Cuba Missile Crisis items from PN, 2 November 1962

IssueOctober 2012
Feature by PN

Heavily kettled

'Saturday's Committee of 100 demonstration, held despite a ban from the Ministry of Works, lacked real effectiveness…. [The demonstration ended up at the US embassy.] The police were there in force and were obviously determined to be rough. A police bus charged some demonstrators at 30mph. The police first stopped the demonstrators by cordoning them off, and then charged them, pushing and kicking in the process. The arrests made at this point were made with extreme roughness and cruelty....

'Eventually someone had a brilliant idea to stop police violence. He started singing “God Save the Queen” and all the demonstrators sang with him. The police did not all stand absolutely to attention - but at least they stopped kicking. Even the police horses seemed to realise that they should behave while the National Anthem was being sung.'

Adam Roberts, 'Demonstrations of helplessness'

Heed the call-out

'Kennedy's broadcast was heard in the country on the morning of Tuesday October 23. It took Manchester CND until the evening of Friday, October 26, before any sizeable protest was organised, and then we could only muster something over 1,000 people…. CND has as a first priority to institute now a system of call-out, so that all its members in the major cities can, after a pronouncement such as Kennedy's, be out marching upon embassies, etc, in minutes after that pronouncement.'

John B Linsie, letter

School strikes

'Midhurst, Sussex: 40 sixth formers at the co-educational grammar school at Midhurst, Sussex, went on strike on October 24 as a protest against the Cuba blockade. They refused to attend classes, took part in a march through the town, and sent a protest message to Mr [Harold] Macmillan [then British prime minister]….

'Swansea: About 50 girls went on strike at the Glanmor Grammar School. In the centre of the town Irving Fuchs and Arthur Katts went on a fast for four days. Between 500 and 1,000 people demonstrated in support of them, and sent protests to the Russian and US Embassies and the Foreign Office. This was one of the largest demonstrations Swansea has known…. 

PN staff, 'Cuba crisis protest actions'

In a daze

'We don't mind admitting it, last week we didn't really expect to live more than a few hours, and we went through the processes of getting the paper printed in a bit of a daze, more out of faith than anything else. 

'… Next time we might not come through. For this we need money. Your money.'

Rod Prince, 'A reprieve'

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