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themselves and to everyone else that they could out-party any bunch of white kids. Some of the hippies who lived on the Lower East Side moved around, coming on to the bunches of cute chicks who had driven in from the suburbs, while others panhandled change or tried to deal drugs to the visitors. Most of the East Village longhairs were partying hard themselves alongside their neighbors, however, trying to make some sort of contact with their black and Puerto Rican brothers and sisters.

The cops were bewildered all right, and when they asked some kid what was going on and were told it was the Anarchists' Ball, it all still didn't make much sense to them. Yes, they were confounded about not exactly knowing what was happening and bothered that they had no advance warning or information that such a gathering was going to occur that night. But they were by no means "scared shitless" by the mob and far from afraid that things might get out of hand or beyond their control.

You see, Tompkins Square Park had been the setting for many riots earlier in the century, and after they took place, several city departments and agencies got together and redesigned the park, stringing it with so much cast-iron fencing that it gave the place the look of a labyrinth and made it virtually impossible for any crowd to move anywhere en masse. The four-foot-high iron railings were placed randomly throughout the park, successfully dividing it up into small sections, and at the same time, separating into easy-tohandle groups any large mob that might gather. Also, in case of trouble, there were handball and basketball courts in the northeast section of the park enclosed and encircled by thirty-foot-high chainlink fences--that could quickly be converted into a makeshift jail or temporary holding facility for prisoners apprehended during a mass arrest.

Since the long hot summers of the mid-sixties spawned so many insurrections throughout the country, the cops held monthly predawn maneuvers on the Lower East Side, which they considered a "trouble area," and the sealing off of Tompkins Square Park was the main concern of those riot control exercises. Emmett had seen the cops do their thing very early one morning when he was returning to Candy's from the East River, and it only took them about three and a half to four minutes to secure the park--which was quite impressive, even if there really was no traffic at that hour for them to contend with.

Therefore, the cops were hardly shitting in their pants in the face [end page 346]


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