Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Fugitive Generation (xvi)


Jim and Marlene converse as they eat lunch. Both smile and laugh frequently.

JIM: How did you come to get so politically active?

MARLENE: I guess it was the War. When I was a freshman, the SDS chapter was already broken up. But I was against the War. And when they invaded Cambodia and shot the students at Kent State and Jackson State, I really got active and radicalized.

JIM: What were you into before you got into activism?

Marlene laughs.

MARLENE: Oh, I was your All-American girl in high school. Cheerleader. Prom queen. In all the clubs.

JIM: I'm glad you became radicalized. The cheerleaders I knew in high school never got involved in the anti-war movement.

MARLENE: Most of my old high school girlfriends didn't get involved either.

JIM: Do you know what you're going to do after you graduate?

MARLENE: I don't know. Maybe teach. I try not to think about it.

JIM: I don't blame you. It's a real death culture out there. Once you get off campus you realize what a fantasy world a place like Ann Arbor is.

Rachel enters restaurant.

RACHEL: Hey, Marlene? Did you see this?

Rachel reads aloud from the "Michigan Daily" student newspaper.

RACHEL (CONT'D): "Air Force Colonel Washington will be speaking about `The New Military' on Friday night."

MARLENE: Why don't you bring it up at the People Against The Air War meeting tonight? Maybe people will want to have a picket?

Jim smiles.


About 25 students are sitting around in a circle on floor of lounge, listening to Jim speak.

JIM: I think we can be more effective if we do more than picket outside. I think we should go inside the auditorium to show the slide show about the air war. And then debate the morality of the war with the Air Force Colonel.

MARLENE: I call myself. I like that idea. If the Colonel is willing to speak on campus, then he should be willing to debate the air war with students on campus.

The Fugitive Generation (xv)


About 25 students are sitting around in a circle on floor of lounge, listening to Jim speak.

JIM: When people realize the War is still going on, they'll join us. What we have to do is show people on campus that the University of Michigan is still producing weapons in its laboratories for the automated air war in Indochina. And that the most effective way they can contribute to stopping the air war in Indochina is to demand that their university shut down its war labs.

Rachel raises hand.

MARLENE: Rachel?

RACHEL: What about demonstrating at the offices of those companies in Ann Arbor that still have weapons contracts with the Pentagon?

MARLENE: I call myself. I like that idea. The people who produced the slide show provided me with a list of the companies that help produce the electronic battlefield for the air war. And companies with Ann Arbor corporate headquarters--like KMS and Hoover Ball & Bearing--are on the list. Let's plan an anti-war demo in February at KMS. And in March, let's demonstrate at Hoover Ball & Bearing.


Students hurry to and from classes. Jim is standing against wall of lobby, next to a table. Marlene suddenly approaches with the slide show equipment in her hands. Marlene smiles when she notices Jim.

MARLENE: Good to see you so early in the morning. You're so reliable.

JIM: I signed up to table all morning.

MARLENE: That's true. But a lot of people sign up to table at 9 a.m.. But then they don't show up until 11.

Marlene puts slide show projector on lobby table. She plugs in equipment, focuses first slide on wall across lobby and hands Jim the switch to use to rotate slides and project next slide and voice/over.

MARLENE (CONT'D): Just keep pressing the switch. And I'll be back when my morning class ends at 10:30. Then we can re-set the projector and show the slide show again.

Jim presses the switch. As Marlene walks away the sound of the slide show voice-over can be heard.

SLIDE SHOW V.O.: The war in Indochina is not over...


Time is 10:30.

Jim is standing between table and wall, conversing with a long-haired male student. After conversation ends, Jim notices Marlene walking towards him.

MARLENE: How's it going?

JIM: People stopped by for awhile and watched bits and pieces of the slide show. Everybody seems against the War around here.

MARLENE: Let me re-start the slide show. We'll just stay here until 1:00. And then we'll dump everything off at the student government office.


Jim and Marlene are about to leave office.

JIM: Well, Marlene. How about some lunch?

MARLENE: O.K. I know a good place where we can talk.