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Statement About the Disorders at San Jose, California

October 29, 1970

THE STONING at San Jose is an example of the viciousness of the lawless elements in our society.

This was no outburst by a single individual. This was the action of an unruly mob that represents the worst in America. I have been careful to point out that these are the actions of a violent few.

It is important that all Americans keep this perspective. But the time has come to take the gloves off and speak to this kind of behavior in a forthright way. Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly cannot exist when people who peacefully attend rallies are attacked with flying rocks.

Tomorrow night at Anaheim I will discuss what America must do to end the wave of violence and terrorism by the radical antidemocratic elements in our society.

Note: The statement was released at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, El Toro, Calif.

On November 3, 1970, a statement on the disorders by Press Secretary Ronald L. Ziegler was given to reporters at San Clemente, Calif. The statement read as follows:

Following the San Jose incident, there, of course, has been a lot of discussion and conjecture about it. I think everyone agrees that it was an unfortunate incident.

As the President said, this violent act by a few should not reflect on San Jose, nor should it reflect on the capabilities of the San Jose police force.

However, one thing, unfortunately, should be stated clearly, and this is the assessment of those riding in the Presidential car and in the Presidential motorcade. That is that the President's car and motorcade came under a barrage of rocks as it left the San Jose Auditorium.

It should be further said that reporters from various news organizations inspected the Presidential limousine and noted chips in the roof glass and other parts of the car.

I give these comments, not to take specific issue with all of those who are discussing the San Jose incident, but simply to state two things--that published and broadcast reports of the incident were in no way exaggerated. It was a serious and unfortunate incident that I personally would hope never would occur again around the President of the United States and those accompanying him.

Richard Nixon, Statement About the Disorders at San Jose, California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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