Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hard Hat Riots turn 40

[4 items]

Hard Hat Riots turn 40

http://www.examiner.com/x-47869-Wilmington-Conservative-Examiner~y2010m5d8-Hard-Hat-Riots-turn-40

May 8, 2010
Kevin Whiteman

Today marks the 40th anniversary of an event seen by many as the
modern re-awakening of the sleeping giant that is the silent majority
of conservatives.

On this date in 1970, Marxist led anti-war agitators set-up base camp
at the George Washington statue on Wall Street, all the while waving
Viet Cong and North Vietnamese battle flags while they burned and
urinated on the American flag.

Hundreds of New York city construction workers had decided they'd had
enough. They proceeded to charge the makeshift camp and forcibly
replaced the Communist banners with the Stars and Stripes,

What happened next, no one foresaw... the construction workers were
unexpectedly joined by white collar office workers from the New York
Stock Exchange. The NYSE literally emptied as stock brokers, traders
and other assorted office workers fought shoulder to shoulder along
side the Hard Hats.

"A lot of us are World War II vets and fathers and purple hearts.
We're from a generation that believes the flag over everything." said
electrician Morty Grutman.

Democrat Mayor John Lindsay ordered that all flags on City buildings
be lowered to half mast due to the Kent State shootings, which the
construction workers of New York City overwhelmingly opposed.

They threatened to overwhelm City Hall unless the flag was raised to
full mast, which it was... by a patriotic US Postal worker who had
spontaneously joined in with the construction workers.

The scuffle over the flag at City Hall was accompanied by chants of
"Lindsay's a Red."

Lindsay aide, Donald Evans, lectured a construction worker "Stop
being juveniles". The working man replied "What do you mean, being a
juvenile?" He then punched Evans in the mouth.

In another unexpected turn of events, the 150 NYPD officers assigned
to City Hall were asked by the construction workers to remove their
riot helmets out of respect as the American flag was returned to full
staff. They did.

The Hard Hat Riots were followed by a series of patriotic rallies in
New York almost every day during May. These rallies culminated in a
large Wednesday, May 20, 1970 rally. Upwards of 150,000 hard hats,
stock brokers and other workers peacefully marched through the
streets of downtown New York City.

The rally was organized by the local New York City construction
workers union to show support for President Nixon and the Vietnam War.

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New Photos Emerge of Forgotten Chapter of 'the Sixties'

http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/05/07/new-photos-emerge-of-forgotten-chapter-of-the-sixties/

2010 May 7
by Kathy Shaidle

"Stop being juveniles," a Lindsay aide, Donald Evans, admonished a
construction worker."

"What do you mean, being a juvenile?" he replied, punching Mr. Evans
on the chin.

On May 8, 1970, New York mayor John Lindsay ordered all flags on city
buildings lowered to half staff, in memory of the students who'd died
in the Kent State shootings four days earlier.

Construction workers at the World Trade Center building site got wind
of the plan. When anti-war protesters assembled at the George
Washington statue on Wall Street that day ­ complete with Viet Cong
flags ­ brokers and hard hats joined forces against the hippies, in
one of the weirdest 70s events you've never heard of: the Hard Hat Riot.

Now is a great time to revive interest in the Hard Hat Riot. The Tea
Parties represent a latter day, and far more successful,
manifestation of the same frustration felt by ordinary, hardworking
Americans, who believe the nation they know and love is being
destroyed by the Left. Back in the 1970s, the mainstream media's
monopoly on news and opinion was unquestioned and technologically
unbreakable. The closest thing the people who later came to be called
"Reagan conservatives" had to "alternative media" was a trickle of
call-in radio shows and country & western music. Without the
internet, the resentments revealed and energy unleashed during the
Hard Hat Riot had nowhere to go.

Forty years later, how things have changed…

Here's a brief account of what happened that day in May, 1970.

I've written about the Hard Hat Riot every May for a few years now.
This year, I was contacted by photographer Henry Gordillo, who'd been
on the scene that day with his camera. His photographs of the event
have gone largely unseen, until now. One is posted at the top of this
page, but there are others.

Like me, Gordillo has made the journey from Left to Right. I asked
him to record his recollections of what happened on May 8, 1970:

As a committed Communist at the time, I felt that world revolution
(and peace and good times, etc.) could be achieved through Tri-X film
­ if only I could take enough photographs. However Kent State seemed
to prove that Fascism was on the march. We could be rounded up at any
moment. It was all quite frightening and delightfully exhilarating
and titillating.

So I head down to Wall Street to photograph the anti-war
demonstration. Like a good student Communist, I slept in and got
there around 11:30am. I could not reach the anti-war demonstrators
because of the large number of on-lookers and the lines of police
protecting the demonstrators. Though I could see the demonstration's
large "Free Bobby" (Seale) banner. So I wandered amongst Wall Street
workers headed out to lunch. Because of my prejudices against suits
and Wall Street, I thought the audience threatening, but looking back
on the photographs there are lots of pictures of suits and long hairs
debating, other folks just holding forth, and even one enterprising
fellow selling anti-communist buttons, paraphernalia, and small
American flags. It was fun.

And nobody minded my taking pictures.

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The Hard Hat Riot: 40 years later, rare photographs emerge

http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-722-Conservative-Politics-Examiner~y2010m5d7-Hard-Hat-Riots-40-years-later-rare-photographs-emerge

May 7, 2010
Kathy Shaidle

The Hard Hat Riot of 1970 took place a few days after the shootings
at Kent State. During that brief skirmish on Wall Street,
construction workers from the World Trade Center site battle hippies
who were protesting the deaths of their fellow students in Ohio.

The "hard hats" briefly came to represent Nixon's "silent majority,"
the "Archie Bunkers" whose sweat (and taxes) built the very nation
which the ascendant Left seemed determined to destroy.

That same Left later more or less erased the Hard Hat Riots from the
historical record. Photographs of the event are particularly rare.

This year, previously unseen photographs of the Hard Hat Riot
emerged. Photographer Henry Gordillo spotted my articles on the event
and contacted me. I've posted two of his photographs here -- but
there are more, and they are all terrific.

I asked Gordillo to tell me what it was like to be on the scene in
New York that day.

This is his story:

"As a committed Communist at the time, I felt that world revolution
(and peace and good times, etc.) could be achieved through Tri-X
film- - if only I could take enough photographs. However Kent State
seemed to prove that Fascism was on the march. We could be rounded up
at any moment. It was all quite frightening and delightfully
exhilarating and titillating.

"So I head down to Wall Street to photograph the anti-war
demonstration. Like a good student Communist, I slept in and got
there around 11:30am. I could not reach the anti-war demonstrators
because of the large number of on-lookers and the lines of police
protecting the demonstrators. Though I could see the demonstration's
large 'Free Bobby' (Seale) banner. So I wandered amongst Wall Street
workers headed out to lunch. Because of my prejudices against suits
and Wall Street, I thought the audience threatening, but looking back
on the photographs there are lots of pictures of suits and long hairs
debating, other folks just holding forth, and even one enterprising
fellow selling anti-communist buttons, paraphernalia, and small
American flags. It was fun. And nobody minded my taking pictures.

"The anti-war demonstrators occupied the high ground on the left
steps of Federal Hall. From there they loudly chanted their point
that everyone around them was a pro-war, Daddy Warbucks capitalist,
fascist, uptight old person, and an all-round no-goodnik. No Kumbaya
hugs. Wall Street was enemy territory and aggressively telling people
off was the agenda.

"The steps of Federal Hall are divided into left and right with the
statue of George Washington in the middle. The student demonstrators
held the left side with reporters on the right side.

"Then the construction workers arrived singing patriotic songs and
handing out broadsheets that had an American flag with the slogan
'Rally for America."

"The construction workers attracted a lot of attention. So the
student demonstrators upped the volume of their chants and their
condemnation of society.

"The intersection is small and narrow and was packed tight with
people. It was hard to move.

"After a bit of point and counter-point chanting between the workers
and the students, the construction workers rushed the right side of
the steps where the reporters were. The workers chanted from their
new vantage point and the students continued to respond from theirs.

"And then it all got quite confused. Maybe the workers crossed from
their (right) side to the student's (left) side by going behind the
statue of George Washington. But the police seemed to be suddenly
stuck in a small space with the students evacuating their position
and the workers flowing into it. Scary, for sure, but more like a
game of capture the flag than violent European-style fascist street fighting.

"After a bit more chanting from the workers on the Federal Hall
steps, it seemed that lunch hour was over and folks started drifting
away. I remember seeing a lot of sandals (especially Dr. Scholl's!)
on the pavement of the side street down which the students had retreated.

"Don't know what happened elsewhere that day. I was busy quickly
getting home to be first to announce to my comrades that I had seen
fascism being born.

"My paranoid evaluations are memories of my own psychological state
at the time; the objective view comes from looking at the photographs
themselves especially in light of events that came later.

"The photographs are offered now ne prorsus interirent ­ lest they
altogether perish and the past be lost."

[See URL for slideshow].

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The Hard Hat riot

http://www.neatorama.com/2009/05/08/five-new-york-city-riots/

May 8, 2009

It was four days after four students were fatally shot at Kent State
and the country was in a state of unrest. In New York, several
hundred protesters gathered at Broad and Wall Street to hold a vigil
for the slain students. By noon, more than 1,000 people had gathered
and the vigil had escalated to a rally, and about 200 construction
workers had had enough. They made signs reading things like "America,
Love it or Leave it" and got right up against the police line that
separated them from the students. They obeyed it for a few minutes,
but the tension got to be too much and the construction workers
started chasing the students through the street, beating some of them
severely with fists, clubs and crowbars. The construction worker mob
fought their way into City Hall and demanded that the flag be raised
to full mast again ­ it had been lowered to half mast to honor the
dead at Kent State. Fearful of further damage from the mob, the
Deputy Mayor ordered the flag to be raised. The riot eventually
fizzled out on its own. Six arrests were made and more than 70 people
were injured. When mayor John Lindsay accused the police of standing
idly by and letting the riot happen, thousands and thousands (some
reports claim up to 150,000 while others say only 60,000) of
construction works and other blue-collar workers peacefully protested
by marching through Manhattan on May 20.

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1 comment:

Rosemarie raƱa said...

we must be thankful for them, because despite the fact that they are always for the good of the people though they are not on the side of their family. We must be proud to them; of their hard work and courage.hard hat