Protesters Plead Guilty


Fifth Estate # 13, August 30, 1966

Eleven members of the Ad Hoc Committee for the August Days of Protest arrested Aug. 6 at a Hiroshima Day rally in downtown Detroit pleaded guilty to charges Aug. 15 in Recorder’s Court. Those arrested were Harold Greenberg, Ron Landberg, Harvey Robb, James Lipson, Rita Leasure, Howard Harrison (of E. Lansing), Eric Chester (of Ann Arbor), Mark Nowakowsi, Farrell Hamen, and Dena Clamage; all were charged with resisting arrest and obstructing an officer in the performance of his duty. Frank Lovell was charged with assault and battery by Donald Lobsinger, head of Breakthrough, a right-wing hate group.

The arrests took place after members of Breakthrough attacked a member of the American Liberation Front who was carrying a Viet Cong flag. The police gave the demonstrators no protection and the rally was effectively disrupted and hastily ended. Then police began pushing all people from the public square even though the Ad Hoc Committee had a permit for the rally.

Several persons angered by the lack of police protection and the attitude of the police refused to move, sat down, and were arrested.

At the police station the demonstrators state they were violently abused. Several said they were kicked or beaten by the police. Members of the group have filed complaints against the police for their actions at the rally and the brutality charged.

The final charges were reduced from felonies to Disturbing the Peace, a misdemeanor. The demonstrators pleaded guilty and were fined $35 each. A spokesman for the group said, “We have made our point and we saw no point in tying up Committee resources in a long court battle.”

When asked who he felt was responsible for the incident, the spokesman said, “We feel the Detroit police must accept full responsibility for their refusal to give a lawful rally adequate protection.” The spokesman also expressed gratitude to attorneys Richards Goodman, William Goodman, and James Lafferty for their legal assistance.