CHICAGO DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION OF 1968!
The year was 1968, the world was full of confusion. The war in Vietnam fueled
the youth. It was a year of radical change. The nation was filled with anti-war demonstrations,
urban riots, student protests, and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr.,
and Robert Kennedy rocked the nation. In the summer of 1968, Chicago held the "68
Democratic National Convention, and while the world watched on their T.V. the public
saw the chaos the United States was in.
Chicago had been chosen to host the 68" Democratic convention to pick a
candidate to run for their party. The speakers present and men up for running where
Eugene McCarthy and Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Meanwhile outside from all parts
of the nation youth of America gather to protest Mayor Dailey's strong hold on the
city of Chicago, the Democratic members and political powers, and most of all the
war in Vietnam war.
" The People's Convention."
" The movement would march peacefully to the Amphitheatre and proclaim its
issues in contrast to those of the Democrats."
" We are not going to storm the convention with tanks or Mace, but we are
going to storm the hearts and minds of the American people."said David Dellinger
of the Mobe.
Lincoln Park was host to hundreds of protesters and gatherers. The hippies, yippies,
and students came to make a change. To have their voices heard, peacefully. But the
mayor tried to stop the yippies by bring in the National guard, and other police
enforcement. Raiding the parks at night beating the youth while they sang and gave
speeches. Arresting people for curfew and gathering without a permit, which Dailey
would not give them. 668 people where arrested in a matter of five days.
August 27, 1968 members of the protest wanted to march through the streets south
to the Ampitheatre to speak to the deli gates, where the convention was being held.
In attempting the march the National Guard, and more police support. In a violent
clash the police and the protesters went head to head. The police refused to let
them by, more arrests where made. Police out of control and beat anyone and everything
with in reach. That night of terror has been deemed a "police riot". The
crowd was tear gassed, and on lookers where harassed in beaten as well. There where
over 700 injuries, and 101 people where hospitalized.
After the Chicago riot seven men where held responsible for the destruction and
actions in that August week. Abbie Hoffman, Paul Krassner, Nacey Kurhan,and Jerry
Rubin spent time for their part in the riots. Abbie Hoffman also had a large part
in the organization of the event. He spent several years in jail because of his involvement
with protests and also cocaine.
The actions in Chicago where considered a large mistake. 1996 was the first time
the convention was held in Chicago since the riots in 1968. The year of 1968 was
a turning point in America, the world was no longer so simple. The youth had ideas
different from the generation before them, and they wanted a change. America was
never the same after that year.