This 1970 film from the International Association of Chiefs of Police shows the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia’s handling of the 1969 Moratorium March on Washington. The film opens with shots of Washington, DC streets at dusk on 13 November as people gather for the massive demonstration. Metropolitan Police Chief Jerry Wilson holds a staff meeting to plan for the massive demonstration (01:05). Footage shows people marching in the March Against Death protest from Arlington National Cemetery to the National Capitol. Protesters carry names of dead American servicemen, marching from the Virginia side of the Potomac (02:36). The protesters process past the White House, calling out the name of the dead serviceman on their sign. A protest (led by Dr. Benjamin Spock) is held in front of the Justice Department (04:02). At the Washington Mall, writer Dwight Macdonald speaks to a crowd. Back at the Justice Department, protesters chant. A deputy chief radios for reinforcements (05:10). A demonstration organizer uses a police loudspeaker to ask the crowd to calm down. People rally in the dark at DuPont Circle park (06:22). Protesters yell at police officers near an embassy (07:35), and footage shows where a brick was thrown through a window. The police department fires teargas at the protesters after they make physical contact with police. Something burns on the ground, set afire by protestors (09:08). Chief Wilson communicates with officers on Saturday. Footage shows the March Against Death coffins as they sit, sealed (11:07). The 15 November Moratorium Day march begins in DC (11:32). Protesters play drums and carry coffins in the massive demonstration. There is a good bird’s-eye view of the march. Buses are parked bumper-to-bumper around the White House as a measure of extra security (13:15). Aerial footage shows the demonstrators at the Washington Mall. People speak at the rally, and the Washington Monument looms in the background behind the crowd. Footage shows the Mall littered with paper as the protest ends (15:12), but a group of protesters continue the demonstration and march to the Department of Labor. Police exit the building in riot gear (helmets and batons), and the crowd disperses. Protesters march on the Justice Department, protesting a conspiracy trial in Chicago (17:10). The protesters march back onto Constitutional Avenue, in violation of their permit. People hoist a protester’s flag up a flag pole. Protesters bang on the door of the Justice Department (19:15), and soon police officers throw teargas grenades to disperse the crowd. Policemen form a line around the building, and one fires another teargas grenade. Something is set on fire as the crowd and police clash at night (though footage doesn’t show much). At Robert F Kennedy Stadium on Sunday, police work the Redskins-Cowboys game (21:55). The film ends with several photographs from the protest.
The Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam was a massive demonstration and teach-in across the United States against the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. It took place on October 15, 1969, followed a month later by a large Moratorium March on Washington. The first nationwide Moratorium was followed on Saturday, November 15, 1969, by a second massive Moratorium march in Washington, D.C., which attracted over 500,000 demonstrators against the war, including many performers and activists. This massive Saturday march and rally was preceded by the March against Death, which began on Thursday evening and continued throughout that night and all the next day. Over 40,000 people gathered to parade silently down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Hour after hour, they walked in single file, each bearing a placard with the name of a dead American soldier or a destroyed Vietnamese village. The marchers finished in front of the Capitol building, where the placards were placed in coffins. The vast majority of demonstrators during these days were peaceful; however, late on Friday, conflict broke out at DuPont Circle, and the police sprayed the crowd with tear gas. The people of Washington, D.C., generously opened schools, seminaries, and other places of shelter to the thousands of students and others who converged for this purpose. In addition, the Smithsonian Museum complex was opened to allow protesters a place to sleep. A daytime march before the White House was lined by parked tour buses and uniformed police officers, some flashing peace symbols on the inside of their jackets in a show of support for the crowd.
This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com