From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Tue May 01 2001 - 23:54:36 EDT

  • Next message: radman: "[sixties-l] Students Veer From Schools Hippie Past"




    April 22, 2001 -- THEY are whitebread trust-fund trashers and traitors who
    are a bull's roar away from the hippies of another generation of
    Molotov cocktails, slingshots, helmets and gas masks have replaced guitars.
    Combat boots have replaced sandals.
    The command of the late '60s and early '70s to "be cool" has been replaced
    by the call to destroy.
    When it started last year in Seattle, maybe we thought we were just
    witnessing an isolated aberration.
    Then, at the Republican Convention in Philadelphia, I saw a curious replay.
    "We had intelligence that they were coming from all over the country. A lot
    of the same people from Seattle. We could control it and head off a bad
    situation," Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Timoney, formerly of New
    York, said at the time.
    But the demonstrators had a network of cell phones and walkie-talkies. Some
    of them had weapons, including everyone from anarchists to wannabe
    terrorists, and Police Commissioner Timoney settled down what could have
    been an unsettled Philadelphia.
    These particular nasty people were not exercising freedom of speech.
    Timoney and two cops were trapped by a bunch of the demonstrators, and if
    it wasn't for a bit of old-fashioned muscle, there could have been a tragedy.
    "One bunch of guys tried to pile-drive a bicycle through the head of one of
    my men," said Timoney.
    When their ski masks were off, revealing their faces, I made rough mental
    notes of maybe a dozen or so.
    Then, outside the Staples Center at the Democratic Convention, I recognized
    the same faces.
    "Yeah, we were in Philadelphia," some of them boasted. And some said they
    were in Seattle, although it could not be confirmed.
    Some of them gave me first names. Some gave me phony names. But a lot of
    them were quick to give the geography of their origin.
    They came from Westchester, New York, Grosse Point outside of Detroit, Oak
    Park, Chicago - places where a lot of people can't afford to live unless
    their daddies are rich.
    One young woman, maybe 18 to 21, told me she came from Tiburon, outside San
    Francisco. Some millionaires draw the line at the cost of real estate there.
    One look at their sneakers, their clothes and their watches told
    immediately they weren't living on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
    Caches of aggressive material have been discovered everywhere these nasty,
    rich punks gather.
    In Los Angeles, in a police raid on an unused factory where some of the
    demonstrators were found, fireworks were discovered - as in gunpowder. And
    that could have been disastrous.
    Throughout the late '60s and early '70s, I covered the great unwashed from
    Columbia University to DuPont Circle in Washington, to the Republican
    Convention in Miami, where Nixon still got elected.
    But apart from the anti-police taunts and the strains of "Give Peace a
    Chance" and "We Will Overcome," the bearded and beaded ones were more
    interested in hopping into the sack en masse or lighting up some grass than
    bringing down a government.
    In 1968, at the Democratic Convention in Chicago, shop windows were broken
    by hoodlums. Abbie Hoffman, the then-leader of the Yippie movement, would
    say later: "They were some local crazies. We weren't anywhere near it. We
    were too stoned to get into breaking windows, and we couldn't outrun the cops.
    "Sometimes some professor would preach to us about the geopolitical
    international campaign waged by the capitalists.
    "We would cheer him on, but didn't know what he was talking about, so we'd
    just light up another joint."
    As kids in Vietnam were getting killed, I wasn't a great fan of those
    hippies. But what have we got now?
    The hippies were so tame that the Black Liberation Army would start to get
    serious and cause chaos.
    But now, whether it be Quebec, Los Angeles, Philadelphia or Seattle, you
    are hard pressed to see any real concentration of black faces.
    The black kids of today have very little in common with the whitebread
    wannabe terrorists in Quebec.
    Unless you have the frequent-flyer miles of a pilot or your daddy is rich,
    how do you get from Seattle to Philadelphia to Los Angeles to Quebec?
    OK, you could drive. But even gasoline costs money and will cost a lot more
    if the violent eco-holics have their way in this dangerous group.
    Of course, it won't touch the whitebreads, they have the loot.
    Isn't it strange that some rich kids aren't satisfied with a buck? They
    have to romanticize the nastiness of the street.
    I never thought I would feel nostalgic for the days of the hippies.

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Wed May 02 2001 - 02:09:05 EDT