On May 5, 1972, Major General William H. Moncrief had assumed command just a day earlier when U-BAD held a demonstration over the lack of progress in remedying job discrimination. The 500 protesters, mostly African American, comprised janitors and kitchen workers as well as doctors and military officers, and even some patients.
Just after DC activist Julius Hobson addressed the crowd, the commander closed the base to the public, shutting out D.C. Delegate Rev. Walter Fauntroy.
Rev. Fauntroy was allowed in, however, and he and Nell Pendleton met briefly with Gen. Moncrief. But when the commander denied Rev. Fauntroy’s request to meet with Black employees, 200 demonstrators staged a sit-in on the lawn. Four days later, nearly 1,000 workers met with Rev. Fauntroy offering up grievances about working conditions, particularly in food service and the laundry.