Dear Demonstrative And Non-Demonstrative Peace-Lovers:
In my dedicated efforts to cover the religious offbeat, I recently found myself immersed in a sea of Vietnik demonstrators at the United Nations awaiting arousement from the ecclesiastical Dr. Martin Luther King and his secular side-kick, Stokely Carmichael. Talk about the huddled masses yearning to breathe free—I was packed so tightly in the surging confines of the barricade-breaking crowd that all I could do was gasp and roll with the tide. The tempest-tossed, slovenly dressed enthusiasts with long, matted hair almost made one wonder if the wretched refuse of our teeming shores had not all been brought to the door of the U.N. in the City of Miss Liberty for this great show of moral conviction.
After a morning spent admiring one another’s weird appearance, dancing to a beat played on old oil drums (napalm?), burning old draft cards and Old Glory (and maybe having a jolt or two of Old Grand Dad), the peace-marchers paraded from Central Park to U.N. Plaza. The watchful eye of New York’s Finest insured their right to demonstrate (a privilege not afforded in Hanoi). Daffodils in their lapels and slogan buttons on their bosoms, they carried erect the posters proclaiming their message. A poetic spirit inscribed: “I Don’t Give a Damn for Uncle Sam, I’m Not Goin’ to Viet Nam.” Another sign asserted the truism: “Children Are Not Born to Burn.” A more friendly persuader advised, “If All Else Fails, Try Love.” Apart from a few threatening jeers and ungentlemanly shoves, I witnessed only the tedium of non-violence during the long and noisy trek.
Craning my neck to behold the Rev. Dr. King at the U.N., I was foiled by the throngs surrounding him. His sonorous voice blaring from loudspeakers, ...1
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