Protest activity against the Vietnam War took place prior to and during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
In 1967, counterculture and anti-Vietnam War protest groups had been promising to come to Chicago and disrupt the convention, and the city promised to maintain law and order. For eight days the protesters were met by the Chicago Police Department in the streets and parks of Chicago while the U.S. Democratic Party met at the convention in the International Amphitheater, with the protests climaxing in what a major report later said was a "police riot" on the night of August 28, 1968.
|1968 Democratic National Convention protest activity|
|Part of the 1968 U.S. presidential election, Opposition to U.S. involvement in Vietnam, and the Poor People's Campaign|
|Parties to the civil conflict|
100+ other civilians
152 police officers (including some with split fingernails)
The Youth International Party was one of the major groups in the organization of the protests. Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and a few friends engaged in conversation at Hoffman's apartment on New Year's Eve, 1967. They discussed the events of the year, such as the Summer of Love and the Pentagon demonstration. The idea of having a free music festival in Chicago was suggested to defuse political tension. Over the next week, the Youth International Party (known as Yippie) took shape. Yippie politicized hippie ideology and used street theater and other tactics to critique the culture of the United States and induce change.
In preparation for the Chicago convention, the Yippies held the "Yip-In", and the "Yip-Out" at Grand Central Station in New York City. Both events were planned simply as "be-ins", with live music. The event was used to promote peace, love and harmony, and as a trial run for Chicago. The black banner of an anarchist group was hung on the wall, bearing the words, "Up Against the Wall Mother Fucker" in red. Police stood by watching the crowds. As the "Yip-In" progressed, relations between the police and Yippies became strained. Two people climbed a large clock and removed the hands; the police responded by clearing the station. They formed a skirmish line, ordered the people to disperse, and then started forcing their way through the crowd.
The "Yip-Out" was similar in purpose, but held in Central Park. To obtain the permits and aid from New York City officials necessary for the event, Yippies performed a sit-in at the mayor's office until the Mayor would negotiate on permits. In the end, an agreement was made on staging, electricity, police presence, bathrooms, and other necessities for running a music festival. Police milled in the crowd giving considerable leeway to the proceedings which led to a peaceable day.
The Yippies took a radical approach to the Democratic National Convention. They wrote articles, published fliers, made speeches and held rallies and demonstrations, to announce that they were coming to Chicago. Threats were made that nails would be thrown from overpasses to block roads; cars would be used to block intersections, main streets, police stations and National Guard armories; LSD would be dumped in the city's water supply and the convention would be stormed. However, none of these threats came to fruition. Nonetheless, city officials in Chicago prepared for all possible threats. A vilification campaign led by Chicago authorities worked in favor of the Yippies' plan.
One of the Yippies' main tactics was to use street theatre to create an experience that drew the attention of mainstream America. Yippie activities were used to put across the message that the average American didn't have control over the political process. They tried to show this by purposefully participating in non-traditional activities that would not conceivably affect the decision making process in the convention hall, unlike a "straight" protest with picket lines, marches, and rallies which could conceivably convince delegates of mass support for a program. On a Wednesday night, networks moved their coverage away from the Amphitheater where the delegates were voting on the nomination, to a "pitched battle" in front of the Conrad Hilton hotel.
The other main group behind the convention protests was the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (often referred to as "MOBE"). MOBE was an umbrella organization that included groups who were opposed to American participation in the Vietnam War. MOBE was run by a small executive board that set up a general framework for mass demonstrations, sent out invitations to the over 500 groups on its mailing lists, and coordinated activities between the groups.
MOBE recognized and supported all tactics from marching to civil disobedience. MOBE's main aim was to get the largest turnouts at its functions. David Dellinger, MOBE chairman, believed that "The tendency to intensify militancy without organizing wide political support [was] self-defeating. But so [was] the tendency to draw way from militancy into milder and more conventional forms of protest."
For Chicago, MOBE originally planned for two large-scale marches and an end of convention rally at Soldier Field. The goal was originally a massive show of force outside the International Amphitheatre. MOBE also planned to have workshops and movement centers distributed in 10 parks throughout the city, many in predominantly black areas, to allow demonstrators and participating groups to follow their particular focuses.
Chicago's security forces prepared for the protests during the convention. Besides the standard gun and billy club, Chicago Police Department officers had mace and riot helmets. For the convention, the CPD borrowed a new portable communications system from the military, thus increasing communication between field officers and command posts. All summer long, police officers had received refresher training on crowd control and riot techniques. During the convention itself, Police Academy instructors were with the reserve forces, giving last minute reminders.
To satisfy manpower requirements, the City put the force on 12-hour shifts, instead of the normal 8-hour shifts. This gave police commanders approximately 50% more field officers to deal with disturbances. Two-thirds of the officers would continue with the normal police duties with the remaining third available for special assignment. In the Amphitheatre, the City concentrated 500 officers filling various roles. In Lincoln Park, the number of officers patrolling during the daytime was doubled, but the majority of the officers assigned to the Lincoln Park area were held in reserve, ready to respond to any disturbance.
In suspected trouble areas, police patrols were heavy. Further away from the center patrols were less frequent. This allowed the police to shift easily and quickly to control a problem without leaving an area unguarded. While maintaining a public image of total enforcement of all city, state, and federal laws, the Narcotics division was quietly reassigned to regular fieldwork, curtailing anti-drug operations during the DNC.
Police officials and Mayor Daley had worked with the National Guard to create a plan to effectively use the Guard. It would be called up at the beginning of the convention, but held in reserve at strategically placed armories or collection points such as Soldier Field. With the Guard in place at their armories, the CPD could request and receive assistance quickly.
Both MOBE and Yippie needed permits from the city in order to hold their respective events. The City had several reasons for denying permits to MOBE and Yippie and thus stalled issuing permits. The City was worried about a black rebellion, independent of the white protesters, during the convention. To avoid trouble, the City used its influence with black community organizations such as The Woodlawn Organization, the Black Consortium, and Operation Breadbasket to try to keep their constituents calm and peaceful. Some of the militant black leaders were encouraged to leave town during the convention to avoid being implicated in any violence.
The City also believed that having large numbers of white protesters marching through the black ghettos with a heavy police or National Guard escort would inflame the ghettos and set off rioting. Therefore, the City categorically denied any permit that included parks in or march routes through black areas.
Another argument the City used to deny permits was that the permits asked the City to set aside local and state ordinances. A city ordinance closed the city parks at 11 pm, although this was not strictly enforced. In a letter to Yippie, Deputy Mayor David Stahl gave eight rules for Yippie to follow, including submitting detailed plans and requirements, following all city, state, and federal ordinances, and toning down the rhetoric. The Yippies refused, so the City felt justified in denying Yippie their permits.
In a last-ditch effort, MOBE filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking it to force Chicago to issue permits for a rally in Soldier Field or Grant Park. Judge Lynch, Daley's former law partner, heard the case, and summarily dismissed the request, citing that the city could deny permits on the basis of protecting "public comfort, convenience, and welfare."
The start of the convention week's violence is sometimes traced to the shooting of Dean Johnson by Chicago police officers. Dean Johnson, age 17, and another boy were stopped on the sidewalk by the officers for a curfew violation early on the morning of Thursday, August 22. When Johnson drew and fired a pistol at police (the gun misfired), police officers returned fire, hitting Johnson three times. The Yippies and SDS hastily organized a memorial service for Johnson, but as one observer noted, due to poor planning "it turned out that no one had made any plans to actually do anything. We just milled around and began to fill up the intersection. Two squad cars pulled up and the cops got out and told us to keep moving ... but they were pretty gentle about it".
On Friday, August 23, the planned protests began. Jerry Rubin and other Yippies attempted to formally nominate the Yippie candidate for president, Pigasus, a pig. By the time Rubin arrived with Pigasus, several hundred spectators and reporters had gathered on the Civic Center plaza. Police officers were waiting, and as soon as the pig was released, Rubin, folk singer Phil Ochs, and five other Yippies were arrested.
At 6 a.m. on Saturday, August 24, continuous surveillance began in Lincoln Park. For the previous several nights, the police had cleared Lincoln Park at 11 pm and maintained a significant presence during the day. Women Strike for Peace attempted to hold a women-only picket at the Hilton Hotel, the main delegate hotel. Despite plans for buses from around the country to bring hundreds of picketers, only 60 or so women showed up. This apparently failed protest was the catalyst for much of the convention week violence as MOBE and the SDS contingent realized that their "'liberal base' [had] finked out big". It appeared that the expected hundreds of thousands of protesters would not be descending upon Chicago to disrupt the convention with their presence.
It was generally agreed upon to not attempt to stay in Lincoln Park after the curfew, but to rather take the protest to the streets. At exactly 11 pm, poet Allen Ginsberg led protesters out of the park into the streets. SDS leaders organized several hundred protesters to march through the streets chanting things such as 'Peace Now' while the police simply guarded Lincoln Park. When the crowd stopped at Wells and North Avenue, blocking the intersection, a police contingent arrived and cleared the crowd. Eleven people were arrested and several police cars were stoned before the crowd dispersed into the normal Saturday nightlife.
A speaker with a megaphone (left) addressing a crowd of protestors (right) in Grant Park
On Sunday, MOBE had scheduled a 'Meet the Delegates' march and picket. At 2 p.m. there were between 200 and 300 picketers marching across the street from the Conrad Hilton, and another 500 marching south through the Loop chanting, "Hey, Hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today". After the police arrival, those who were picketing moved into nearby Grant Park to avoid a mass arrest situation. Once the marchers had reached Grant Park, there was a brief rally where Davis and Hayden claimed the day a success, and then went to Lincoln Park where the Festival of Life music festival was beginning.
At 4 pm, the Festival started with MC5, the only band who showed up for the festival. The police did not allow a flatbed truck to be brought in as a stage, fearing Yippie would use it to incite the crowd. When the concession stand owner insisted that Yippie stop using his electrical outlets to run the amplification equipment, confusion ensued. While Rubin and other Yippies tried to make frantic deals to get the sound back on, Hoffman used the confusion to try to bring in the flatbed truck. A deal was struck allowing the truck to be parked nearby, but not in, the park. The crowd that had gathered around and on the truck did not realize an agreement had been reached and thought the truck was being sent away. The crowd surged around the truck, pinning in the police officers.
Hoffman declared that the police had stopped the music festival, and proceeded to conduct a workshop on dispersal tactics to avoid arrest by police. As the next police shift came on duty, they were informed of the tense situation in the park. Due to the number, frequency, diverseness, and exposure of the threats made by the protesters, the police were concerned about facing protesters armed with unknown weapons and unknown intentions.
At 9 pm, police formed a skirmish line around the park bathrooms. This drew a crowd of spectators who heckled the police. The crowd rapidly grew until the police charged into the crowd swinging their batons, scattering the crowd. The protesters exaggerated the violence and numbers of the police, and the police exaggerated the violence and numbers of the protesters. At 11 pm the police pushed the protesters out of the park. Most protesters left the park and congregated nearby, taunting the police.
Initially when the police reached the edge of the park, they maintained their skirmish line, however when a squad was ordered to 'clear' Clark Street to keep traffic flowing the police lost control. A running battle began. Yippie Jerry Rubin told a friend "This is fantastic and it's only Sunday night. They might declare martial law in this town." Order was not restored in Old Town until early Monday morning.
In Mayor Daley's convention report, a list of 152 officers "wounded" on Wednesday's melee was presented. Their wounds ranged from an officer's split fingernail to an officer's infra-orbital fracture of the left eye. Although the precise number of injured protesters is unknown, Dr. Quentin Young of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR) stated that approximately most of the 500 people treated in the streets suffered from minor injuries and the effects of tear gas. During the entirety of convention week, 101 civilians were treated for undisclosed injuries, by area hospitals, 45 of those on Wednesday night.
On the convention floor, several delegates made statements against Mayor Daley and the CPD, like Senator Abraham Ribicoff who denounced the use of "Gestapo tactics on the streets of Chicago" in his speech nominating George McGovern. Village Voice reporter Paul Cowan asked his editor not to print a story about the throwing of objects at the police, in hope to provoke reprisals to publish a story on the police riot which "seemed to me a far greater evil than the fact that some kids had wanted to provoke it".
The rest of the convention week violence followed the pattern set Sunday night. Protestors were joined on 28 August by the Poor People's Campaign, now led by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference's Ralph Abernathy. This group had a permit and was split off from other demonstrators before being allowed to proceed to the amphitheater.
The hard line taken by the City was also seen on the convention floor itself. In 1968, Terry Southern described the convention hall as "exactly like approaching a military installation; barbed-wire, checkpoints, the whole bit". Inside the convention, journalists such as Mike Wallace and Dan Rather were roughed up by security; both these events were broadcast live on television.
Subsequently, the Walker Report to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence assigned blame for the mayhem in the streets to the police force, calling the violence a "police riot". It later became said that on that night, America voted for Richard M. Nixon.
1968 riots may refer to:
Orangeburg massacre, February 8, South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, South Carolina
1968 Washington, D.C. riots, April 4–8, Washington, D.C.
1968 Chicago riots (West Side Riots), April 5–7, Chicago, Illinois
Baltimore riot of 1968, April 6–12, Baltimore, Maryland
1968 Kansas City, Missouri riot, April 9, Kansas City, Missouri
Wilmington riot of 1968, April 9–10, Wilmington, Delaware
Louisville riots of 1968, May 27–29, Louisville, Kentucky
May 1968 in France, student riots in Paris, France
Glenville Shootout, July 23–28, Cleveland, Ohio
1968 Democratic National Convention protest activity, August 1968, Chicago, Illinois2016 Donald Trump Chicago rally protest
On March 11, 2016, the Donald Trump presidential campaign cancelled a planned rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), in Chicago, Illinois, citing "growing safety concerns" due to the presence of thousands of protesters in and outside his rally.Thousands of anti-Trump demonstrators responding to civic leaders' and social media calls to shut the rally down had gathered outside the arena, and several hundred more filled seating areas within the UIC Pavilion, where the rally was to take place. When the Trump campaign announced that the rally would not take place, there was a great deal of shouting and a few small scuffles between Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters.Benton Harbor riots
The city of Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA has had two major riots.Chicago Democratic National Convention
Chicago Democratic National Convention may refer to the following Democratic National Convention events:
1864 Democratic National Convention
1884 Democratic National Convention
1892 Democratic National Convention
1896 Democratic National Convention
1932 Democratic National Convention
1940 Democratic National Convention
1944 Democratic National Convention
1952 Democratic National Convention
1956 Democratic National Convention
1968 Democratic National Convention
1968 Democratic National Convention protest activity
1996 Democratic National ConventionHistory of socialism
The history of socialism has its origins in the 1789 French Revolution and the changes which it wrought, although it has precedents in earlier movements and ideas. The Communist Manifesto was written by Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels in 1848 just before the Revolutions of 1848 swept Europe, expressing what they termed "scientific socialism". In the last third of the 19th century, social democratic parties arose in Europe, drawing mainly from Marxism. The Australian Labor Party was the world's first elected socialist party when it formed government in the Colony of Queensland for a week in 1899.In the first half of the 20th century, the Soviet Union and the communist parties of the Third International around the world mainly came to represent socialism in terms of the Soviet model of economic development and the creation of centrally planned economies directed by a state that owns all the means of production, although other trends condemned what they saw as the lack of democracy. In the United Kingdom, Herbert Morrison said that "socialism is what the Labour government does" whereas Aneurin Bevan argued that socialism requires that the "main streams of economic activity are brought under public direction", with an economic plan and workers' democracy. Some argued that capitalism had been abolished. Socialist governments established the mixed economy with partial nationalisations and social welfare.
By 1968, the prolonged Vietnam War (1959–1975) gave rise to the New Left, socialists who tended to be critical of the Soviet Union and social democracy. Anarcho-syndicalists and some elements of the New Left and others favored decentralized collective ownership in the form of cooperatives or workers' councils. At the turn of the 21st century in Latin America, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez championed what he termed socialism of the 21st century, which included a policy of nationalisation of national assets such as oil, anti-imperialism and termed himself a Trotskyist supporting permanent revolution.Hunters Point social uprising (1966)
The Hunters Point social uprising (also known as the Hunters Point Riot or Rebellion) broke out in the Hunters Point neighborhood of San Francisco on the night of September 27, 1966, after San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) officer Alvin Johnson shot and killed Matthew Johnson, a teenager who was fleeing the scene of a stolen car. The National Guard and California Highway Patrol (CHP) were deployed late that night by Governor Pat Brown, and martial law was imposed until October 1.Iowa caucuses
The Iowa caucuses are biennial electoral events for members of the Democratic and Republican parties in the U.S. state of Iowa. Unlike primary elections in most other U.S. states where registered voters go to polling places to cast ballots, Iowans instead gather at local caucus meetings to discuss and vote on the candidates. During both the presidential and midterm election seasons, registered Iowan voters vote in a per-precinct caucus for the party they are registered as a member. The caucuses are also held to select delegates to county conventions and party committees, among other party activities.The Iowa caucuses are noteworthy as the first major contest of the United States presidential primary season. Though the demographics of Iowa are not representative of the rest of the country, the caucuses are still seen as a strong indicator for how a presidential candidate will do in later contests. It can provide candidates with momentum going into the following contests. Candidates who do poorly in their caucus are likely to drop out in the following days.List of incidents of civil unrest in Chicago
This list is about incidents of civil unrest, rioting, violent labor disputes, or minor insurrections or revolts in Chicago, Illinois.List of incidents of civil unrest in the United States
Wikipedia has articles on most of the major episodes of civil unrest. This list does not include the supremely numerous incidents of destruction and/or violence associated with various sporting events.List of protests in the United States
This is a list of protests in the United States.Medium Cool
Medium Cool is a 1969 American drama film written and directed by Haskell Wexler and starring Robert Forster, Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, Marianna Hill and Harold Blankenship. It takes place in Chicago in the summer of 1968. It was notable for Wexler's use of cinéma vérité-style documentary filmmaking techniques, as well as for combining fictional and non-fictional content.
The movie was met with widespread acclaim from numerous critics, including Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel of Siskel & Ebert, both calling the movie a "well-crafted masterpiece." The movie was also named one of the greatest movies of 1969, as well as one of the most influential movies in the New Hollywood movement. Robert Forster was also met with universal acclaim for his performance.
In 2003, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".Miami and the Siege of Chicago
Miami and the Siege of Chicago: An Informal History of the Republican and Democratic Conventions of 1968 is a non-fiction novel written by Norman Mailer which covers the Republican and Democratic national party political conventions of 1968 and the anti-Vietnam War protests surrounding them. It was published in 1968 by the World Publishing Company and has since been republished by New York Review Books in 2008.Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War
Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War began with demonstrations in 1964 against the escalating role of the U.S. military in the Vietnam War and grew into a broad social movement over the ensuing several years. This movement informed and helped shape the vigorous and polarizing debate, primarily in the United States, during the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s on how to end the war.Many in the peace movement within the U.S. were students, mothers, or anti-establishment hippies. Opposition grew with participation by the African-American civil rights, women's liberation, and Chicano movements, and sectors of organized labor. Additional involvement came from many other groups, including educators, clergy, academics, journalists, lawyers, physicians (such as Benjamin Spock), and military veterans. Their actions consisted mainly of peaceful, nonviolent events; few events were deliberately provocative and violent. In some cases, police used violent tactics against peaceful demonstrators. By 1967, according to Gallup Polls, an increasing majority of Americans considered U.S. military involvement in Vietnam to be a mistake, echoed decades later by the then head of American war planning, former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.Protests of 1968
The protests of 1968 comprised a worldwide escalation of social conflicts, predominantly characterized by popular rebellions against military and bureaucratic elites, who responded with an escalation of political repression.
In capitalist countries, these protests marked a turning point for the civil rights movement in the United States, which produced revolutionary movements like the Black Panther Party. In reaction to the Tet Offensive, protests also sparked a broad movement in opposition to the Vietnam War all over the United States and even into London, Paris, Berlin and Rome. Mass socialist movements grew not only in the United States but also in most European countries. The most spectacular manifestation of this were the May 1968 protests in France, in which students linked up with wildcat strikes of up to ten million workers, and for a few days the movement seemed capable of overthrowing the government. In many other capitalist countries, struggles against dictatorships, state repression, and colonization were also marked by protests in 1968, such as the beginning of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the Tlatelolco massacre in Mexico City, and the escalation of guerrilla warfare against the military dictatorship in Brazil.
In the socialist countries there were also protests against lack of freedom of speech and violation of other civil rights by the Communist bureaucratic and military elites. In Central and Eastern Europe there were widespread protests that escalated, particularly in the Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia, in Warsaw, in Poland, and in Yugoslavia.Richard J. Daley
Richard Joseph Daley (May 15, 1902 – December 20, 1976) was an American politician who served as the 45th Mayor of Chicago for a total of 21 years beginning on April 20, 1955, until his death on December 20, 1976. Daley was the chairman of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee for 23 years, holding both positions until his death in office in 1976. Daley was Chicago's third consecutive mayor from the working-class, heavily Irish American Bridgeport neighborhood on Chicago's South Side, where he lived his entire life. Daley is remembered for doing much to avoid the declines that some other "rust belt" cities—like Cleveland, Buffalo and Detroit—experienced during the same period. He had a strong base of support in Chicago's Irish Catholic community, and he was treated by national politicians such as Lyndon B. Johnson as a pre-eminent Irish American, with special connections to the Kennedy family. Daley played a major role in the history of the Democratic Party, especially with his support of John F. Kennedy in 1960 and of Hubert Humphrey in 1968. Daley is the father of Richard M. Daley, also a former mayor of Chicago, William M. Daley, a former United States Secretary of Commerce, and John P. Daley, a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners. While many members of Daley's administration were charged with corruption and convicted, Daley himself was never charged with corruption.Sunset Strip curfew riots
The Sunset Strip curfew riots, also known as the "hippie riots", were a series of early counterculture-era clashes that took place between police and young people on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California in 1966.Youth International Party
The Youth International Party, whose members were commonly called Yippies, was an American radically youth-oriented and countercultural revolutionary offshoot of the free speech and anti-war movements of the 1960s. It was founded on December 31, 1967. They employed theatrical gestures, such as advancing a pig ("Pigasus the Immortal") as a candidate for President in 1968, to mock the social status quo. They have been described as a highly theatrical, anti-authoritarian and anarchist youth movement of "symbolic politics".Since they were well known for street theater and politically themed pranks, they were either ignored or denounced by many of the "old school" political left. According to ABC News, "The group was known for street theater pranks and was once referred to as the 'Groucho Marxists'."
|Protests and events|
|People and Organizations|
Riots and civil unrest in Illinois