About three thousand Catholic demonstrators -- mostly students -- march through Saigon Friday (31 March), demanding that their nation's new constitution include the words "Supreme Being." The words had been in the early drafts of the constitution's preamble -- but were left out of the final draft.
MLS Large crowd in front of church..
MS 2 shots - crowd banners and flags..
Wide shot - crowd near statue in front of church...
CU to LS - Demonstrators marching, pan up to banner, then shot of parade passing by...
LS Crowd and banners...
CU speaker on high stand addressing crowd...
LS Crowd, speaker in background...
CU 2 shots - faces of women in crowd...
MS 2 shots - car with men standing on top surrounded by crowd, CU men speaking into microphones...
CU Phan Cac Suu, Chairman of Assembly, talking to crowd...
2 shots - aerial view of crowd and church...
MS Truck with loudspeakers, men on roof speaking to crowd...
Wide shot of crowd...
LS Helicopter landing...
MS Crowd and banners...
MS Premier Ky, his military aide and two men in civilian dress walk away from helicopter...
MS Ky, civilian and military officials walk through gate...
MS Uniformed women, arms linked, hold back crowd...
MS Riot troops among crowd...
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Background: About three thousand Catholic demonstrators -- mostly students -- march through Saigon Friday (31 March), demanding that their nation's new constitution include the words "Supreme Being." The words had been in the early drafts of the constitution's preamble -- but were left out of the final draft.
The demonstrators gathers at Saigon's Catholic Cathedral and started marching, shouting: "Down with the Constitution Assembly." They ended up at the opera house where the Assembly wrote the Constitution.
The Catholic claims the Assembly deleted the reference to God, because the Buddhists wanted no mention of Him.
However, the Assembly member who actually wrote the document say "the Supreme Being" was taken out so the preamble would have only 117 words -- just as the Assembly has 117 members.
The Catholic say that was a poor excuse.
The demonstration was peaceful -- except for a minor scuffle when someone tried to drive a Lambretta through the crowd.
Finally, Phan Cac Suu, Chairman of the Assembly, came out and made a speech. He said there would be a full meeting of the Assembly on April 6th and he promised God would be put back into the Constitution at the time.
After a few shouts of protest that the Constitution would go into effect the next day -- the crowd accepted Suu's promises for a Constitutional amendment to include the "Supreme Being."
Then, as planned, the demonstrators marched to Independence Palace to make sure Premier Ky know about their protest.