New York’s Finest: Busting Out All Over (May 2, 1968)


“WASHINGTON SQUARE — While the good John Lindsay praised the peace parade in Central Park, the bad John Lindsay had the peace parade busted in Washington Square Park. While the good Sanford Garelik passed out flyers of ‘principles to guide police officers at demon­strations,’ the bad chief inspect­or gave the order to attack the demonstrators. While the good William Booth looked on, the bad human rights commissioner looked away. While the good Jay Kriegel and the good Barry Got­tehrer privately deplored the police action, the bad mayoral aides publicly condoned it. Saturday was a fair, gray day. At 11 a. m. the Anti-Imperialist Feeder March began to form in Washington Square Park. Its marchers, some 400 strong, had split with the Fifth Avenue Viet­nam Parade Committee because, according to an ad, ‘the Parade Committee leadership arranged for strike-breaker Lindsay, whose police regularly attack the black and Puerto Rican commu­nities and break up anti-war and Yippie demonstrations, to greet the anti-war rally in the Sheep Meadow.’ So the dissidents — ­mainly Youth Against War and Fascism and the United States Committee to Aid the National Liberation Front — planned their own march. As police and city officials met under the arch, plainclothes heavies massed on Washington Square North. Cheaply dressed, each cop sported a red hat pin and secreted a sap. City officials also wore hat pins. Tethered by Garelik’s glance, the plainclothesmen waited hungrily at the edge of things, ignoring the far-off challenges of their enemies and prey. Aryeh Neier, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, leaned against the arch and waited for the bust to begin. Earlier, Neier had sug­gested to Kriegel that the march­ers, two or three abreast, be given a sidewalk route. ‘You’re telling me what’s legal, I’m tell­ing you what’s practical,’ responded Kriegel, who had evi­dently already decided on the bust. So there was nothing to do but wait. At exactly 12 noon the march­ers hoisted their banners (‘Poli­ticians lie — Vietnamese die’) and Vietcong flags, marched out to the sidewalk on Washington Square North, and turned west. …”
Voice

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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