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Civil Rights Hecklers Burn Cars
25 Hurt, 18 Arrested in Marquette Park
15 Autos are Set on Fire, Others are Damaged

Excerpts: Chicago Tribune, August 1, 1966

Hundreds of policemen were rushed into Marquette Park last night as disorders broke out in the wake of a civil rights march. Cars were burned and overturned in the park. Burning autos sent up columns of smoke and lighted the sky, attracting additional thousands of persons to the park as police sought to restore order. All entrances to the park were closed. The park is bounded by 67th and 71st streets and California and Central Park avenues. The civil rights march was largely thru the park area.

Hit by Bottles and Stones -- At least 25 persons were injured, most of them being hit with bottles, stones, or broken glass thrown by white hecklers at white and Negro civil rights marchers. At least 18 were arrested on charges which included resisting arrest, attempted battery, disorderly conduct, and possession of fireworks.

Police said at least 15 cars were set on fire. Two were pushed into a lagoon in the park. Windows and windshields were smashed on at least 30 cars. Dozens of tires were slashed.

One woman was arrested ... carrying two cartons of book matches. She was lighting individual books of matches and tossing them into cars parked along the curb.

Stone, Bottle Throwing -- The cars of most of the civil rights marchers carried an emblem which made them an easy target. The campaign of destruction had already started when the marchers reached the south end of the park. They left their cars and kept on marching, under police protection, back to the New Friendship Baptist Missionary Church at 544 W. 71st Street.

The violence was preceded by a civil rights march that was marked by stone and bottle throwing by crowds of white persons, mostly young persons and teen-agers, as the demonstrators moved thru the park in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood.

18 Arrested, 25 Hurt in Demonstration -. The demonstrators gathered at New Friendship Church and in the late afternoon drove to the park. They parked their cars along drives in the south end of the park, marched a short distance thru the park to Kedzie avenue, and then north.

Crowds of white persons jammed traffic in the streets and on the opposite sidewalk. About 200 white youths sat on the walk and linked arms, blocking the route of the 400 marchers. Police removed the youths.

Cherry bombs and firecrackers were tossed among the marchers. Bottles and bricks flew thru the air. A crowd assembled at the intersection of 63rd street and Kedzie avenue, but the demonstrators turned west in 63rd place, avoiding a head-on meeting.

Board Bears Message -- They marched to St. Louis Avenue, where the outside bulletin board of the First Methodist church bore this message: "If everyone thinks alike, somebody is not thinking."

The march was led by Albert Raby, convener of the Coordinating Council of Community Organizations. It was one of a series of marches being made by the Rev. Martin Luther King's followers in Chicago to put the spotlight on housing segregation in the community.

Police and representatives of the Chicago commission on human relations met with ministers of the Chicago Conference on Religion and Race at a neighborhood church to talk over means of helping preserve the peace before the march was started. Some ministers took part in the march.

[Bernard J. Kleina participated in this march and was injured when the police protection broke down. After the marchers discovered they couldn't get to their cars because some were burning, some turned over and others were pushed into the lagoon, they continued on to the New Friendship Baptist Missionary Church.]