outrage that the war in Indochina has still not been ended!

Demonstrators applaud. While they're applauding, Marlene turns to Jim.

MARLENE (CONT'D): Jim. Why don't you speak for a few minutes?

Marlene hands Jim the bullhorn.

JIM: They told us the bombing of our Indochinese sisters and brothers had ended. But today they're bombing Hanoi!

They told us they were negotiating a peace agreement in Paris. But today the Paris peace talks are no longer going on!

Is the war in Indochina over?


JIM: Is there peace in Indochina?


JIM: The U.S. government is once again seeking a military victory in Indochina. But our Indochinese sisters and brothers would rather die than surrender to the bombs of the Pentagon!

Our Indochinese sisters and brothers have responded to the Pentagon's automated air war and electronic battlefield in Indochina with their own counter-offensive. And to prevent the victory of their liberation struggle, the Death Culture has started to bomb Hanoi!

But the Death Culture--in whose name the Pentagon bombs--is being opposed by the Life Culture, as well as by the Indochinese people.

Those of us who live around campuses like Ann Arbor and are anti-war: We represent the Life Culture!

And more and more people in the United States are becoming part of the Life Culture. Because they recognize that the Death Culture stands for endless war, 9-to-5 slavery and the continued oppression of Black people in places like Detroit!

Jim stretches out his right arm and points off-campus at the same time a student newspaper photographer snaps his camera.

JIM (CONT'D): And the Death Culture's Pentagon is controlled by insane people who are willing to commit crimes of mass murder endlessly in Indochina, as part of the global power trip they're still into.

But here in Ann Arbor, we have a Life Culture that lives by a set of humanistic values which seeks peace, love and absolute freedom! Not endless war and the domination of others!

Last May, the Life Culture went to Washington, D.C. and attempted to shut down the U.S. government until it ended its war in Indochina. But despite the May Day demonstration of 1971, the Death Culture did not end its war. Instead, the Death Culture just grabbed off the streets of Washington thousands of May Day demonstrators. And fenced them in!

But if we want to see the war in Indochina finally ended, every day must become a May Day! Every day must become a May Day!

Demonstrators cheer and applaud.

JIM (CONT'D): I know doing Movement work to end the War can get to be a drag. But unless enough of us continue to be activists, as well as freaks, the Death Culture will never end this endless war.

Demonstrators applaud.

Jim hands bullhorn to Rachel. She is wearing jeans and t-shirt that says "Remember Kent State!".

RACHEL: I was arrested in Washington at the May Day demos last year. But the Pentagon is still bombing like shit in Indochina! And unless we get out of the classroom and into the streets again, Nixon is never going to end this fuckin' war!

Demonstrators cheer and applaud. Rachel hands the bullhorn to VIETNAM VET, 24, a bearded freak with long red hair.

VIETNAM VET: I'm a Vietnam Veteran Against The War. And I'd like to say a few words.

Demonstrators cheer and applaud. Then there is silence.

VIETNAM VET (CONT'D): A few of us here know from first-hand experience why the war in Vietnam has to be stopped. The military lied to us before they shipped us to Vietnam. Then we found ourselves being ordered to attack villages of peasants in the countryside. Civilians. Children. Women. Old men without weapons. And when some of the civilians defended themselves, guys from Michigan, from Ohio, from Indiana, were now dead. For no good reason. This fuckin' war makes no sense.

Let's cut the speeches now. Let's stop bull-shitting. And let's start marching to the ROTC building!

Demonstrators cheer. A group of Vietnam Vets rush to the front of the rally crowd. The demonstrators begin to march across campus towards ROTC building.

DEMONSTRATORS: One! Two! Three! Four! We don't want your fuckin' war!


A few crew-cutted frat students stand in front of ROTC bulding. They look bewildered. Vietnam Vet and other members of his group storm into building.


Vietnam Vet picks up chair and shatters case of ROTC trophies. Other Vietnam Vet group members smash windowed cases and pull down bulletin boards. They then lead demonstrators into different ROTC building classrooms.


Marlene and Jim pull bulletin board down from wall. Then they tip over a desk and turn a big wastepaper basket over. Next they start ripping down posters of soldiers and tossing chairs over.


Rachel and other demonstrators pull ROTC uniforms out of storage closet and throw uniforms on floor. They then step on the uniforms. Some demonstrators dump red paint on uniforms.


Vietnam Vet and members of Vet group smash lamps inside a ROTC classroom. Julie opens a desk and dumps what's inside onto the floor. Joey pulls a clock out of the wall.


Marlene and Jim join others in tipping over lockers in hallway.


Led by Vietnam Vets, demonsrators leave ROTC building and link up with other demonstrators already outside.


Vietnam Vet and his group lead demonstrators into building.


Demonstrators are in front of door marked "Restricted Area." Vietnam Vet opens door.


Demonstrators, led by Vietnam Vet, enter lab. The lab contains a lot of wires and electronic equipment and gadgetry. Vietnam Vet starts to toss equipment on floor. Other vets do same. marlene and Jim tip over some desks. Rachel throws a few chairs in the corner. Julie rips down some boards. Other demonstrators join them in wrecking laboratory. Within a few minutes, laboratory is completely trashed and wires are ripped out of sockets and tossed in corner of the room. Demonstrators then leave trashed electronic war research lab quickly.


Demonstrators march across campus, towards Downtown Ann Arbor.

DEMONSTRATORS: One, two, three, four! We don't want your fuckin' war! One, two, three, four! We don't want your fuckin' war!


Demonstrators march down street, still chanting. They block traffic, while non-demonstrating students watch from sidewalk.

DEMONSTRATORS: One, two, three, four! We don't want your fuckin' war!


Demonstrators stop in front of U.S. Military Recruitment Office. Vietnam Vet picks up rock and breaks glass of windows in front of U.S. Army recruiter's desk. A few seconds later, Jim tosses a rock that breaks glass in front of U.S. Marine recruiter's desk. Demonstrators start marching back towards campus, chanting.

DEMONSTRATORS: One, two, three four! We don't want your fuckin' war!


The size of anti-war demonstration has grown. Marlene is standing on library steps and speaking through a bullhorn.

MARLENE: We are here to demand that the Nixon Administration stop its bombing in Indochina!

Demonstrators cheer.

MARLENE (CONT'D): And to demand that all weapons production in Ann Arbor for the automated air war in Indochina be ended!

Demonstrators cheer.

MARLENE (CONT'D): We also demand that the University of Michigan stop doing war research for the electronic battlefield in its laboratories!

Demonstrators cheer.

MARLENE (CONT'D): What do we want?


MARLENE (CONT'D): When do we want it?


MARLENE: If you look around you, you can see that since this rally started our numbers have doubled. So I propose that we continue this demonstration and march now to the Interstate Highway. To demand that the Nixon Administration finally end its war against the Indochinese people! Are you ready to march to the highway with me?


Rachel raises her fist.

RACHEL: To the highway!


Washtenaw Blvd. is a divided, major thoroughfare, with 3 lanes on each side, located between a strip of fast food restaurants, motels and shopping malls. The demonstrators are marching in a festive, jovial way on side of the road. Traffic is at a standstill behind the march. Michigan State Police monitor the demonstrators from inside police car, from motorcycles or by walking alongside demonstrators.

Marlene walks with group of women students. She is smiling and laughing, as the women talk with each other.

Jim walks by himself. When front of march momentarily stops, Rachel, walks up behind Jim and taps him on his right shoulder. Jim turns around.

JIM: Oh, hi Rachel. Good demo, huh?

Rachel looks over Jim's body and gives him a seductive glance.

RACHEL: Yeah. I liked your little speech. How about getting a cup of coffee with me after the demo? I've been wanting to get to know you better. Ever since we first met.

Rachel puts her right arm around Jim's waist fondly for a few seconds. Jim gazes at Rachel for a moment. Then he smiles.

JIM: O.K. After the demo we can get a cup of coffee together.

The anti-war march moves forward again. Jim and Rachel converse quietly and laugh, while they now march next to each other.


Front of anti-war march has reached entrance ramp of Interstate Highway. But any further approach onto highway is now being prevented by 50 National Guardsmen who are wearing gas masks. Five of the Guardsmen are holding tear gas launching equipment. Demonstrators start to chant.

DEMONSTRATORS: No Police State! Remember Kent State! No Police State! Remember Jackson State!

The loud chanting continues until all of marchers arrive at the highway entrance and are facing off the National Guardsmen. About 15 yards separate National Guard troops from anti-war demonstrators.

A few demonstrators move closer to troops and sit down on highway entrance ramp in front of troops. When about 30 demonstrators have sat down, 3 of the National Guardsmen suddenly fire tear gas at demonstrators. There's suddenly a lot of tear gas in the air. Demonstrators who were sitting down start to choke, stand up and begin to retreat from area, along with other demonstrators. Interstate Highway entrance area becomes flooded with tear gas. A few of the demonstrators are vomiting as they march back towards Washtenaw Blvd. Along with other demonstrators, Marlene, Jim, Rachel, Julie, Patty, Joey and Vietnam Vet are coughing.


Demonstrators march rapidly on Washtenaw Blvd. in a less jovial mood than previously. Many of the demonstrators are still coughing.

DEMONSTRATORS: One, two, three, four! We don't want your fuckin' war! The streets belong to the people! The streets belong to the people!


Louise is sitting behind desk editing copy. Eddie rushes into office.

EDDIE: They're going to occupy a building to protest the new bombing of North Vietnam! They say they're going to shut down Columbia like students did in 1968!

Louise stands up.

LOUISE: Shut it down like in 1968? When?

EDDIE: They say they'll march into a building as soon as they finish marching up Broadway!

LOUISE: How many are marching?

EDDIE: it looks like a thousand.

LOUISE: Holy shit! That Greenberg guy was right when he predicted that Columbia would get shut down this month!

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