Leading members of several South Vietnamese opposition groups marched through the streets of Saigon, the capital, on Friday (20 September) in their first join protest action against press restrictions and alleged Government corruption.
GV Demonstrators in procession (2 shots)
GV Crowd outside newspaper building (2 shots)
MV Man talking to Father Thanh (2 shots)
MV&GV Crowd scatter newspapers (5 shots)
GV Demonstrator burning newspapers (3 shots)
GV Buddhist monks looking
GV Demonstrators running
GV Demonstrators burning newspapers (6 shots)
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Background: Leading members of several South Vietnamese opposition groups marched through the streets of Saigon, the capital, on Friday (20 September) in their first join protest action against press restrictions and alleged Government corruption.
They lit fires on the streets fueled with copies of newspapers which had been ordered confiscated for publishing allegations of corruption made by a Roman Catholic group against President Nguyen van Thieu's Government.
Father Tran Huu Thanh, leader of a militant Roman Catholic group, joined Senator Vu Van Mau, leader of the Buddhist-backed "National Reconciliation Movement", and appeared outside the offices of opposition newspaper. They were joined by priests, monks and opposition Deputies.
The police tried to seize copies of at least one newspaper by the demonstrators set fire to them rather than have them confiscated.
The police tried to put out the flames with fire extinguishers but their efforts were ineffectual. Meanwhile, Buddhist Monks and Catholic Priests handed out unburnt copies of the newspapers to onlookers.
The Ministry of Information issued a statement describing the allegations of corruption as "blatant slanders and defamations".
The protests continued on Saturday (21 September) with further confrontations between police and opposition Deputies who burnt an entire edition of a newspaper rather than let it be confiscated.
On Sunday (22 September) a new "anti-hunger front" emerged in an attempt to draw together Government critics from several different factions.
Meanwhile, as opposition to President Thieu's Government grows, action on the military front also increased.
On Sunday the South vietnamese announced that the remote 400 strong garrison village of Gia Doc about 250 miles (400 kms) northeast of Saigon had fallen to communists.