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Speeches, Songs, Silent March Mark Protest
War Protesters Gather 1,000 Strong

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Zonyx Report:  Waukesha Freeman Anti-War March Photo, 1969 Zonyx Report:  Go to Waukesha Freeman Index Page
This front-page article was written on a break from Kaleidoscope in 1969, & I used the opportunity to introduce a definite anti-war point-of-view -- & some radical elements that had been getting a lot more play in the underground press in Milwaukee -- while not obviously portraying any bias. Or at least anything that anyone could point to as factually incorrect, as I always did with the straight press. That, of course, was the fun of it.
   By Mike Zetteler

     Freeman Staff

HUNDREDS of students and other Vietnam moratorium participants gathered to watch anti-militaristic sketches, applaud short speeches calling for an end to the war, and sing songs of protest in the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha cafeteria at noon Wednesday.

The enthusiasm of this "Theater of Peace" was followed by a long, purposely silent march in the chilly, gray weather as the participants took their convictions to the streets of business-as-usual Waukesha.

They began marching at 2:20 p.m.

After linking up with a contingent from Mount St. Paul and Carroll colleges, the marchers staged a rally -- about 1,000 strong -- at Cutler Park.

At the head of the procession as it left UWW were a boy and a girl carrying American flags and three young men men holding aloft a large red-on-white banner with a quote: "But the time has come to end this war." --President Nixon, Sept. 16, 1969.

About 250 marchers, four abreast, were joined by others along the way and were swelled to 400, by police estimates, at Mount St. Paul.

In observance of the command of marshals to "remember, silence and non-violence," the scrape of shoes on the pavement and the squeak of baby strollers were practically the only sounds as police halted traffic to let the marchers cross the intersection.

Police Inspector Howard Tarnish reported no incidents along the route, which ended at Cutler Park after hundreds more joined in following the events at Carroll College. Still trying to keep the four-abreast pattern, their ranks stretched for several blocks as they headed down East Ave. towards the park.

A small green car carried two crippled veterans who couldn't march.

The respectful ceremonies in the darkening, wintry afternoon at the small park saw over a thousand persons dedicate a minute of silence to the Vietnam war dead. Then came angry speeches.

The names of Waukesha county's victims of the war were read by Mrs. Mary Stowasser, 1925 Buffalo St., beginning with William R. Glueckstein, of Brookfield, and ending with Larry R. Schmidt, of Oconomowoc.

"The last three names on the list have just been penciled in," Mrs. Stowasser said. The first was killed Jan. 28, 1966.

"This kind of inhumanity ought to be opposed with every non-violent means available," said UWW physics Prof. Victor Wrigley. "And I consider myself a true American," he added.

The events at the park began with singing and hand-clapping led by guitarist Ed Johnson of Mount St. Paul as the marchers gathered in a semi-circle facing the library where the banner was draped.

Speakers, including an unscheduled appearance of Milwaukee Black Panther Party member Loretta X, were introduced by one of the organizers, Bob Daby, of Mount St. Paul.

In line with the intent of the day's activities "to enlist entire communities in support of the cause of peace," the speakers represented different segments of the community, Daby said.

"What do we have to do?" asked Gary Buerstatt, of the Carroll College student senate. "We've given speeches, we've marched, we've sent telegrams."

No one had the answer on how to force the nation's leaders to recognize that "57 per cent of the people, by the latest Gallup poll, favored withdrawal from Vietnam by 1970," according to speaker Thomas Miglautsch.

An advertising executive and former Waukesha county Democratic Party chairman, Miglautsch proposed economic and land reform in Vietnam as an alternative to war.

"Where there is no poverty, no oppression, there is no communism," he said.

"They say we would lose face if we pulled out," said the Rev. James Dick, of the First Baptist church. "Why are we not ashamed of losing face for prosecuting a war of which the whole world disapproves?"

Several of the speakers stressed that the war was fought for the economic exploitation of Asia by America, which "already controls 20-30 per cent of the world's wealth."

"How much more do we want?" asked Miglautsch.

Several times loud applause erupted as speakers touched on the theme formulated by Mr. Dick: "How long, Mr. President, how long?"

In the late afternoon a large number of pupils out of school for the day joined the crowd, which listened patiently to the speakers despite the impulse to move across the street for free coffee and doughnuts at the First Baptist church.

Although the bulk of the participants throughout the day were college students and faculty, more than a sprinkling of older persons joined in. Parents carried bundled-up babies.

Anti-war armbands and buttons, from "Milwaukee 14" to "Work for Peace," were everywhere.

"A lot of people been rappin' some pretty good things here today," said Black Panther Loretta X. "People are being jailed and killed in the streets by the same system that's killin' them over there.

"And that's what we're trying to stop. A lot of people think we're a gun-totin' group, but if we were we wouldn't be here freezin'."

She concluded with an appeal for donations for the Black Panthers, and led the crowd in a shout of "All power to the people!"

"We have silently allowed militarism to develop to the point where it is questionable whether Congress or the President is morally strong enough to challenge its will," said Mount St. Paul English Department Chairman William Slavick, the last of the speakers.

"The young see now just how extensive and deep is the corruption of this country."

Despite the cold, the group stayed together through the speeches to end, as they had begun, with a song:

"Where have all the young men gone? Gone to graveyards every
one . . .

When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?"

Then they headed eagerly for the coffee and doughnuts donated by the First Baptist church Men's Club as business-as-usual Waukesha headed for home on the streets all around them.


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