Angry demonstrators staged a brief demonstration in an aisle of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall last night, protesting the presence in the presidential box of Imelda Marcos, wife of Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos. She came to hear Philippine pianist Cecile Licad in her National Symphony debut.
The interruption occurred immediately after the opening number. Four young men and women rushed down the aisle, then turned and faced the box where Marcos was sitting next to pianist Van Cliburn. One of them shouted, "We have an unwelcome guest in the house!" after which the others began chanting, "Down with Marcos! Down with Marcos!"
Marcos remained seated throughout the episode. Several ushers quickly grabbed the protesters and wrestled them, still shouting, out of the hall. They were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and released, according to U.S. Park Police.
Throughout the evening several dozen protesters marched up and down the sidewalk outside the center, carrying placards denouncing the Marcos regime and handing out leaflets, entitled "Imelda Marcos: Art Patron or Sordid Autocrat?" Three anti-Marcos organizations were listed on the leaflet. The demonstrators greeted the arrival of the Marcos motorcade of limousines with angry shouts, and remained until the end of the concert.