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The Cops Weren’t Friendly: A MN Remembers Vietnam Submission

September 8, 2017

This story was submitted as part of Minnesota Remembers Vietnam. We have faithfully reproduced each story as it was originally submitted for the Story Wall, and have not corrected any spelling or grammar errors.

By Bill Jolitz | North Oaks, MN

Dr. Spock speaking at Century City — photo by Bill Jolitz

This is more of a side glance than anything incisive.

The protest was in Century City, California, in the late 1960s. It was a big one. Many famous faces were there, Dr. Spock, Daniel Ellsberg and a prizefighter who was in the process of changing his name to Muhammad Ali.

I was doing photographs. Film was burning through my camera.

I stepped to the curb to change rolls. A cop told me to get off. I told him I was just changing film. He threw me off in front of an LAPD motorcycle. It was a close call for me, almost run down.

An oddity. Mohammed Ali was standing on the back of a truck autographing draft cards. I was up close to show all those hands, all those draft cards, reaching up. People behind me kept asking me to hand up their cards. I did – at the same time a Life Magazine photographer shot. I was in the next issue as ‘an anti-war protester.’


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