The 1968 National Convention of the USA Democratic Party was held in Chicago, Illinois from August 26 to August 29, 1968, for the purposes of choosing the Democratic nominee for the 1968 U.S. presidential election.
Anti-war demonstrators protested throughout the convention, clashing with police all around the convention center, the Chicago International Amphitheater (in the streets, as well in Lincoln Park and Grant Park). Mayor Richard J. Daley took a particularly hard line against the protesters, refusing permits for rallies and marches, and calling for whatever use of force necessary to subdue the crowds. When U.S. Sen. Abraham Ribicoff (D-Conn.) delivered a speech nominating George McGovern for President, he infuriated Daley by saying, "with George McGovern as President of the United States, we wouldn't have Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago." Lipreaders and eyewitnesses contended that Daley responded by saying "Get off the stage you fucking kike!", while Daley claimed that he was yelling "You faker!"
On August 27, a rally of about 4,000 was addressed in the Chicago Coliseum by David Dellinger, Abbie Hoffman, folksinger Phil Ochs, novelist William S. Burroughs and others, and Bobby Seale of the Black Panther Party addressed a crowd of about 2,000 in Lincoln Park.
The mob scene was agitated by various speeches and musical performances, the most famous being a raucous set from Detroit rock band The MC5. Some of the more famous protesters, including Hoffman, Dellinger, Jerry Rubin and Tom Hayden, were collectively known as the Chicago 8 (later Chicago 7) as they were charged with conspiracy in connection with the violence. On February 18, 1970 they were found guilty of conspiring to incite riots, but the charges were eventually dismissed by an appeals court. The Walker Report to the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence pinned the blame for the violence in the streets on the police, calling it a "police riot."
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