Police and demonstrators clashed in New York yesterday (Sunday) during an attempt to disrupt the annual Puerto Rico Day parade.
Police and demonstrators clashed in New York yesterday (Sunday) during an attempt to disrupt the annual Puerto Rico Day parade. Five hundred young militants waded in with bricks and bottles. Several police were injured before breaking up the trouble.
Later, police said the troublemakers were a faction of the city's large Puerto Rican population calling themselves The Young Lords and that they were piqued at not being able to lead the parade up Fifth Avenue. The demonstrators, on the other hand, said they were objecting to U.S. colonialisation in their homeland.
The report of National Broadcasting Company reporter George Page accompanies this film, overlaying natural sound of the parade and fighting. Page's report is transcribed on our commentary page.
SYNOPSIS: Nearly everyone in the United States loves a parade. But not a group of Puerto Ricans who used mob tactics to try and disrupt a parade in New York on Sunday:
In the afternoon in New York City, the eighth annual Puerto Rico Day parade was disrupted by about five-hundred demonstrators, some of whom threw bricks, rocks and bottles at policemen. Most of the trouble occurred in front of the fashionable Plaza Hotel. Thirteen policemen were injured and taken to hospitals. Sixteen demonstrators were arrested on riot charges. Police say the demonstrators were members of the Young Lords -- a militant Puerto Rican political group. They had vowed to disrupt the parade because they were not allowed to lead it up Fifth Avenue. The Young Lords said those leading the parade should state clearly that Puerto Rico is an unwilling colony of the United States.
Eventually the demonstrators were cleared from the streets, and New York City policemen marching in the parade were cheered as they passed by. Most of the thousands of spectators attending the parade honouring New York's huge Puerto Rican community had a good time, and did not even know there had been any trouble.