Red Robed Protestors Bring Warning to Area

Waukegan News Times, Illinois

October 15, 1969, North America

There’s at least one group of people in the United States who are not aware there is a nationwide moratorium on the Vietnam war today.

Clad in red burlap robes, wearing yokes meant for oxen, and carrying shepherds’ staffs, the group—with thousands of Chicagoans looking on in astonishment—formed a silent processional and prayer vigil.

The red represents the blood of Christ, the yoke, bondage. The staff symbolizes justice and the burlap calls for repentance, the cowl means judgment.

Then, after 10 minutes, the group, as mysteriously as it had appeared, disappeared—leaving loop shoppers wondering who they were, what they were doing and where they were going.

Asked if the group was planning to observe today’s moratorium, one long-haired member of the group asked, “What moratorium?” He knew about the war, but not that nation-wide demonstrations had been planned.

License plates in the caravan indicated members of the group came from several states. Among the caravan’s vehicles were a yellow school bus, an Army truck, camp trailers, vans and a little red Falcon.

Many of the vehicles sported heavy red and black signs which repeated the gypsy-type band’s main theme—a return to that ol’ time religion.