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The Original, 1960s, Counter-Culture Icon, and
still the Best Alternative to the Corporate-Controlled Media.

The LA FreeP~ A Real Head Trip for Smart Minds.

ART KUNKIN, FOUNDER

STEVEN M. FINGER, PUBLISHER

To contribute articles and suggestions, apply for an internship, or create an alliance contact: stevenmfinger@LosAngelesFreePress.com

Author: Steven M. Finger, Publisher & Editor, Los Angeles Free Press (page 1 of 49)

In The Month of Art: Your Introduction


Certainly, it’s no ordinary month – it began on March 28th of this year (2020) and concludes 34 days later on April 30th. Both dates are significant – just days ago, we celebrated his 92nd Birthday with a Virtual (Online) Party, Art was there in spirit, having passed away on the 30th of last April.
The Party was ‘@’ the Beatnik Lounge in Joshua Tree, as it has been for many, many years. This time, tho, it was a Surprise! Party. Not a Surprise! to him, as he surely knew about it – but for all who ‘tuned-in’, each of whom, as always, was a Special Friend.
And their Surprise? FREE Access to this special Series: a unique collection of his own articles, all published in his 1960’s Counter-Culture Icon, the Los Angeles Free Press. Each article is a remark on a remarkable history AS that history is being made – it is truly, and uniquely, ‘of the moment’.
And there is more to this Gift- access not just to his Collection, but to the entire website! So that you can have a 50-year look-back at every year of the LAFreep: The Headlines, the people, the events, the bands…
AND… even more… the Right to Share That – ALL of that – with your OWN Special Friends.
To see the 1st article in ‘The Series of Art Kunkin’, designed especially for ‘The Month of Art’ CLICK HERE.

HIGH SCHOOLS ARE NEXT! Part 2


This is the second Part of last week’s 50-Year Throwback Thursday. In that post, we called your attention to a new weekly feature – Military Affairs.  It reports on the growing resistance to the war within the military itself!  We also mentioned that Military Affairs should have included another article – a very small one in the very center of another one of our pages.  It included a statement from the Wall Street Journal that “an average of 500 GIs desert the  army each week.”

The LA Free Press had already reported on this growing trend  – up 300% from just two years before.  However, when the mainstream press finally published this ‘new revelation’ it was proof-positive that the war was, indeed, coming to an end; it could no longer be hidden, the military itself was imploding.

Yes, the Hippies’ had protested the government’s war, but it was their anti-war mantra that had pushed the better-self of the soldiers to put an end to the carnage.  Please consider how important this lesson is – for, once again, right now – right now – we are again asking our government to put an end to endless war and to start no more.  We are on the brink of an election wherein candidates are asked, on a daily basis, if they will make that promise and, with fingers crossed, our vote for them rests on their affirmative answer.   Instead, wouldn’t we be more certain of peace if we were to revive the chant of “Hell no, we won’t go!”?

The best answer must be informed by the outcome of previous decisions and an honest recounting of history. We welcome your request for our pages from the past.

In the meantime,  let’s just tie up some loose ends from last week.  On the aforementioned page – the one with the article on the rate of desertion – there was both the end of an article  on a fight just begun, and one that begins with a plea for peace.  The pending battle with the UC Board of Regents was, in retrospect, a beginning event to today’s tuition situation, while the interview with John Lennon speaks of a festival that never happened… but now may be an idea that’s time has come.

This is the article concerning the Regents or, more precisely, their intended demise! The very first paragraph sets forth the governing principle, and the balance of the page names names and gets to the crux of the matter – their corporate associations.
In a subsequent article, several Issues from ‘today’, you’ll see exactly how insidious these connections were, converting the institution’s higher-self into a mundane money-magnet, transforming the philosophy of education into the preparation of the corporate worker of the people, by the people, and for the people… who own those corporations.

This second page tells you how that scenario was going to be put to rest. And several Issues from ‘now’ you’ll see how we went from no or low tuition, to the albatross it is today! Perhaps here you will find the real rational to reforming the cost of educating our present generations.

And here’s the wrap up to John Carpenter’s interview of John and… Yoko. In essence, once upon a time there was a plan for a Peace Bag Festival. Not done then, should we do it now?

HIGH SCHOOLS ARE NEXT!




Per Art Kunkin… “On this page the Free Press publishes the official Santa Monica High School policy on speakers, printed material & demonstrations, as revised in September 1969. It is obvious that this is a document which the educational authorities would (wrongly) like to keep from the eyes of the public because, through the pretense of dealing with disruptive elements, a policy is declared which deprives high school students of any constitutional or moral right to have a say in their own lives. .
The adults responsible for this document cleverly give lip service to-the concept of education. However, no one who reads their own words can fail to understand that these ‘adults: are basically concerned about preventing the high school student from having that meaningful student self-govern­ment and vigorous campus discussion which is central to education today. And these authorities smugly and foolishly try to maintain this totalita­rianism over a student population which has absorbed many lessons about dictatorship and democracy, evolution and counter-revolution, war and peace through the compelling school of mass communications. ·
Several weeks ago the Free Press bannered, ‘The Liberals are Next’ in connection with the current repression of black people. This week we are bannering, ‘High Schools are Next.’ There is no contradiction. The first headline dealt with the developing counter-revolution, the current headline with the developing freedom revolution – and in our time revolution and counter-revolution are·closely intertwined. It is precisely because of the anti-democratic policy revealed on this page that the high school student is bound to revolt in the name of freedom even while the counter-revolution strives to stifle freedom elsewhere.
Unfortunately, the limitations of space have demanded that we edit this document. The editing has consisted of deleting quotations cited from the Santa Monica and State Educational Codes which gives the school authorities the right to use ‘physical control’ over students, to have a parent arrested who ‘insults’ a teacher in the presence of a student, etc. Even with these deletions, the official policy is monstrous.”
This last page of the article on the compromising of Student Rights carries two reports of which you should take note. One is a soldier’s frank admission that his mission is not to further the mission of the armed services, the other is on the Honeywell Project, an effort to put the brakes on one of the prime producers of munitions in that continuing war that that soldier does not want any part of.
Because of the regularity of these types of reports, they are now part of our regular feature, ‘Military Affairs’. In essence, it’s a validation of what we have shown was bubbling up from the underground; that while much of the public is focused on the peace and love mantra of the Hippies – love them as we do – it is the “Hell, we won’t go.” mantra of those who must kill or be killed that will surely bring the military command to their knees.
I’ll finish today’s summation of this week’s Issue by adding yet one more page to this display. It’s Page 9 where, dead center, you can see hard numbers of just how true it is that the armed forces, notwithstanding the Hippie Mantra, is, most definitely, imploding. Yes, it should have been in Military Affairs, we’ll get better at that even as we hope that the war will end before we fully master that skill.
p.s. I suggest that you try to catch LOVE, and on Monday, I’ll post both the beginning of the story on the UC Reagents (the ending is up there in the top left of Page 9), and the balance of Lennon’s thoughts (begun up there in the top right). See you then.

Dialog With A Dope Maker… (P2of3)


…continued from Dialog With A Dope Maker… (P1of3) wherein I mentioned
* our Resident Beatnik was woke to a new #1 Priority: we can no longer poison our planet. He and the LA FP (50 years ago) were early supporters of the ‘Ecology Movement’. Had we all heeded Lawrence Lipton’s few principles, in this first of this week’s forward-looking articles, could we have averted our present Climate Change Crisis. Can they cure it now?
* As we said in Part 1, our second article here is not – at all – NORML and, yet, it was a clarion call (again, 50 years ago) for legalizing weed – for lots of the reasons it is, today, legalized so broadly. Strangely, tho, if you had been as old then as you are now – you would have said “pshaw” (IF you had been as old then as you are now.)

SO, here’s that first item… Lawrence Lipton’s column ‘Radio Free America’ on this date, exactly 50 years ago. Given that he was a Beatnik, and not just any Beatnik, but author of The Holy Barbarians (1959), the acclaimed historical account of that movement, breaking his bonds with it to advocate mass protest clearly showed how he, indeed, now felt that saving the planet was The #1 Priority.
In other words, in this case, independent self-expression wasn’t enough to accomplish the urgent solution of immediate and massive action to break through the Social Lie that would only continue the harm being done.
His and all the other statements that gave reason to support the newly initiated Ecology Movement did move it forward, but persistence was taken off track by commercial forces. Today, the same sage advice of “DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER” has another voice, one that has connected to the very same segment of our society that the LA Freep spoke to – young idealistic people, people who could – and have – spoken truth to power.
And now, there’s another powerful force – US! the ‘boomers’. Think about how different this is – a rising tide of youthful concern re-awaking an older generations’s fervent, but set-aside, dream. Herein is an opportunity for unification, and its synergy may save us all!

Here is our 2nd article – one that sounds very much like those we often read by NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. However, it wasn’t until the following year that that organization was formed. (Those of you who were ardently involved in that cause are, of course, forgiven for any lapse of memory on this point.) But here it is, a sane and sober rational for access and the use of pot without onerous restrictions based on misinformation. It’s last few paragraphs were right-on; even with the Federal Government waging a full-out war against it, spending billions per year in that fight, its – legalized -use is ubiquitous.
Simply put, just as they had predicted, laws fall to the governed’s demand. How did this up-hill battle go down? First came organizations with this as their purpose. Three were major players, two of which eventually folded into the first – yes, we’re back to NORML, est. 1970. (And here’s a fun fact – it was Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Foundation that initially funded it with a $5,000 grant, its donations rising to as much as $100,000/year.) In 1973, Oregon was the first state to begin decriminalizing cannabis. In 1996, California legalized medical cannabis, as did a majority of states by 2016. Among them, Colorado and Washington, in 2012, legalized cannabis for recreational use, as well. The continued liberalization of marijuana via recreational legislation is now sweeping the States.

While I wish to make the point that the resurgence of the concerns about about our environment should be ameliorated by this success, I, necessarily, must say that there can be little doubt that the cash it was likely to bring in was a large factor in its favor. In fact, it didn’t take large scale protests to move the goal of liberalization into legislation. So, though demonstrations make demands for change obvious, the history here should say to all new activists – as crass as it may sound – talk more about how coffers can fill up as temperatures come down. And that using these two strategies – of protest and passage of law – in tandem is the way to go. And not to forget our old beatnik, self expression certainly has its place in this new Movement. Best of luck to us all.

As to last of this week’s ‘prescient’ articles, the next one is of things that might come into being. The final article reveals ‘the secret the mainstream needed to keep, the thing that Boomers did that couldn’t be told’. You can find them both in Part 3 of Dialog With A Dope Maker…
… on this coming Monday 🙂

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