Many Americans were shocked a few days ago when snipers and heavily armed police met mostly peaceful protestors in Ferguson Missouri. That started a debate over whether the nation’s police have become so militarized that they are no longer there to preserve and protect but have adopted an attitude of “us” and “them”.
The militarization of the police is not a brand new practice. It has a long history and one of the worst incidents of it was 46 years ago this week during the Democratic Party’s National Convention in Chicago.
About 10,000 anti-war activists had gone to Chicago to demand that the Democarts nominate an anti-war candidate for President. They were met by more than 22,000 police and National Guard. Here are some of the sounds of that convention 46 years ago this week:
Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei speaks with John Schultz, the author of No One Was Killed, which includes his eyewitness account of the confrontations between the power structure and the peace activists.
Schultz is also the author of The Chicago Conspiracy Trial (originally Motion Will Be Denied) which reports on the action-riddled trial of eight, then seven, defendants who were major figures in the 68 convention protest and generally represented the spectrum of 1960s protest.
Video of 1968 Chicago Convention battles