Ja, ik weet het, ik heb zelf nog achter deze slogan aangelopen, maar vandaag herdenken we een incident in de Verenigde Staten dat een en ander toch weer in een ander perspectief zet. Ik heb het verhaal aangetroffen op de Wikipedia Historical Data pagina en breng een korte samenvatting ervan dan ook in de taal waarin het wordt verteld…

The Hard Hat Riot occurred on May 8, 1970 in Lower Manhattan. The riot started about noon when about 200 construction workers mobilized by the New York State AFL-CIO attacked about 1,000 high school and college students and others protesting the Kent State shootings, the American invasion of Cambodia and the Vietnam War near the intersection of Wall Street and Broad Street. The riot, which spread to New York City Hall, lasted little more than two hours. More than 70 people were injured, including four policemen. Six people were arrested.
On May 4, 1970, thirteen students were shot, four fatally, at Kent State University in Ohio during a protest at US involvement in the Vietnam War and the Cambodian Campaign. One of the strongest supporters of the president’s war policy was Peter J. Brennan (foto). Brennan was president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, an alliance of building and construction unions in the New York City area. He was also president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York, the statewide umbrella group for construction unions. Additionally, he served as the vice president of the New York City Central Labor Council and the New York State AFL-CIO, umbrella groups for all labor unions in these respective areas. Shortly after the Kent State shootings, anti-war protesters announced they would hold a rally near City Hall to commemorate the four dead students. Brennan decided to organize a counter-rally of construction workers to show support for the Nixon administration.
At 7:30 am on May 8, several hundred anti-war protesters (most of them high school and college students) began holding a memorial at Broad and Wall Streets for the four dead students at Kent State. By late morning, the protesters—now numbering more than a thousand—had moved to the steps of Federal Hall, gathering in front of the statue of George Washington which tops the steps. The protesters demanded an end to the war in Vietnam and Cambodia, the release of political prisoners in the United States, and an end to military-related research on all university campuses.
At five minutes to noon, about 200 construction workers converged on the student rally at Federal Hall from four directions. Nearly all the construction workers carried American flags and signs that read “All the way, USA” and “America, Love it or Leave it”. Their numbers may have been doubled by others who had joined them as they marched toward Federal Hall. A thin line of police formed to separate the construction workers from the anti-war protesters. At first, the construction workers only pushed but did not break through the police line. After two minutes, however, the workers broke through the police line and began chasing students through the streets. The workers chose those with the longest hair and beat them with their hard hats and otherwise. Most of the injured required hospital treatment. Onlookers reported that the police stood by and did nothing.
On May 11, Brennan and officials of other unions said that the confrontation had been a spontaneous reaction by union workers “fed up” with violence and flag desecration by antiwar demonstrators, and denied that anything except fists had been used against the demonstrators. Brennan said that telephone calls and letters to the unions were 20 to 1 in favor of the workers. It was generally believed that the action by construction workers was not premeditated, though one man claimed to have seen suited men directing the workers.
Brennan later organized significant labor union political support for Nixon in the 1972 election. Nixon appointed Brennan as his Labor Secretary after the election as a reward for his support. Brennan was retained as U.S. Secretary of Labor by President Gerald Ford following the presidential resignation of Richard Nixon.

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