Some 400 militant Maoist demonstrators battled briefly but violently with police last night in Lafayette Park after a largely peaceful day of demonstrations by other groups also protesting the state visit here of Teng Hsial-ping, vice premier of the Peoples Republic of Chana.
The Maoists, members and supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party, charged into the park across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House, hurling bottles, sticks, road flares and metal weights at police. Police counterattacked, charging on horseback and on foot. clubbing and arresting numerous demonstrators and driving the rest from the park.
More than 50 police officers anddemonstrators were injured, and both police and demonstrators were observed clubbing each other in the melee that lasted no longer than five minutes.
A total of 69 arrests were made on charges ranging from disorderly conduct to assault on a police officer.
Inside the White House, President Carter and the Chinese vice premier were receiving a black tie crowd in the East Room, with no indication that either man was aware of the violence out front.
Last night's disturbances followed a day in which nearly 3,000 assorted demonstrators ranging from Chinese Nationalists to advocates of Formosan independence marched peacefully in the streets to protest Teng's visit to the White House.
The protesters, many carrying colorful banners and chanting slogans in Chinese and English, criss-crossed the city under cold wind-whipped skies, marching on various targets -- the White House, the Capitol and the embassy of the Republic of China.
While they marched, scores of radical Maoist supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party poured into All Souls Church at 16th and Harvard streets NW, the assembly point for the planned RCP march on the White House last night.
The crowd, largely white and young with many from out of town, milled about in a large stuffy assembly hall, eating food and listening to speeches condemning Teng and his government as betrayers of the Chinese revolution of Mao Tse-tung. Many carried stout staves and long wooden poles, ostensibly to hold banners and placards.
Just before nightfall, the crowd started marching from the church, heading downtown toward Lafayette Park, closely shepherded by Special Operations Division officers of the D.C. Police.
Suddenly, as they approached the park from the east along Pennsylvania Avenue, they broke into a run, shouting "Death, Death to Teng Hsiao-ping" and began hurling bottles, poles, lighted road flares, and hundreds of nails, heavy washers and fishing sinkers at both D.C. and U.S. Park Police gathered near the park.
Police, apparently caught off guard, quickly recovered and with reinforcements charged into the crowd, swinging their clubs widly. Many demon strators swung back with their improvised clubs.
A young woman, blood coming from her nose and mouth, was taken away on a stretcher. Police and local hospitals reported at least 38 demonstrators were treated and released for bruises and head lacerations. At least 13 police officers were injured, including one Park officer who was throw from his horse. Another officer suffered a broken finger, Park Police said.
The RCP, which claimed responsibility for vandalizing the new Peples Republic of China embassy here last week, said yesterday they plan more unspecified "actions" while Teng is in town. The Chinese leader is scheduled to leave Washington Early Thursday.
Security has been unusually heavy for Teng's visit. Even those demonstrators who protested peacefully yesterday were kept at a distance outside the wrought iron ornamental fence surrounding the White House grounds.
Inside, however, two RCP activists with press credentials briefly disrupted the welcoming ceremonies on the south lawn yesterday morning when they began shouting anti-Teng slogans. They were quickly hustled away by Secret Service agents and charged with disorderly conduct.
The two -- identified by Secret Service as Keith Scott Kozimoto, 28, of New York, and Sonia J Ransom, also known as Jean Goldberg, 26, of Seattle -- had been admitted to the White House grounds with temporary press passes. A Secret Service spokesman said both had credentials for The Worker newspaper which is published by the Revolutionary Communist Party.
The RCP claimed credit for the disruption at the White House. Kozimoto and Ransom "denounced Teng for the traitor and the dog that he is," said the RCP in a formal statement. "The Revolutionary Communist Party and [its] Committee for a Fitting Welcome claim full responsibility, and there's more to come."
Ransom said in an interview last night after being released from jail, "I think our next big move will be a press conference [today], building off the White House [incidents] and everything."
By far the largest and most broadly based group of demonstrators, however, was a contingent of about 2,500 Americans and Chinese demanding United States support -- especially military support -- for Taiwan's Nationalist regime.
Though their protest started as a relatively sparse collection of marchers and chanters along the north White House sidewalk, by early afternoon buses full of demonstrators from all over the East Coast and Midwest were continuously swelling their ranks. point from the National Gallery at Sixth Street to the District Building near 14th.
As the pro-Nationalists marched from a rally in Lafayette Park to the Capitol, their parade stretched at one
Above their heads waved a virtual sea of red, white and blue Nationalist Chinese flags, placards and sloganbearing banners. Many of the signs held aloft by participants from cities as diverse as Boston and Chicao appeared identical. "Down with 'Dung' Hsiao-ping" and "F-16s (jet fighters) to Taiwan," they read.
Though there were suspicions that the Taiwan government would play a part in supporting yesterday's protest, organizers of the march denied any such involvement. "This demonstration is all from the bottom of our hearts," said Ho-i Wu of Washington. "There's no government support. Maybe they [Nationalist officials] don't show up because they don't want to jeopardize negotiations."
"I donated $50 to take the bus," said You-pang Wei, a Chinese student at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. "I think I should donate another $50 today to support my country, too."
Wei, like most of those questioned in the crowd, said he did not realistically expect President Carter to reverse his China policy, but hoped he would reconsider what the demonstrators regard as his abandonment of Taiwan.
As they assembled at the foot of the Capitol's west steps singing a Chinese song about strength and unity to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic, the 2,500 demonstrators were greeted by several sympathetic congressmen.
Rep. Johm Ashbrook (R-Ohio) told the crowd that he would "not have been as restrained, as calm and objective" as the Nationalist president whom he recently met in Taipei.
"You must no longer put up with it," said Ashbrook, "You must become active. You must speak out."
While the Nationalists marched on the Capitol, some 400 protesters demanding independence for the indigenous people of Formosa rallied on the Ellipse to the south of the White House, then paraded to the Natonalist Republic of China Embassy on Massachusetts Avenue at Sheridan Circle NW.
"Our voice is never heard by anybody," said Fred Koh, 56, of the Bronx. "We are good, honest people. Why don't they allow us jto determine our own future. These people [the Nationalists and Communists] are all outsiders."
Another group that came to protest the Teng visit was the Central Organization of Marxist-leninists. Twentyseven members of the gtoup rallied briefly on the Washington Monument grounds and warned that the new "U.S.-China Alliance" will lead to world war.
Small groups of anti-Nixon demonstrators also were sprinkled among the Chinese nationalists, protesting the former president's invitation to the White House in conjunction with the Teng visit.