1968 Democratic Convention Riot Analysis

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The 1968 Democratic Convention Riot was a very contentious event that took place over a period of five days in Chicago, Illinois. The rioting began on Sunday, 25 August 1968, prior to the start of the convention and continued until the last day of the convention, 29 August 1968. Over the five-day period, close to 28,000 Chicago police officers, United States Army troops, Illinois National Guardsmen, and Secret Service Agents, clashed with activist groups and citizens who sought to protest the Vietnam Conflict and the direction of the Democratic Party at the convention (Mailer, 1997). The protesters organized from around the country and consisted of what Haynes (2008) described as “radicals, hippies, yippies [Youth International Party], [and] moderates” (para. 3). At least one of the groups, the yippies had a goal to bring 100,000 young adults to the demonstration (Mailer, 1997). Throughout the…show more content…
Daley gave his word to Democratic Party leaders that the convention would go undisturbed by demonstrators. To do so, Mailer adds, areas near the convention center were off limits to demonstrators and law enforcement was in place to enforce the prohibition. Mailer goes onto state that violence between demonstrators and law enforcement erupted as demonstrators attempted to go into areas that were off limits. Aspects of the 1968 Democratic Convention riot were televised, giving it national media attentions. As a result, Mailer (1997) states, a Democratic led study was established to determine the cause of the riots. Mailer indicates that the study found that the Chicago Police Department carried most of the blame for the riot. In line with the study, I think the police are at fault, but I also think that some of the protesters were at fault giving that they intended to be confrontational. In the end, eight activist leaders were charged and convicted of crossing state lines to incite

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