[sixties-l] Fwd: Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty?

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Thu Aug 17 2000 - 18:11:00 CUT

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    >Tuesday, August 15, 2000
    >LA Times
    >Never Trust Anyone Over 30? Today's Young Protesters Disagree
    >Someone out there in Protestland took a closer look at the
    >faces of the rebels who have gathered in Los Angeles this week
    >and, in a moment of reverie, came up with a new catch phrase:
    >"Generation Plus."
    >The anonymous writer on the Independent Media Center's
    >electronic bulletin board, who goes by the Internet handle of
    >"Regulator," sees "a whole generation" rising up against corporate
    >greed--"plus some of the sixties crew who didn't sell out, and
    >maybe a few coming back in, and the 'Third Age,' those who
    >survived McCarthyism, lending their wisdom."
    >Yes, there is a young, counterculture feel on the streets of this
    >city this week. Every generation reshapes the idea of rebellion,
    >gives it a new form. This one has embraced anarchy and "affinity
    >groups" instead of Marxism and "free love." Its bugaboo is "the
    >global economy" instead of the war in Vietnam.
    >But there are a few veterans of the old struggles scattered
    >about this week, adding a bit of seasoning to the proceedings,
    >people like Mo Nishida, a 64-year-old survivor of rebellions past
    >who is spending part of this week at the Convergence Center, the
    >unofficial protest headquarters near MacArthur Park.
    >"I was at the Chicano Moratorium," Nishida says, which was
    >in 1970 in East Los Angeles. "We had a pretty big Asian
    >contingent at the sucker."
    >The young person sitting next to Nishida raises his eyebrows.
    >"Did you ever read Ruben Salazar?" he asks, bringing up The
    >Times columnist who was slain by deputies, the one name from
    >that event passed on to younger generations.
    >"Oh yeah," Nishida says distractedly. "I used to read Salazar."
    >A man with a fringe of white hair circling his bald pate,
    >Nishida is more interested in what's going on now.
    >Young people fill the space around him in the old apartment
    >building they've rented for the week. They paint signs and make
    >puppets. There is a bright yellow papier-mache sun and stacks of
    >grayish skulls representing various evils. A few feet away, four
    >people slice piles of vegetables, making a communal lunch.
    > * * *
    >The mood is at once playful and defiant, a sort of Woodstock
    >goes to the barricades. Ask them about the cause they are
    >fighting for and they're liable to say, in a breathless tone, "We're
    >willing to sacrifice our bodies for justice."
    >"There's street theater and puppet processions, rap and
    >poetry. And a choir. Some people will engage in civil
    >disobedience," says Brian Montez, 22, a UCLA history major
    >and media "escort" at the center. "What I love is seeing all these
    >people who are interested in helping people get together. The
    >idea is to create a festival."
    >Nishida listens to the twentysomethings speak, he sees their
    >party unfolding before him and he beams with a weary happiness.
    >"The young people don't have their eyes blinded by all the
    >crap," he says. "They see things for what they are. I admire
    >When that other, older movement ended, when its rebellion
    >morphed into something quieter and less angry, Nishida felt
    >cheated. He spent 12 long years addicted to drugs. They were
    >years, he says, in which he felt robbed of his dignity by The Man.
    >"They destroyed AIM [the American Indian Movement], they
    >destroyed the Panthers," he says, the bitterness still fresh in his
    >voice. "They destroyed the real conscience of America. . . . To
    >me, this represents the resurgence of the real America. To me,
    >the real America is the one that should stand for justice, respect
    >and equality."
    > >From the Convergence Center, where Nishida staffs a table
    >with legal pamphlets, demonstrators have filtered out across the
    >city--from the beach at Santa Monica, to a barbecue protesting
    >the ritzy fund-raiser at the nearby pier, to Pasadena, where a
    >group called the Gapatistas tries to call attention to a link between
    >a certain clothing company and the logging of redwood forests.
    >When the Gapatistas arrive in Old Town Pasadena one hot
    >afternoon, Cheryl Pestor, 48, is there to greet them.
    >"The last protest I was in was against the Vietnam War,"
    >Pestor says. That was in 1969, when Pestor was a teenage
    >undergraduate at USC. In the years since, she has become a
    >commercial real estate broker, a profession that is not exactly a
    >haven for ex-radicals.
    >"I'm here because I think we should protect our redwood
    >forests," she says. "We can build shopping centers without
    >Pestor holds a printout of an Internet article on the Gapatistas.
    >She has also read the book by Julia Butterfly Hill, the
    >25-year-old environmental activist whose work has inspired
    >many protesters. "I'm wondering if I'll see her here," she says.
    >The Gapatistas don cardboard costumes and perform a dance
    >in front of store. When they march around the corner, Pestor
    >joins them, bringing up the rear with a chant of: "For redwoods!
    >For workers! Boycott Gap!
    >But when the Gapatistas strip down to their
    >underwear--"We'd rather wear nothing than wear Gap!"--Pestor
    >keeps her clothes on. That would be taking things a bit too far.

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