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Hundreds attempt escape at makeshift jail: Mayday 1971 | by Washington Area Spark
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Hundreds attempt escape at makeshift jail: Mayday 1971

The aftermath of an attempt by thousands of detained Mayday protesters to escape their makeshift jail at an RFK Stadium practice field May 3, 1971.


Hundreds surged against the chain link fence and bent it down. As several dozen escaped, police used tear gas and clubs to drive back the rest of the demonstrators.


Most of those who escaped were quickly recaptured but a few made it to freedom.


The Mayday Tribe, a loose knit group of individuals, collectives and affinity groups, organized an attempt to shut down the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. in protest of the continued war in Indochina May 3-5, 1971 through the use of non violence civil disobedience.


May 3, 1971 marked the largest single day arrests in U.S. history as over 7,000 demonstrators were rounded up. The four day total May 2-5 was over 12,000.


For more information and related images, see


The photographer is unknown. The image is an auction find.

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Taken on May 3, 1971