The Nation: May Day Redress

When the thousands of May Day demonstrators marching in the "Army of Peace" in Washington in 1971 tried, somewhat grandiosely, to shut down the Federal Government, the police found an efficient tactic to keep the city moving: mass arrest. During the protests, the capital police rounded up more than 13,000 persons, herding them, it seemed, into every lockup in town, including a fenced-in practice field near R.F.K. Memorial Stadium. Most were released the next day.

The Federal Government hummed on. So did a bitter controversy about the constitutionality of such wholesale and indiscriminate arrests. Of all those collared, only a handful were...

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