Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why Yippies & Abbie Protested At Democratic National Convention In '68

Lower East Side radicals have had a long history of protesting at Democratic National Conventions. As Living The Revolution by David Lewis Stein noted, “the Democratic Convention was the Yippie target right from the start, and the Lower East Side group sent out calls to other cities…”

The same book also recalled that on August 22, 1968, the now-deceased Yippie founder, Abbie Hoffman,

first read a Yippie platform which contained political demands [that are still more historically progressive than what the Democratic Obama Administration--which will also represent in D.C. the special political interests of Chicago’s corrupt Daley Machine--is proposing to do when it takes over the White House in 2009] like the following:

1. Withdrawal of all foreign-based troops;

2. End of cultural domination of minority groups;

3. Legalization of marijuana and all other psychedelic drugs;

4. Freeing of all prisoners currently in prison on narcotics charges;

5. Total disarmament of all the people, beginning with the police;

6. Abolition of pay housing, pay media, pay transportation, pay food, pay education, pay clothing, pay medical help, and pay toilets;

7. A country in which people are free from the drudgery of work;

8. A conservation program geared towards preserving our natural resources and committed to the elimination of pollution from our air and water;

9. A program of ecological development that will provide incentives for the decentralization of…crowded cities and encourage rural living;

10. Abortion when desired;

11. A restructured education system;

12. Open and free use of the media;

13. An end to all censorship; and

14. A program which encourages and promotes the arts…in a very real sense, we would have a society in which every man [and woman] could be an artist.

(Downtown 11/15/95)

In Run, Run, Run: The Lives Of Abbie Hoffman by Jack Hoffman and Daniel Simon, the brother of the now-deceased Chicago 8 Conspiracy Trial Defendant indicated another reason Abbie decided to protest at the Democratic National Convention in 1968:

“As the Summer drew on, more and more of Abbie’s time was spent planning for the Festival of Life in Chicago, and with each passing week the plans seemed to grow larger, as events and the general mood of the country seemed almost to necessitate some kind of confrontation. The story Abbie liked to tell was that after his bags were packed, the last thing he did before leaving for Chicago was to call Ma in Florida.

“`Chicago? What are you going there for,’ she asked him. `To wreck the Democratic Party, Ma,’ Abbie answered.

“`Well, dress warm, it’s a windy city,’ Ma replied."

The same book also recalled that “near their apartment in Florida,” around the same time, Hoffman’s parents “were surprised one day by two FBI agents” of the Democratic Johnson Administration, “who jumped out of the bushes and started snapping pictures.”

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 5/8/96)

Next: Because of summer travels, I won’t be blogging again until late in the Fall of 2008. Keep the Faith!