1. Antiwar banner attracts attention of construction workers in City Hall Park.

“I saw a man with a suit and tie standing on the steps of City Hall; he was pointing to Pace and shouting something.”–John Kelley, Pace student

“In a matter of a few seconds a mass of people moved swiftly to the front of the new building. Within a matter of a few seconds the demonstrators cut down the white cloth that was hanging in front of the building. This cloth had on it the words Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, and Kent. As soon as the cloth hit the concrete, they scooped it up and burned it.”–John Klinzing, Pace College


2. About 40 construction workers storm toward the Pace building, beating many on the Plaza.

“A number of workers headed toward Pace College; they were accompanied by a smaller number of business men (judging from their attire)… The workers lit upon any student still in front of the college.”–Marilyn Kocher, Pace College

“ In front of the Park Row entrance to the school, I watched in amazement and then horror as patrolmen, and police cars and scooters stood idly by while workers severely beat two students, lifting and throwing them over the guard rail surrounding the park. Other workers then kicked them while they lay helplessly on the ground. I could not believe that the police were doing nothing. ”–Norman Kaish, Pace student

“During this entire episode, I saw absolutely no provocations on the part of the students unless you would call the V sign a sign of provocation… Some of the girls who tried to talk to the demonstrators while they were throwing rocks were called whores, bitches by the demonstrators. Many of the demonstrators were not construction workers.”–John Klinzing, Pace

“A number of other people were attracted to the scene and one of them yelled ‘Is he one of them or one of us?’. One of the group, who was not wearing a hard hat, replied something to the effect, ‘Commie kid–bastard deserves to die.’”– NYPD report


3. Most doors are locked; students struggle to escape Plaza chaos.

“I ran down the stairs and arrived in the plaza at the same time as the fleeing students and the construction workers. The workers were carrying metal pipes and tools (one man was carrying a wire cutter). The students attempted to enter the building, but all the doors but one were chained shut from the inside, and this caused a pile up of students and workers in the plaza area. Some of the workers then began to beat students with fists, feet, pipes, wire cutters, etc., while others began to kick in the windows to gain entrance into the building.”– J. Howard Hannah

“On the paved area before the new West Campus the beatings commenced prior to the assaults upon the building property. I rushed downstairs intent upon seeing all entrances locked. I was too late!… My first thought was for the lives of the personnel within.”–Geoffrey Needler, Assistant Dean, Pace College

“After several seconds I managed to gain some sort of balance and ran up the ramp to the main doors of the college, which were locked. I looked back and saw no one in front of me except a group of construction workers.”–Stuart Litvin, Pace College student


4. Many watch events unfold from windows; others rush to upper floors for safety.

“When the attacks began, those of us who were in Campus East were told to go to higher floors and remain there. I gradually worked my way up to the seventh floor of the dormitory tower, and along with several students and some faculty, watched the events from a window.”–Joan G. Roland, Pace College staff

“From my office on the 16th floor I witnessed the incident which occurred on Friday, May 8.”–R. F. Spinelli, Office of the Executive Vice President, Pace College

“From the eleventh floor where my office affords a clear view of City Hall and Pace College Plaza, I observed, on Friday, May 8, the construction workers' rally at City Hall and the events that followed.”–Marilyn Kocher, Pace College


5. Several construction workers enter building for the first time.
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“The workers continued their rush into the school chasing the students. I did not see one student attacking a construction worker. After gaining entrance into the college building the workers started to throw ash trays and garbage cans at everything in sight.”–Dr. Leonard Bart, Pace College faculty

“The whole thing was awfully fast and awfully brutal…They had obviously come prepared. They kicked students and smashed wastebaskets on them. Bart and I went about trying to stop them, saying ‘leave them alone.’ We finally talked them into going outside. There, they turned and started smashing windows.”–Dr. Ivan Rohr, Pace College faculty


6. Students toss rocks toward the street.
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“I did in fact, observe several students throwing objects from the roof of the new building onto the plaza below. (The students I cannot really identify.) As far as I am able to recall, this took place after the construction workers had damaged the front doors in the new building and had fought and pursued students who were standing in front of the building.”–George L. Mims, Pace College

“If missles were thrown off the roof, they were thrown after the onslaught not before.”–W. E. Joyce, Pace College

“At this time a contingent of police entered the school building for access to the roof. I pleaded with them to remain at the front door in order to provide us some protection. They refused stating that they wanted to get the students off the roof. When they left there was a second rush by the construction workers.”–Dr. Leonard Bart, Pace College faculty


7. Workers again rush the building, shattering pane glass windows and attacking students inside.

“I went into the building fleeing from the workers and found myself together with medics and other Pace staff trapped in the Admissions Office. The construction workers followed us into the Admissions Office and continued their attack, carrying with them the American Flag…It was for me the most frightening and horrible experience of my life.”–Melvyn J. Oremland, Pace Dept. of Chemistry

“Not all of the attackers were construction men. One identified himself as a City College student. He had picked up a brick and was about to throw it. He said he was venting his anger on ‘those damn students who are preventing me from going to school.’”–Melvin J. Oremland, Pace College Professor of Chemistry


8. Patrolmen arrive and drive the men from the building into the larger crowd.

“Two policemen arrived and began pushing the workers back, telling them if they didn't get out, they would be arrested. The construction men were in the Admissions office, breaking up things, overturning plants. I turned to see that one cop was about to pull his gun. ‘Don't pull your gun!’ Bart and I yelled, almost simultaneously. ‘What the hell do you think I'm supposed to do?’ he said, ‘I didn't start this.’ About half a dozen police arrived then and drove the men outside.”–Ivan Rohr, Pace College faculty


9. Police form line on building steps.

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“Could somebody tell me why all this? Should the policeman in those circumstances, (like a doctor), put his political ideas aside and help his ‘enemy’ as well as his ‘ally’?”–Mrs. J. Sobon, telegram to Mayor Lindsay