High School: Grades 9–12
The whole train car cleared out at the Van Buren Street exit. Julia and Mark put their arms around each other's waists and followed the crowd east towards Michigan Avenue.
Once at the corner of Michigan and Van Buren, they surveyed the scene. Everything in Grant Park seemed peaceful. There were groups of people milling about. Some people were sunbathing. Some people had guitars. There were, however, lots of policeman there as well. There were even some people in suits and ties. They headed east into Grant Park toward the band shell. There were already thousands of people in front of the shell. Julia and Mark were surprised to see the presence of hundreds of police in Grant Park.
They found seats several hundred yards away from the stage and surveyed the scene. Some people were wearing helmets and were carrying rocks. They were both taken aback when they saw that there were police or National Guardsmen on top of the Field Museum. Julia thought to herself that it was as if many people felt the way Mark did, and wanted something to happen.
Julia looked at her watch, then up at the stage. It was 3:00 p.m. David Dellinger was supposed to start the rally soon. Suddenly a man held out a leaflet for them to take. The person next to them said, "Yeah, I already got one of those. That guy is a pig in plainclothes." Julia was slightly taken aback at his vehement reference to a policeman as "pig." Julia read the pamphlet as Mark looked over her shoulder. It was a warning that anyone attempting to march on the Amphitheater would be arrested.
As the rally got started they suddenly noticed that a teenage boy was climbing the flagpole near the stage. The climber reached the top and began to take down the flag. Then police rushed to the flagpole. People in the crowd were yelling, "They're beating him!" People started to throw rocks, bottles, and food in the direction of the flagpole. 4 More police joined the foray and Julia could see masses of people pushing towards the fight. She then noticed that David Dellinger and another anti-war activist, Tom Hayden, were on the stage and at the microphone. Dellinger urged everyone to calm down and stop throwing rocks. Hayden, however, seemed furious.
"The city and the military machinery it has aimed at us won't permit us to protest," he began. "Therefore we must move out of this park in groups and throughout the city and turn this excited, overheated military machine against itself. Let us make sure. If blood is going to flow, let it flow all over this city."
Hayden's voice was as loud and strong as his rhetoric. He delivered his words in such an unabashed way that Julia was taken aback.
"If gas is going to be used, let that gas come down all over Chicago and not just all over us in the park. If the police are going to run wild, let them run wild all over the city and not over us. If we are going to be disrupted and violated, let this whole stinking city be disrupted and violated... Don't get trapped in some kind of large march which can be surrounded. Begin to find your way out of here. I'll see you in the streets." 5