Anti-War Marchers Clash with Hecklers On Boston Common
One thousand marchers, bothered by persistent hecklers, converged on the Boston Common Saturday to protest the war in Vietnam.
At several places along Mass Ave. - usually in front of bars - the marchers were taunted by spectators. "Why aren't you millionaires' kids in Vietnam?" one man shouted. Police had to intervene when several men attacked the marchers and grabbed their signs.
Starts in Square
A group of 450 began the march at the Cambridge Common and were joined later by representatives of M.I.T., B.U., Tufts, Brandeis, and Northeastern.
By the time the march reached the Boston Common, a group of about 100 counter-demonstrators had formed. Many of them held small American flags, and a band of about 20 Harvard and M.I.T. students carried signs supporting the Johnson administration.
Six hundred curious spectators filled out the crowd of 1700 that stood around the Parkman bandstand to hear four anti-administration speeches. The speakers were continually interrupted by organized cheers of "Stay in Vietnam" and "We want victory" from the hecklers, who also sang the national anthem.
State Rep. Irving Fishman (D-Newton) was the only speaker to succeed in quelling the hecklers. He asked them to respect his right to "free speech" and for a while they were silent.
But the other speakers - Russell Johnson of the American Friends Service Committee, M.I.T. professor. Noam M. Chomsky, and Judy White of the Cambridge Committee to End the War in Vietnam - were all frequently interrupted.
Vigorous arguments broke out between marchers and hecklers as the rally ended. After a man reportedly took a swing at one of the marchers, two mounted policemen began to disperse the crowd.
Most people then left, but 70 counter demonstrators managed to organize a march back toward Harvard Square. Only 30 made it all the way back to the Square. Shouting "Bomb Hanot" and "Long Live LBJ," they toured the Square and the Yard before breaking up in the early evening.
The Boston anti-war march was part of an "International Week of Protest" that is being observed in cities throughout the country.
Violent disruption of demonstrations in New York City and Berkeley, Calif, occurred on Saturday. In New York, hecklers threw a can of red paint at participants in a parade of 10,000 people that marched up Fifth Ave.
In Berkeley, protestors from the University of California campus were met by an arm-to-arm wall of Oakland police when they tried to enter that city. The demonstrators stopped, but members of the "Hall's-Angels Motorcycle Club" broke through the police cordon and grabbed at the banners of the marchers.
In the ensuing fight, a Berkeley policeman broke his leg. Six Hell's Angels were arrested for assault. Charges were later dropped against all but one.
A San Francisco march proceeded from Golden Gate Park to San Francisco's Civic Center Sunday without incident.