GQ: The Mess We Made

Turner: The protesters were singing songs -- "This Land Is Your Land" -- and they had cheers -- "The whole world is watching" -- and everybody was pretty rowdy but behaving all right. At some point, a platoon of police offcers came east on Balbo Street, and they just marched right into the crowd, knocking people around. Of course, the crowd then backed off, away from the cops, but if you push one side of a balloon the other side goes out. And so over on the Grant Park side, they began pushing into the cops, and the cops over there thought they were being assaulted by the crowd, so they start in. And first thing you know, it just. . . Everything hit the fan.

Buchanan: I was in my room, and who walks in but Norman Mailer. José Torres, the boxer, was with him. We watched from the nineteenth ?oor. Mailer and I were hanging out the window with Torres. We were up there drinking. It was late afternoon, as I recall, spilling into evening. The cops were marching down there like a military unit, and then all of a sudden they took off after these demonstrators. From nineteen floors up, they all looked very tiny. Torres was cursing out the cops, and I was rooting for the cops -- though I didn't say anything out loud. José Torres is a pretty tough guy. It was just a big battle, and what I thought at that point was that the Democratic Party was a horribly divided institution. And I knew that the American people's perception of the Democratic Party as a party in chaos would be of enormous bene?t to Richard Nixon. And there's no doubt it was.

Hayden: I found myself in a crowd of people against the glass window of the Haymarket Lounge at the hotel on the corner. The police walked into us, spraying Mace on everyone and clubbing people. I remember somebody shouting that a woman was having a heart attack. This was a big mass of humanity being crushed. And as the mass fell backwards, my back was to the window, and I could hear this glass breaking. And all of a sudden the whole window collapsed, and everybody fell into the bar, where delegates were sitting there drinking and talking as if this was routine for a political convention. The police came charging in after us, and there were people all over the place, bleeding, cut. They were just arresting anybody who looked like they didn't belong in the hotel. I don't know what happened, but I walked out. I don't even know where I went.

Buchanan: After the battle on Michigan, I was wakened by Nixon's call. He said, "What's going on?" So I said, "You want to know what's going on, sir?" And I held the phone to the window, where nineteen floors below they were yelling, "F--- you, Daley! F--- you, Daley!"

Turner: The signature shot of the whole convention was these four cops, each with an arm or a leg of this demonstrator, dragging him to a paddy wagon, while a fifth cop walked alongside. The fifth cop kept whacking the victim with his stick the whole way over, every step. I followed him around, and I wrote down his name off of his nametag, and I have the name of the meanest cop in Chicago. But I never could put together a case, because I couldn't find the victim. I just saved his name for Judgment Day. He's got one coming.

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