|Central Park be-ins|
|Part of Gay liberation, the Hippie movement, and the Opposition to U.S. involvement in Vietnam|
|Date||1967 – 1970|
Central Park, New York
In the 1960s, several "be-ins" were held in Central Park, Manhattan, New York City to protest against various issues such as U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War and racism.
During the 1960s America was involved in the Vietnam War. This war was a controversial one because many people were against the United States' involvement in South Vietnam. Adding to the tension of the Americans against the war was the emergence of a generation of people who were a part of the counter-culture and believed that they should do anything possible to go against the establishment. The counter-culture generation decided that Central Park would be the perfect host for their demonstrations.
On New Year's Eve 1967, a group of one thousand people accompanied by music and geese burned down a Christmas tree in Central Park. The Parks Commissioner, Thomas P.F. Hoving, was present at the event. About this demonstration, he stated, "We're going to do this again… you know, It's old hat to go to Times Square when we can have such a wonderful happening in Central Park".
The Easter 1967 be-in was organized by Jim Fouratt an actor, Paul Williams editor of Crawdaddy! magazine, Susan Hartnett head of the Experiments in Art and Technology organization and Chilean poet and playwright Claudio Badal. a.m. the first police car arrived. The car was covered with flowers while the crowd chanted of "daffodil power" at which point the police quickly retreated. While police held their distance most of the day, 5 officers did approach two nude participants, at which point the officers were surrounded while the crowd chanted "We love cops/"Turn on cops". The situation was defused when the crowd at the urging of other participants backed off. At 7:30 at night the police beamed lights on the group and used bullhorns to tell participants to disperse. Again the police were rushed by participants. Following a brief period of tension the police decided to let the event continue. Black and white film footage from this event appears in the 1972 film Ciao! Manhattan .With a budget of $250 they printed 3,000 posters and 40,000 small notices designed by Peter Max and distributed them around the city. The Police and Parks Departments quietly and unofficially cooperated with the organizers. An estimated 10,065 people participated in the event at the Sheep Meadow in Central Park. The majority of participants were hippies. They were joined by families who had attended the Easter parade and members of the Spanish community who were notified of the event by Spanish language posters. The New York Times described them as "poets from the Bronx, dropouts from the East Village, interior decorators from the East Side, teachers from the West Side and teeny boppers from Long Island" and said that "they wore carnation petals and paper stars and tiny mirrors on foreheads, paint around the mouth and cheeks, flowering bedsheets, buttons and tights". The event was guarded by small number of police. At 6:45
Less than a month later, on April 15, another anti-war rally took place as a part of the "Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam". Once again the number of demonstrators grew drastically to an estimated 100–400 thousand attendees. This peace rally, which assembled and started off in Central Park and then marched to the United Nations, was said to be the largest of its kind at its time. The demonstrators ranged from Sioux Indians from South Dakota to members of the African American community all rallying for one cause, peace. There was a peace fair, which featured performances by folk singers and rock groups. People held signs that read "Don't Make Vietnam an American Reservation" "Make Love not War" and "No Vietnamese Ever Called Me Nigger". The protesters then made their way from Central Park to the U.N., where speeches were given by several leaders including Benjamin Spock, James Bevel, and Martin Luther King, Jr.. Dr. King declared that the war in Vietnam was a "conflict against a coloured people" and that "white Americans are not going to deal in the problems of coloured people when they're exterminating a whole nation of coloured people". Although there were five arrests made during this demonstration, they were of counter-demonstrators who staged an Anti-Communist rally. Around 75 protesters burned their draft cards.
Later that spring the counter-culture revolution continued in Central Park but this time "Armed with electric guitars". About 450 people attended the concert. Various bands such as the Grateful Dead performed for the gatherers who originally were scheduled to gather in Tompkins Square Park but was forced to move to Central Park. The New York Times described the attendees as "young people, some with bare feet and others wearing sandals or socks who did some moderately contortionate dancing at first. But then the pace quickly changed and soon they were jumping around like rag dolls being jerked by wires".
During 1968, the Peace Rally and the Easter Be-In were combined into a single event. About 90,000 people ranging from veterans to religious groups to African Americans to Puerto Ricans to Women groups to labor groups to students gathered at Sheep Meadow. Amongst the speakers at this particular demonstration was Coretta Scott King who spoke in place of her husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. who had been assassinated earlier on April 4. In her speech she said "The inter-relatedness of domestic and foreign affairs is no longer questioned". The Village Voice described the crowd as apathetic and said there was a feeling that this had all been done before.
During the early 1969 Be-In/Peace Rally, the Village Voice reported that there was said to be between 15,000–20,000 people in attendance. This be-in became more radical than the other be-ins that previously took place in Central Park as bonfires erupted. One person described Sheep Meadow as having "the aura of a bombed out battlefield". Things became even worse when one person leapt into one of the bonfires. When he was finally pulled from the bonfires by other demonstrators, word came out that an ambulance would not arrive until Sheep Meadow was cleared. Because the crowd would not disperse, the man had to be carried through the crowd to be transported to the hospital. In addition to this, three police officers were injured when the demonstrators hit them with rocks.
In November 1969, protesters took a different approach and organized a lie-in at Sheep Meadow in Central Park. About three thousand protesters laid out blankets on Sheep meadow and held white and black balloons used to symbolize those killed and those potentially killed in the war in Vietnam.This lie-in was met with opposition from some city officials and some members of the general public. The demonstrators were met with this opposition because of the message that they were trying to get across and because of the usage of the city's public space.
On June 28, 1970, there was a massive Gay Be-In" held in Sheep Meadow to commemorate the first anniversary of the Stonewall riots. The Gay march went from Washington Place in Greenwich Village uptown on Sixth Avenue to end with a "gay-in" in Sheep's Meadow.
In 1965, citizens of New York experienced their first blow against their freedom of speech as Commissioner, Newbold Morris, refused to give them a permit that they would need in order to use a section of the park for anti-war speeches. Opponents of the ban called it a form of discrimination. In 1967, Parks Commissioner August Heckscher II said that Central Park would no longer be allowed to serve as a venue for mass demonstrations because they were disruptive and caused damages to the park which were costly. After Hecksher was met with great opposition by protestors who held up unauthorized banners and burned draft cards in the park anyway, he decided to set up designated areas just for these types of demonstrations such as Randall's Island. As a part of the compromise made by the New York Civil Liberties Union, a separate area in Central Park was set aside for big demonstrations.
Beginning in 2002, and continuing after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, large-scale protests against the Iraq War were held in many cities worldwide, often coordinated to occur simultaneously around the world. After the biggest series of demonstrations, on February 15, 2003, New York Times writer Patrick Tyler claimed that they showed that there were two superpowers on the planet: the United States and worldwide public opinion.
A police riot is a riot carried out by the police; a riot that the police are responsible for instigating, escalating or sustaining as a violent confrontation; an event characterized by widespread police brutality; a mass police action that is violently undertaken against civilians for the purpose of political repression. The term "police riot" was popularized after its use in the Walker Report, which investigated the events surrounding the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago to describe the "unrestrained and indiscriminate" violence that the police "inflicted upon persons who had broken no law, disobeyed no order, made no threat." In this sense a police riot refers to rioting carried out by the police rather than a riot carried out by people who may be motivated to a greater or lesser degree by grievances with the police.
Protests against the Vietnam War took place in the 1960s and 1970s. The protests were part of a movement in opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and as such took place mainly in the U.S.
Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War began with demonstrations in 1964 against the escalating role of the U.S. military in the Vietnam War and grew into a broad social movement over the ensuing several years. This movement informed and helped shape the vigorous and polarizing debate, primarily in the United States, during the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s on how to end the war.
On 15 February 2003, a coordinated day of protests started across the world in which people in more than 600 cities expressed opposition to the imminent Iraq War. It was part of a series of protests and political events that had begun in 2002 and continued as the war took place. Social movement researchers have described the 15 February protest as "the largest protest event in human history".
On September 24, 2005, many protests against the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the Iraq War took place.
The war in Afghanistan prompted large protests around the world, with the first large-scale demonstrations beginning in the days leading up to the war's official launch on October 7, 2001.
The January 20, 2005 counter-inaugural protests were a number of demonstrations, held in Washington, D.C., and other American cities to protest the second inauguration of U.S. President George W. Bush.
A demonstration is action by a mass group or collection of groups of people in favor of a political or other cause or people partaking in a protest against a cause of concern; it often consists of walking in a mass march formation and either beginning with or meeting at a designated endpoint, or rally, to hear speakers. It is different from mass meeting.
The Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, which became the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, was a coalition of antiwar activists formed in 1967 to organize large demonstrations in opposition to the Vietnam War. The organization was informally known as "the Mobe".
Protest activity against the Vietnam War took place prior to and during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
Sheep Meadow is a 15-acre (61,000 m2) meadow near the southwestern section of Central Park from 66th to 69th streets in Manhattan, New York City. It is adjacent to Central Park Mall to the east, The Ramble and Lake to the north, West Drive to the west, and Heckscher Playground and Ballfields to the south.
James Peck was an American activist who practiced nonviolent resistance during World War II and in the Civil Rights Movement. He is the only person who participated in both the Journey of Reconciliation (1947) and the first Freedom Ride of 1961, and has been called a white civil rights hero. Peck advocated nonviolent civil disobedience throughout his life, and was arrested more than 60 times between the 1930s and 1980s.
Gary Eugene Rader was an American Army Reservist known for burning his draft card in protest of the Vietnam War, while wearing his U.S. Army Special Forces uniform. Afterward, he engaged in anti-war activism.
Flower Power is a photograph taken by American photographer Bernie Boston for the now-defunct The Washington Star newspaper. Taken on October 21, 1967, during the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam's "March on The Pentagon", the photo shows a Vietnam War protester placing a carnation into the barrel of a rifle held by a soldier of the 503rd Military Police Battalion.
An anti-homophobic rally was held in Tbilisi, Georgia, on May 17, 2013, the International Day Against Homophobia. The gay rights activists holding the rally were met by thousands of protestors opposing homosexuality, who were allowed to break through a police cordon and violently pursued them, beating and throwing stones at them. The rally, organized by Georgian LGBT-rights organization Identoba, was the first officially sanctioned anti-homophobic demonstration held in Georgia.
"Not My Presidents Day" was a series of rallies against the president of the United States, Donald Trump, held on Washington's Birthday, February 20, 2017. Protests were held in dozens of cities throughout the United States. Demonstrations were also held outside London's Houses of Parliament, and in Orkney.
Patriot Prayer is a far-right group based in the Portland, Oregon area. Patriot Prayer describes itself as advocating in favor of free speech, and opposing big government. The group has organized rallies in support of Donald Trump and far-right protests in predominantly liberal areas, which have been met with large numbers of counter-protesters. White nationalists as well as far-right groups, such as Proud Boys, and Hell Shaking Street Preachers, have attended the rallies organized by Patriot Prayer, sparking controversy and violence.
The "Unite the Right 2" rally, also called Unite the Right II, was a white supremacist rally that occurred on August 12, 2018, at Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington, D.C., United States. It was organized by Jason Kessler to mark the first anniversary of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which ended in deadly violence and attracted national attention.