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Photo Essay: Protests at the Republican National Convention, Miami Beach 21-23 August 1972

This photo essay was the first photo assignment of GJEP Co-Founder Orin Langelle.  It took place 50 years ago at the protests outside of the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach over August 21-13, 1972.  Langelle will be launching a new photography website soon which will be announced here.

All Photos by Orin Langelle

Miami Beach, FL 1972: Members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) show their outrage as they protest the lives lost (both U.S. and Indo-Chinese) in the Vietnam War. Both VVAW members along with thousands of anti-war demonstrators massed at the convention to show opposition to the war.

 

Wounded soldier from Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in a wheelchair during protests against the RNC. He was one of over 200,000 U.S. casualties in that war.

Wounded soldier from Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) in a wheelchair during protests against the RNC. He was one of over 200,000 U.S. casualties in that war.

 

The Republican Party’s symbol, an Elephant, pulls a coffin alongside protesters past the entrance of the RNC

 

John “Duke” Wayne attends the convention

 

Young Republicans were a sharp contrast between the inside and outside of the convention

 

Demonstrators commemorate the Kent State massacre that occurred at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. The massacre involved the murder of four unarmed college students by the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970 during a demonstration against the Vietnam War. Nine other unarmed students were shot, one suffered permanent paralysis.

 

The US was accused of many war crimes in Vietnam including the My Lai Massacre where a platoon of US soldiers killed as many as 500 unarmed civilians in 1968

The US was accused of many war crimes in Vietnam including the My Lai Massacre where a platoon of US soldiers killed as many as 500 unarmed civilians in 1968

 

Stop Bombing the Dikes protest. Accusation arose that the US was bombing parts of the 2500 miles dikes on the Red River. Independent sources say the US did bomb the dikes. If the bombings would have been more widespread, flooding would have affected 15 million peasants.

 

Beat Poet Allen Ginsberg reads for the crowd

 

A rally for the “Pot Peoples Party” demanded the legalization of marijuana as dozens climbed this tree while others looked on

 

Other issues were spotlighted during the anti-war protests, such as gay liberation.

 

A young woman sells patches to be worn on the derriere of activists to show their contempt for President Nixon’s policies

 

Protesters, fed up with draft orders for the Vietnam war, in what later was called an “imperialistic” venture, show their disgust for the war. The fighting claimed nearly 60,000 U.S. lives with more than 200,000 U.S. casualties along with more than 3,000,000 people from Indochina who were killed in the war. It is estimated that between 50,000 and 150,000 US Vietnam veterans committed suicide after the war officially ended. Toxic chemicals like Agent Orange, used during the war, continue to have tragic health effects on people in Vietnam as well as U.S. soldiers who served there.

 

A trash can was set afire as activists marched toward the Republican National Convention

A trash dumpster was set on fire as activists marched toward the Republican National Convention

 

Windows are kicked in by a demonstrator protesting against the war and the exploitation of women

Windows are kicked in by a demonstrator protesting against the war and the exploitation of women

 

A clash of cultures: In 1972, at the height of the Vietnam War and the youth counter-culture, the gap between the generations and cultures seemed insurmountable. This photo shows one generation marching forward while the other looks back.