While President Nixon was being inaugurated for his second term of office, an equally impressive "ceremony" was taking place elsewhere in Washington.
While President Nixon was being inaugurated for his second term of office, an equally impressive "ceremony" was taking place elsewhere in Washington. It was a demonstration by veterans of the Vietnam war, who have formed an organisation against the Indo-China conflict.
Up to 100,000 people were taking part, and the climax was a rally at the Lincoln Memorial from where they marched to the Washington Monument. There, demonstrators took down national flags and rehung them upside down -- the international signal of distress.
SYNOPSIS: While President Richard Nixon was being inaugurated for his second term of office in Washington on Saturday, dozens of anti-Nixon demonstrations were held throughout the United States. One of the biggest was also in Washington, and thousands of Vietnam war veterans took part.
The demonstrators called on the President to sign a peace treaty at once, making their point with a giant pencil.
After a crowd estimated at up to a hundred thousand people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, they marched off towards the Washington Monument. One section carried dozens of coffins, each bearing the name of a place or incident associated with the Vietnam war. Some had shaken the would--places like My Lai, scene of the notorious massacre of villagers, and Kent State university, where four marchers were shot deed by police.
At one time the marchers were within half a mile of the White House, but a strong police escort ensured there was no attempt to besiege the Presidential Residence.
At the Washington Monument, the crowds listened to speakers denouncing President Nixon's war policies. Some carried Viet Cong flags, and the rally seemed to have attracted a wide spectrum of demonstrators. They ranged from p??? groups to militant Trotskyists. They rehoisted U.S. flags upside down--the international sign of distress.