They also launched helium balloons in an effort to crash circling helicopters.
The May 4 New York Times reported: The protesters did succeed in disrupting the citys normal functioning by impeding traffic and harassing government employees on their way to work, using as weapons trash, tree limbs, stones, bottles, bricks, lumber, nails, tires, rubbish bins and parked cars. At the height of the disturbances, tear gas fumes filled the air over some of the citys most famous monuments, streets and grassy flowered parks. Garbage cans, trash, abandoned automobiles and other obstacles littered some chief arteries.
I remember how the media was creating a bunch of nonsense.
When it started, I was in Florida and saw an 11:00 news cast making it sound like DC was on fire and the paratroopers were going to be creating a blood bath.
I left about 30 minutes later to hitchhike to DC, as I read the papers and heard the news in the cars it sounded like I wouldn’t even be able to get inside the city because of all the crazy stuff going on, interestingly though, a businessman picked me up for my last ride into the city, I asked him about his calm and ease and he laughed saying that nothing much was going on in the city and that the media was just blowing up nothings.
When I got into DC I saw that he was right, it was calm and demonstrations were calm, during the weeks I was there, it was fascinating to compare the media reports and newspaper versions of things with the reality that you had actually witnessed, even the cops said that it was peaceful.
When I hitch hiked out of DC to head for Texas, I saw the same media phenomena that I had witnessed as I approached DC, the farther I got away from DC, the more radical and violent or potentially violent the coverage and imagery became, just as it got less so when I had gotten closer to DC.
One of the biggest acts of “violence” was at an intersection which everyone agreed was the media making up stuff, even the cops and locals said that some kids had broken their own rules and had tossed some garbage cans into the street, but seemed annoyed at the media portrayal.
You might remember the year before that president Nixon had gone out to mingle with the demonstrators and chat with them.
“Nixon says he woke up shortly after 4 a.m., went into the Lincoln sitting room, and began listening to a record of Eugene Ormandy conducting a Rachmaninoff piece. (Several already-released tapes of Nixon phone conversations feature classical music blaring in the background at rock n’ roll volume.) The loud music awakened White House valet Manolo Sanchez, and as Nixon looked out the window at a small knot of people gathering outside on the National Mall, he asked his valet if he had had ever been to the Lincoln Memorial at night. When Sanchez replied no, Nixon impulsively told him, “Get your clothes on, we’ll go down to the Lincoln Memorial!””