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The Vietnam War is one of the most unique wars ever fought by the United States. It had no official beginning or ending and it was also never really declared a war. During the anti-war demonstrations of the 1960’s and 1970’s the police were right in the middle.
The anti-Vietnam war demonstrations tarnished the image of the police and they were forced to play devil's advocate. A good example of this is during the Democratic Party Presidential Convention in Chicago. The protesters became uncontrollable and the police had to intervene because it is part of their job description to maintain law and order. Even though thefirst amendment guarantees the right to freedom of speech and assembly, this kind of behavior is inexcusable. The protesters at the Democratic Party Presidential Convention behaved in an unruly manner, particularly when they attempted to enter the convention unlawfully. In a situation like this, law enforcement had no other alternative but to react. Many condemned the behavior of the police and called them unfair, while others agreed that they were doing their job.
In addition to this, the police was also placed in the middle, at the anti-war college campuses demonstrations. One of the most widely publicized campus protests was the take over at Columbia University in New York, in the spring of 1968. (Dempsey, Frost P.G 21) The students used all of the tactics that were used in previous protests and as negations between administration and students broke down the protestors became uncontrollable. The police was once again called in to control the situation and forced to be in the middle.
Most of the demonstrations were disorderly and the police was called to control the protesters. The firebombing of a University of Wisconsin building was a good example of how uncontrollable the demonstrations were. This incident started a wave of college campus bombings and arson. Six student…