The sting was intense

From Peter LeVine, Longmont, Colorado: I was arrested on Tuesday May 4 at the Justice Department, during that long sunny afternoon and was in the middle of the crowd when the tear gas began. The sting was intense when it suddenly ceased.  There were several federal employees looking down from both the IRS and Justice Department and I remember the crowd experiencing a ‘whole world is watching’ moment and have always attributed the change in police tactics to that fact. Several thousand of us were arrested one by one. I was sent to the Coliseum where we did eat baloney sandwiches (the cops ate McDonalds).  We would be nudged from our sleep in the stands when the hourly change of the National Guard took place.  In single file they appeared to be defending the blue line.

I went before Judge Washington the next afternoon after having been transferred to a holding cell sometime on Wednesday morning.  Having made a mental note at the time of arrest that the field arrest form and badge name were discrepant I was acquitted and will always remember the judge’s scowl at the prosecutor.  I wish I remembered the name of my public defender.

I was at the May 1 concert – the Beach Boys, Charlie Mingus and Phil Ochs ( ‘Love Me I’m a Liberal’) at West Potomac Park and being rudely roused early Sunday morning with the warning to vacate the premises.  I felt most fortunate to have avoided arrest on Monday during which time I handed leaflets into several cars including one whose back seat occupant was holding a billy club and asked if I didn’t want to go downtown.

How amazing to have these memories come alive again nearly fifty years later through such a compelling read.

Leave a Comment