The Newark Riots

by Dolores "Dee" Boutureira


That summer of 1967, I graduated from ESHS. Just before the riots broke out, my friends and I, went to Seaside Heights for the weekend. We were having a great time. Then I remember at some point, someone mentioning they heard trouble was happening in Newark.

When we got back DN/Ironbound, to begin dropping everyone off at their homes, our cars were immediately stopped by numbers of Police Officers in full riot gear, rifles included. They checked everyone of our ID's, to make sure we lived DN. Only then did they allow us to proceed. It was rather unnerving, in the dark, to have your headlights fall upon wooden barricades, with a lineup of Police in full regalia facing you with their blinding light shining on you, and arms at the ready. And this same scenerio was at every possible direction anyone could enter into the Ironbound, from Ferry St (by Penn Station), South St, McWhorter St, 1-9 Off Ramp, which would bring you to what is known as 6 Corners, Chestnut St being one of them, and Elm Rd another, where I lived, right across the street from the Firehouse. Was that place lit up too.

My parents were so relieved to see me back home, as was I, to be there. Not a thing occurred DN, being where it's located, as a separate enclave, made it safe. I do know one thing for sure, if any attempt had been made to bring the riots DN, they not only would of found the Police and barricades, but just about every male in that community, armed and ready, for them. I'm glad that didn't happen, because the bloodshed would of been horrific.

The saddest thing of all for me, was after it was over, driving by the areas where the riots took place, seeing the toll of destruction and devastation of the fires, etc. I shall never forget it.

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