[sixties-l] Anti-war press cranks up (fwd)

From: sixties@lists.village.virginia.edu
Date: Wed Oct 03 2001 - 15:43:01 EDT

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Tue, 02 Oct 2001 22:48:21 -0700
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Anti-war press cranks up

    Anti-war press cranks up


    Peace News offers alternative view

    James Sullivan, Chronicle Staff Writer
    Friday, September 28, 2001

    A coterie of veteran underground newspaper publishers is printing what the
    contributors believe is the first special-edition anti-war publication in
    the country since the terrorist attacks.

    "We realized we had to do something," said Allen Cohen, publisher of the
    Oracle, the leading psychedelic paper of the Haight-Ashbury heyday. "We
    couldn't stand by while the world hurtles over the waterfall of desperate
    acts. "

    Peace News is scheduled for print later today, with many of the first copies
    set for distribution tomorrow at an 11 a.m. anti-war demonstration in San
    Francisco's Dolores Park.

    Cohen and John Bryan, who has worked at various daily newspapers and was
    managing editor of the L.A. Free Press, say they bumped into each other the
    day after the World Trade Center attacks at the Mission District bookstore
    where Bryan works. In an instant, they both realized it was time to crank up
    the old counterculture presses.

    "I looked at him and he looked at me," said Bryan, "and we said, 'Holy s--,
    what are we gonna do?' "

    The 12-page broadsheet features contributions from a who's who of contrarian
    commentators, including Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Lawrence Ferlinghetti,
    Diane di Prima, Paul Krassner, Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic and cartoonist
    Spain Rodriguez.

    Some of the poems and essays were written for Peace News; others, such as
    Moore's moving piece about his recent return to New York, have also appeared
    on the writers' Web sites. There's a piece by the late Charles Bukowski,
    onetime associate of Bryan's Open City Press, titled "Peace, Baby, Is Hard

    The overall purpose, say the editors, is to express concern about further
    violence and the erosion of civil liberties in America.

    "We better get this out fast," Bryan said Wednesday, shuffling around the
    bookstore in his stocking feet while a friend pasted up pages on a table in
    back. "They're not going to let reporters cover the war. Bush is talking
    about 'secret victories.' "

    Bryan, an old-school newspaperman who often found himself at odds with the
    hedonistic staff members of the hippie papers, couldn't help needling his
    colleague, Cohen: "He believes in peace and love and all that s--," he said
    with a cranky smile.

    Despite their differences, he said, their alarm over potential privacy and
    free-speech issues has united them.

    "Is this the second Reichstag fire?" Bryan asked. "It's not that far out an

    Cohen said he is beginning to sense a mobilization of anti-war voices, after
    a period after the attacks in which nearly all criticism of the Bush
    administration or U.S. foreign policy was suppressed.

    "If you pay close attention to what's happening on the talk shows, we're
    getting a second wave now. People are thinking about the dangers involved in
    too violent, too destructive an act."

    After an initial run of about 17,000, the editors of Peace News say they
    will reprint as many copies as they can afford through grassroots fund

    Future editions are doubtful, though Cohen said contributors have been eager
    to participate. "We already have more than we can use."

    Bryan said it's up to others to carry on with similar projects. "I think
    we're the first. We won't be the last, though. That's clear."
    E-mail James Sullivan at jamessullivan@sfchronicle.com.

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