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CHICAGO, Oct. 9-It rained in Chicago today and the Weathermen stayed indoors.
Confronted with the subtle presence of 2600 National Guardsmen stationed in armories throughout the city and doubled police guards at all city high schools, members of the Weatherman faction of SDS spent the day in strategy meetings.
Planned disruption of city high schools, "jailbreaks" like the recent incident at Boston English High School, were called off in the early hours of the morning.
The elite members of "the leadership" met with all remaining Weathermen in the city, numbering between 200 and 300, late Thursday night and decided against the proposed action. They cited the increased police surveillance and the need for maximum numbers at Saturday's final demonstration as reasons for the cancellation.
Weathermen have received a permit from the city for an early afternoon march from Chicago's Haymarket Square to Grant Park across from the Hilton Hotel. Weatherman leaders planned the next major action for Saturday becausethe permit makes it possible to rally in large numbers. Police began dispersing any gathering of even small numbers of radicals today and Thursday.
Haymarket Square was the scene of a major battle between police and union workers on a rainy May 4 in 1886. Last Monday, unidentified persons exploded a bomb under a statue erected in the square to the memory of seven policemen killed in the riots.
Police today reported no incidents of Weatherman disruptions and no arrests in the city. A total of 92 people have been arrested since Wednesday and more than 50 of them are still in Chicago jails.
Two hundred and fifty supporters of the RYM-II faction of SDS, RYM minus the Weathermen, gathered outside the Cook County Hospital this afternoon to protest what they called the "anti-people" health care offered at the hospital. Michael Klonsky, national secretary of RYM-II, and Black Panther speakers told the mixed crowd of demonstrators, doctors, and hospital workers that the hospital should provide free medical clinics for the predominantly black neighborhood residents and hire more black hospital employees.
While the speakers were talking in a courtyard across from the hospital, four busloads of riot-equipped poise stood in battalion order along the sidewalk. Police were also stationed in front of the hospital and around the corridors inside.
The presence of police at all demonstrations during the week, both Weatherman and RYM-II gatherings, has been a constant reminder to radicals of the 11.000 Chicago police on call this weekend. On Tuesday, the police department cancelled all leaves for policemen and tonight reported that a heavier than usual number were working longer shifts.
While the Weathermen planned their strategy today, representatives of the PLWSA and RYM-II factions of SDS again denounced the militants' actions here RYM-II has planned another peaceful march tomorrow through the northwest side black and Puerto Rican neighborhoods. The demonstration will be held at the same time as the Weathermen's.
After a quiet day today, Chicago's newspapers have banner headlines like Chicago Today's "Radicals' Invasion Crushed by City."
The Illinois Black Panther chairman, Fred Hampton, yesterday, at the Chicago Federal Building, described the Weathermen as "Anarchistic, opportunistic, and Custer-istic." But Saturday will be the Weathermen's last chance in Chicago. They have been debating philosophy and strategy for two days. Tomorrow they act for the last time.
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