Both TIME and NEWSWEEK have picked up the word that the “largest demonstration in the history of Los Angeles” will greet Lyndon Johnson when he arrives to kick off the 1968 Presidential campaign with a gala $1000 a plate dinner in the Century Plaza Hotel on June 23rd.
The Peace Action Council is coordinating the efforts of over 60 peace groups, all of which plan to participate in a massive protest march, which, since permits have so far been witheld, may be in violation of the law.
But a meeting held last Sunday in Hollywood discussion centered upon less conventional means of exerting pressure upon the embodiment of Great Society.
Since many of these attending the meeting are ready to commit acts of civil disobedience in honor of their President, no names can be released. There is no formal group in charge of the efforts of these urban guerillas; and to prevent police interference with the developing plans, planning is being carried out in a hang-loose, decentralized fashion designed to prevent any single police informant from spoiling the fun.
A spokesman for the cadres who met on Sunday said that “enough alternative plans have been hatched so that if the police prevent one thing we’ll be right there with another. Even if they cordon off the hotel for blocks in every direction and bring Johnson in a helicopter because they are afraid to have him travel the streets—we’ll still be able to provide his little dinner party with plenty of unscheduled entertainment The counter security is fantastic.
“Of course there is a possibility that the dinner will be cancelled. That would also be fine. The object of our plan is to make it crystal clear that Johnson cannot come to L.A. without causing himself an unbelievable amount of trouble and embarrassment.
“Our hope is that those who really oppose the war in other cities will see what we do in L.A., and plan receptions of a similar nature wherever he travels. Most of us are committed to being arrested, charged and convicted of civil disobedience offenses, because we believe that only tactics which seriously disrupt and impede the campaign will force an abandonment of the horrible war in Asia.
“In any case, that war criminal had better think twice before he shows his face in this part of the country or tries to campaign here. If he does show up, we guarantee he’ll be damn sorry.”
See Fifth Estate’s Vietnam Resource Page.