Framework

1972 Vietnam War protest

April 22, 1972: Protesters demonstrating against the Vietnam War clog Wilshire Blvd. as they march toward MacArthur Park for a rally. View is looking west from Ambassador Hotel.

This photo by staff photographer Joe Kennedy appeared on page one of the April 23, 1972, Los Angeles Times.

In April 1972, North Vietnam began a spring offense against South Vietnam. President Nixon, while continuing the withdrawal of American troops, increased naval and air operations against North Vietnam. Antiwar protests occurred in many U.S. cities.

In the April 23, 1972, Los Angeles Times, staff writers Al Martinez and John Kumbula reported:

An estimated 12,000 persons marched and rallied peacefully in Los Angeles Saturday as part of a nationwide demonstration to protest the war in Vietnam.

Spurred by the renewed bombing attacks, another 90,000 protested in San Francisco, New York and other cities.

It was the most active of seven consecutive days of demonstrations against the war across the nation, but the demonstrators–watched by a wary army of policemen–were generally peaceful. …

The crowds here gathered in the morning at Wilshire Blvd. and Bronson Ave., then under the tight control of monitors, paraded for two miles down Wilshire to MacArthur Park, were the rally was held.

Two persons were arrested in a brief scuffle, involving members of the American Nazi Party, but the fight and arrests went generally unnoticed. There was a third arrest later in the day.

Three hundred policemen guarded the parade route and the rally but remained generally out of sight, on rooftops and down side streets.

Monitors of the sponsoring National Peace Action Coalition kept the demonstration in order and there were numerous admonitions for the crowd of young and old, “hip” and “straight” to “keep cool” when tempers threatened to erupt.

The marchers had a parade permit, and police cooperated by stopping traffic at the major intersections to let the demonstrators through.