The federal marshals have announced that they will come by two o'clock; Tally waits, praying, at the altar of the sanctuary; they arrive shortly after three-thirty. Clouds start to form.
Three marshals go into the church. There is a flash of lightning. An announcement is repeated several times over the bull-horn: "THIS IS A NON-VIOLENT DEMONSTRATION. WILL ANYONE WHO CANNOT COMMIT HIMSELF PLEASE LEAVE NOW. THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN PROTECTION." A few people leave or withdraw slightly, most remain.
Two marshals leave to get reinforcements. There is some confusion; no one seems to know which door to block. The marshals return with the reinforcements (six marshals to handle one pacifist). As they pick him up and carry him from the altar, there is another flash of lightning and a thunderclap. They decide to take him out by the parish hall door.
Someone yells, "move off church property. Let them off church property, but don't let them get anywhere else." A line forms, people link hands and start singing. Police sirens in the background, but so far all the police are just standing there and watching. Tally is sitting on the ground, outside the door of the parish hall. Someone gives him a cigarette.
Someone announces that four paddywagons have arrived, and a voice among the people says, "Yeah, and they're uncomfortable as hell, too."
The paddywagon pulls up.
The police aren't wearing any badges. They drag people from in front of the car, and throw them in the paddywagon. They are beating them, and others up.
A girl goes by, running, bleeding badly from a cut on her head. A boy is bleeding too, and crying, "Oh, God, they're beating a minister." Another boy is carried by. His eyes are shut, and his face is red and swollen. Mace. Many of the observers are crying.
So far, not one demonstrator has raised a hand to a cop.
The police start the paddywagons. There are people sitting in front of it, but they start it anyway, and other police beat literally a path for it.
"Will someone get a stretcher?"
The parish hall looks like a field hospital. The doctor moves as fast as he can from one person to another. "Can someone find a car? Some of these people should get to the hospital now."
Twenty to thirty people were injured. Twenty were arrested.
During the whole melee, I never saw one demonstrator raise his hand in violence.
I have seen pictures of such things in Selma. I never thought to see them in Boston. I hope never to see them here again.
Susan B. Anthony, Inc.
As I write this, William Chase is still inside the sanctuary of the Arlington Street Church awaiting the marshals who will take him to prison for refusing to fight.