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September 01, 1968 - Image 10

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1968-09-01

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Page Ter.


Sunday, September 1, 1968

Page Ten THE MICHIGAN DAILY Sunday1 September 1, 968

Chicago confrontation: What happened

(Continued from Page 1)
Just over a small ridge, more
than 300 police waited in double
battle lines as their officers shout-
ed over electric bull horns: "This
is a final warning. Move out
now . . . you are in violation of
the law."
"Hell no, we won't go!" came
back the chant, and as seven
demonstrators carried the cross
forward to kneel and pray, a
few advanced to toss rocks and
bottle. In the background, the
crowd started the first verse of
"America the Beautiful."
It could have been a scene from
a Greek tragedy: The outdoor
theater, the background chorus.
sp'eakers with faces lost in the
The scene abruptly changed as
police, after three "final" warn-
ings, lobbed tear gas into the
geated crowd.
Those who had been singing
were suddenly ~swearing at the
tops of their voices as they choked
\back tears. Taunts increased. The
volume of obscenities expanded
as laggards were roughly prodd-
ed, but not beaten, with riot
Patrolmen who raised their
clubs high or drew pistols, as a
few did, were confronted by
groups of three and four who
screamed, "Hit me, pig! Shoot
me, pig-"
The demonstrators fled the park
- and rambled toward downtown
Chicago. They passed the river
and continued south on Michigan
Avenue as they had been told by
marshals until they reached the
Conrad Hilton Hotel, headquarers
for the Democratic convention.
They massed in Grant Park
across from the Hilton. Police
standing side by side on both
sides of the avenue kept a vigil
until the dawn, letting the dem-
onstrators defy the curfew. The
youths lit bonfires and let derid-
ing insult fly but the police took
it unflinchingly rather than risk
srpeading tear gas and violence
to the Hilton.
Demonstrators found that, al-
though the police allowed them
through their lines in small
groups, guardsmen blocked most
exits from the lakefront park. The
troops used tear gas to turn back
the crowds, giving Hilton resi-
dents their first taste of the gas.
Exits farther north, however,
remained open. The crowds surged
through and, with a cheer, rush-
ed onto Michigan Avenue and
headed, south-back toward the
"The streets belong to the peo-
ple," they cried as hundreds-
perhaps a thousand-marched,
They overtodk the three mule-
drawn wagons of the Poor Peo-
ple's Campaign which were mov-
ing slowly down Michigan Avenue
with a police escort.
The mixed procession was halt-
ed just short of the Hilton by a
double row pf police blocking the
entire eight-lane avenue.
The swelling crowd taunted po-
lice, a few missiles were thrown
and some persons sat down in the
street. A small group made a push
against the police lines and was
driven back by flailing clubs. That
did it.
Suddenly two flying wedges of
police charged east -up Balbo
Avenue, and drove into the crowd
on Michigan Avenue, swinging
The entire intersection was
ablaze with lights from the hotels
and the television cameras, which
captured for millions of viewers
the swirling violence, the screams
and curses, the dull thud of night
Television sets in the amphi-
theater showed the delegates what

was happening. Police charged
again and again, clubbing demon-
strators, dragging them to police
vans and pushing or throwing
them in.
The street scene grew more wild
as police charged scattered dem-
onstrators. Violence spilled onto
the sidewalks and even into the
lobbies of the hotels.
Targets of continuous barrages
of verbal abuse and some missiles,
the helmeted police chased dem-
onstrators, newsmen, spectators
or unsuspecting passersby who
blundered into the violence.
All the while the television
cameras ground on. . .
On the convention floor, Daley

copyrighted story, quoted police
undercover agent Robert Pierson,l
who infiltrated the Yippies, as,
saying Yippies sought to con-
stantly provoke attacks by police.
Wednesday night's confronta-
tion at the Hilton, the paper quot-
ed Pierson as saying, was plan-
ned well in advance. Rubin was
charged with solicitation to com-
mit mob action.
The organizers of this week of
p r o t e st - Dellinger, satirical
writer Paul Krassner, SDS ve-
teran Tom Hayden, Rubin and
others, are holding a weekend
meeting to analyze what happened
and plan what to do next.
There is no question that they

chose to stand defiantly in the
streets of Chicago?
They camefrom almost every-
where. complaining of distrust for
the older generation, dislike for
some elements of the American
system, discontent with political
leaders and the results of both
conventions, and disgust with the
Vietnam war.
"It's always the old call to'
war, and always the young who
fall," sang folk musician Phil
Ochs in a ballad that - always
brought rally audiences to their
Its title: "I Ain't-a-Marchin
Any More."
They were brought together in

belong to the people."
Their symbol was the two-fin-
ger "V." - not the victory sym-
bol of another generation's war
but the solidarity sign of their
They filled the air with chants,
"Hell, no we won't go!" aimed
at the draft, "Dump the Hump,"
aimed at the vice president, "No
more war," "Peace now," and
"Oink, Oink," aimed at police.
Jean was a marcher.
She is 23, and loved beads,
bare feet and carefree dress before
it was identified as hippie garb.
ica is inevitable. She is disen-
chanted. In four years as a com-
munity organizer in the Black
neighborhood of a northeastern
city she fought slumlords. T h e y
called her an agitator and she is
bitter about it.
But she is not bitter about last
week in Chicago.
"We made them show the
country what they really art.
They're finally acting like they
really think," she said.
"In other cities it would have
been handled, much cooler, much
smarter," she said.
"They would have let us march.
It would have taken the wind

-Daily-Jay L. Cassidy
Chicago police fill a van with tear-gassed demonstrators

was jeered by delegates sympa- I
ithetic to the demonstrators and
police tactics were criticized from I
the rostrum.
Thursday night some 2,000
demonstrators marched south-
ward out of Grant Park. They
were led by presidential write-in
candidate Dick Gregory, and a
number of convention delegates.
They were stopped at Michigan
Avenue and 18th Street by a mass
of guardsmen with barbed wire
shrouded jeeps, backed up by rows
of police.
Gregory and some of the dele-
gates submitted to arrest. Then,
taunted by a man with an electric
bullhorn, the crowd surged against
the line of troops.
The response was first pushing'
back with rifles, then rifle butts,
then came the order, "Gas!"
Clouds of biting, choking riot
gas flooded over the crowd, send-
ing it fleeing back north. Gas was
used several more times when the
crowd made a motion to turn and
confront the following line of
police and guard.
Finally the coughing, crying
crowd straggled back into' the
park where it was fenced in by,
,lines of guardsmen.
There were a few incidents Fri-
day, the most notable a dawn raid
by police on Hilton rooms occu-
pied by McCarthy workers whom
the police accused of dropping ob-
jects on guardsmen from their
15th floor windows. But as the,
delegates went home, so did the
demonstrators. The violence had
About 600 persons had been ar-
rested. Most were released on bond.
No one had an accurate count of
how many were injured.
Was it deliberately provoked?
The Chicago Tribune, in a

were preparing for the kind of
confrontation that m i11i o n s
watched in horror on television.
They had medical teams of vol-
unteer doctors, emergency field
ambulances, attorneys, instruc-
tions on how to deal with police
clubs and tear gas, and even plans
to evacuate their protesters in!
case violence leaped completely
out of hand.
They argue, however, t h a t'
they prepared because they ex- .
pected police to be unnecessarily'
"This confrontation was n o t
inevitable," said Rennie Davis, 25,
one of the youngest leaders.
"Where we had the police doing
its duty of monitoring a nonvi-
olent march such as the three,
hotels we picketed Sunday, we
had no such confrontation.
They're not inevitable."
Who were these youths w h o

Chicago by the National Mobili-
zation Committee to End the War
in Vietnam, a loose coalition of
135 antiwar groups that organiz-
ed demonstrations but has no au-
thority to enforce discipline.
The "mob," as it is known, es-
timated that they came from 38
states, with most from Chicago,!
New York, Boston, Detroit, Cleve-
land and California.
The protestors were mostly.
white and mostly just out of their
teens. Spme came because John
F. Kennedy and his brother had
been killed, because Martin Lu-'
ther King Jr. had been killed.
Many wore McCarthy buttons:
and wherever they grouped they
raised flags; red for revolution,
black for anarchy, green and Ted
for the National Liberation Front.
They carried signs: "Welcome
to Prague," "We've had it, Mayor
Daley," "Veteran of Lincoln Park,
Aug. 28, 1968," and "The streets

Saturday and Sunday
Dir.Billy Wilder, 1950
"A tribute to Hollywood,
its vanished glory,
glamour, grandeur and
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