When the Democratic convention began, its purpose was to nominate Hubert Humphrey for President. LIFE was assigned me to lead the coverage of the street disturbances along with Muhammad Ali’s personal photographer and other pairs of reporters and photographers. In this chapter, I try to describe what it is like to be suddenly thrust in a street riot.
This comes from my novel, Virtue’s Fool, which took me ten years to complete. Richard Sale
"Grant Park was not the usual park; it displayed belts of greenery that had been cut into major parallel streets between Michigan Avenue and Lake Michigan one and a half miles away. After the attacks of the afternoon, the police wanted to pen the kids up in Lincoln Park, keeping them away from the Hilton, but there were a variety of bridges and overpasses that went north and south and which crossed over the railroad lines and they led into Michigan Avenue. Many of the kids who had escaped the attacks up at Lincoln Park were now heading there. The exodus from Lincoln Park speeded up after the National Guard began to gas the kids and it found that there were too many bridges, too many choices, and the authorities had been outwitted. The wind suddenly shifted west, causing eyes to tear, faces grimacing, people stopping to try and put a handkerchief to their eye, many of them never having to sniff tear gas before in their lives.
Worse, the beatings in Lincoln Park had attracted hundreds of newsmen, all of whom had now headed to the Hilton to cover what was soon to be called, “The Wednesday Night Massacre.”
Roger Snider stood squarely out in the middle of Michigan Avenue, next to the Hilton, behind the police line, his hands thrust into the pockets of his white gabardine jacket, wearing expensive, tasseled loafers and dress slacks. He had eaten a steak dinner, had two scotches and now he felt full and contented. He had spent his afternoon drinking at a local bar where Norman Mailer, who had suddenly left to go speak at the bend shell, leaving him with McCarthy staffers most of whom were in a glum mood. (Roger would only learn later that Mailer was watching the spectacle that violent night from the safety of the nineteen floor of the Hilton.)