• Short Summary

    POLICE ON HORSEBACK AND FOOT FOUGHT A BLOODY BATTLE WITH THOUSANDS OF ANTI-VIETNAM WAR DEMONSTRATORS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY IN LONDON TODAY.

  • Description

    POLICE ON HORSEBACK AND FOOT FOUGHT A BLOODY BATTLE WITH THOUSANDS OF ANTI-VIETNAM WAR DEMONSTRATORS OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY IN LONDON TODAY.

    THE BIGGEST DEMONSTRATION EVER STAGED IN BRITAIN AGAINST THE VIETNAM WAR STARTED WITH A RALLY IN TRAFALGAR SQUARE ORGANISED BY 40 LEFT-WING GROUPS.

    AT THE SAME TIME THERE WAS SOME COMFORT FOR THE UNITED STATES AS A GROUP OF ABOUT 200 PRO-AMERICAN DEMONSTRATORS MARCHED IN FRONT OF THE EMBASSY WITH PLACARDS CALLING FOR SUPPORT FOR THE FORCES FIGHTING AS ALLIES IN SOUTH VIETNAM. THAT ENDED PEACEFULLY ENOUGH, BUT THE POLICE MOVED FORWARD TO CORDON OFF GROSVENOR SQUARE, THE SEDATE MAYFAIR SQUARE IN FRONT OF THE EMBASSY.

    THE 10,000 PEOPLE AT THE TRAFALGAR SQUARE RALLY HAD STARTED THEIR MARCH TO THE EMBASSY. MANY OF THEM MORE WHITE HEADBANDS, A SIGN OF MOURNING IN VIETNAM. THEY'D COME FROM ALL OVER BRITAIN, AND THERE WERE ALSO HUNDREDS FROM EUROPE. SOME HAD PROMISED A CONCERTED ATTACK ON THE EMBASSY, OTHERS HAD SAID THE DEMONSTRATION WOULD BE PEACEFUL. IT WASN'T.

    THE POLICE, 500 OF THEM ON FOOT AND HORSEBACK, WERE WAITING AS THE FIRST MARCHERS ARRIVED AT GROSVENOR SQUARE. PRESSURE ON THE DOUBLE LINE OF POLICEMEN BUILT UP, AND THE FIRST DEMONSTRATORS BROKE THROUGH AND THE FIRST ARREST WERE MADE.

    FOR A TIME THE POLICE LINE HELD, BUT THEN THE DEMONSTRATORS BROKE THROUGH, DESPITE THE MOUNTED POLICE WHO WERE CALLED UP. THE RUSH ON THE EMBASSY WAS ON. THE POLICE LINE HELD AGAIN AT THE FENCE IMMEDIATELY OPPOSITE THE EMBASSY ENTRANCE, AS DEMONSTRATORS PILED UP THOUSANDS. AS FLARES, SMOKE BOMBS AND STONES FLEW, POLICE GRAPPLED WITH THE FRONT RANKS OF THE DEMONSTRATORS.

    FOR HALF AN HOUR THE FIERCE FIGHTING WENT ON. YOUNG WOMEN WERE CARRIED OUT, AWAY FROM THE FLAILING FISTS AND TRUNCHEONS AND THE HORSE'S HOOVES. ONE OF THEM, WEEPING, WAS CARRIED TO AN AMBULANCE. SHE WAS PREGNANT.

    ALL THE TIME ARRESTS WENT ON. BUSLOADS OF MEN AND WOMEN WERE TAKEN AWAY TO POLICE STATIONS. TONIGHT THREE HUNDRED OF THEM WERE CROWDED INTO THREE CENTRAL LONDON POLICE STATIONS. THERE WAS NO OFFICIAL COUNT OF THE INJURED, BUT THEY WEREN'T ALL DEMONSTRATORS. A NUMBER OF POLICEMEN WERE ALSO TAKEN AWAY BY AMBULANCE.

    AFTER HALF-AN-HOUR POLICE STARTED TO PUSH THE SCREAMING CROWD BACK. SLOWLY THEY REGAINED THE SQUARE, AND BY DISK IT WAS ALL OVER. A HEAVY POLICE GUARD WAS LEFT ON THE EMBASSY, 17 OF ITS WINDOWS SMASHED. AND THE HUGE AMERICAN EAGLE THAT SURMOUNTS THE BUILDING GAZED DOWN ON THE WRECKAGE LITTERING GROSVENOR SQUARE.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA5O54NEW0E5S0T8SKG1ZB9A0K2
    Media URN:
    VLVA5O54NEW0E5S0T8SKG1ZB9A0K2
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    17/03/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:03:30:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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