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Yikes! Will Hippies Become Yippies? And What About Those Grapes?

This week’s 50-Year Throwback is a double-header… one story just beginning, and (?) the other one nearing its end. We choose the first of the two to feature as, without it, you’ll not have context for the BIG story about to unfold (it hits our Front Page 2 Issues from now). So… here it is – the coming of age of
The Youth International Party, the Yippies… and their plan to gather at the up-coming Democratic Convention in Chicago.
They were a youth-oriented counter-cultural group of anti-authoritarian anarchists heading toward a revolution; they were opposed to the Vietnam War and the politicians who advocated fighting till its finish. Like a small number of other protest groups, they used street theater to make fun of the status-quo and, too, pranks. These tactics were generally dis-respected (in today’s parlance – dissed) by the sit-down and march protesters of the day. No doubt, this was to the delight of at least one of the Party’s Founding Members, Paul Krassner, as they were once referred to as the ‘Groucho Marxists’.” {Note to self – Better Call Paul to confirm.]
‘Today’s’ articles – posted below – give you a better idea of who The Yippies were and how they might figure into the Big Bang that was heard in the streets of Chicago, an explosion so loud it reverberated right over to the Republican Convention!

As to that other story – it is significant. While the California Table Grape Boycott had already taken large steps forward, a Federal Court ruling broke its back by halting its efforts to take the strike nationwide. We’ve placed the article in another section for your perusal.. it can be found here:

Grape Boycott Grows

The Free Press Ensures A Better Society – the Seminal Thoughts of Art Kunkin

Typically, this 50-Year Throwback Thursday section features the LA Free Press Issue of 50 years-ago. Today, I’m sure we’re out of bounds… either because the following – provided in response to the Boston Globe’s Challenge to stand up for a free press- is based on our principles of MORE THAN 50 years (May of 1964 to be exact) OR because the document below giving their rational was actually first published in 2007 – just 11 years ago.

Of course, it’s not like any of those other responses – it’s not all about the Trumpian Way, and the dangers of same. Yes, his progenitors had made their terrible mark back then – in various forms, in too many places, and to too awful a degree – but… Art’s discourse is as it had always been – on the positive side.
He simply published the Los Angeles Free Press in accordance to his beliefs, and the very essence of it did what a free press was to do. And his paper gave rise to 600 more. (It is why our participation in this ‘challenge’ is a bit awkward for us – just now declaring the Right to a Free Press when, so long ago, our fought the good fight – literally.) Minds melded, new ideas blossomed, diversity was the core of a greater unification, and a war was put out of business. One might think there was a Nobel Peace Prize somewhere in the mix. (Not yet, my friends… but surely a thought worth acting on.)

This will not be a new commitment for us – nor a new strategy for us. In fact, what we were doing back then is remarkably similar to what today’s ‘free press’ has evolved into. As you see, Art’s original vision statements – here’s one: “Every reader Is A Reporter” – have come about (Got Facebook?); Fake News is falling to the insistence for truth, going high instead of low, calling out injustice – and getting personal viewpoints instead of the (Establishment’s) third party view, all now fully incorporated components in today’s free press. How nice is that? So, from the Granddaddy of them all, here is what the free press is actually supposed to do. (And, yes, it is a bit different than most people think it is.)

I’ll add this one last note: We were different so long ago, we are so different right now – but our Objectives are the same.
Our format – 50 years back was different than the standard press of the day: Reporters wrote about things that they did not and regularly gave their opinions and, too, our news was very much ‘of the moment’ – ‘live’ reports of participants in, usually, anti-establishment protests but new society efforts (the ‘Movements’ – Womens’ Lib, Free Speech, Psychedelics, Student Rights, Gay Rights,… and ‘happenings’ (art, music, theater, lectures, and the like) as well. It was an effective way toward our basic objective of birthing a better society: overcoming what was wrong by doing what was right: Dow made napalm, people protested, we gave them our support.
Today, we are not first and foremost about the ‘new’ ‘news’. Instead, though it may sound oxymoronic, we lead with ‘old news’: articles remarkably close in content to the concerns of today. is Dow that different than Monsanto? Are we selling billions of dollars of weapons to opposing countries – again, was the Ecology Movement so far afield from Climate Change? You’ll enjoy seeing what was (here’s another one – all those Letters to the Editor assuring us that a plastic card would never replace money, and that the government did not care to see what we were buying where). But, too, and to the point – where did good intentions get steered off track to one that has merely taken us back. Read the lessons of history and the commentary of change. As I said, it will be a trip, and it will take you to where we once all knew we should go.
And now that you’re here ( 😉 ) -select the ‘A Unique Perspective’, the ‘Flashback Friday’ tab, or checking out our 50-year Throwbacks. Your interest will be appreciated by all! (Spoiler Alert! There a (just) $5 for a 3-Month Subscription – and your support will also be appreciated – we’re on a mission together, right?

Electoral Politics Precludes Involvement(?)

Well… lots of intresting articles on this Front Page. There’s the ‘Shoot-out in L.A.’. In one version of the story, 2 Officers – without provocation – shot up a car full of black men. Yes. one was a ranking Black Panther. (Exclusive interview follows.) And then you’ve the one about local FBI Agents filing charges with the Attorney General to remove J. Edgar Hoover. AND, then, a break in the JFK assassination case??!

Even so, this week we’re featuring something on the inside – the letter on ‘Page 6’. It’s an opinion piece. Not only – except for that Vietnam War thing – does it seem to be referring to the collective behaviour in our D.C. Pantheon, the situation it discusses – the small chance of the electorate actually influencing representatives once they are elected – is also with us today. (Though, take note, – those 50 years ago -, the author held out hope for a “new, perhaps uninvented” form which might substitute for demonstrations and city ballots. Had he foreseen the advent of Facebook?)

Do take the read: his description of the Congress back ‘in the day’ is dead-on, as is his shout-out of how the election process worked, then, against our best expectations. And here we are 50 years later. Have we gone beyond Paul Encimer’s final conclusion? Or is that what is still to come?
[In the best tradition of the LA Freep – as you see here – write in your thoughts. Nowadays 🙂 that would be to our .com, – LosAngelsFreePress You can use the ‘Archive Request Box’ in the top right corner. AND add, if you wish, a request for any of those Front Page articles – we aim to please!]

You might also want to check out the adverts on our featured page – the various performances go from ‘tonight’ thru the 1st of September. There are the bands, and Rod McKuen, too. (We know of the success of his spoken poetry on records and stage. But, did you that ‘this’ year – 1968 – over a million copies of his books were sold, too?)
And over on our LosAngelesFreePressMusic Facebook Page… It’s an Orgy like you’ve never seen before! And Canned Heat plays an interluder.

Pick a Panther at Peace & Freedom Party Convention

Let’s sidestep the sewage… unquestionably, the anti-war protesters have made their feelings known with regard to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey’s candidacy…and look for a clean stream of their support for the Party they helped birth. In that ‘tomorrow’ is but a day away and on which, likely, the final path will be determined as to ‘how’ they will achieve their goal, we will need to take a very quick look at how we arrived at this point, how it is different from all others, and what it’s outcome may bring to all of America.
Of course, at this point in time – 50 years ago in the pages of the LA Free Press – one could only guess as to how history might unfold. For the moment we knew that the Anti-War Movement was real: on this coast, peaceful protesters and the LA FP, itself, pushed the P&F Party onto the ballot in January, then pro-peace candidate Eugene McCarthy rocked the East Coast, coming within less than 300 votes of defeating Lyndon B. Johnson in the first primary, that was 6 months ago in March. The showing was strong enough for Bobby (RFK) to take up the banner aiming to outrun McCarthy, stepping in as LBJ bowed out. Barely 3 months later, in June, on the night he won the California primary with a similar themed platform… he was shot dead.
But the Movement did not die, and with the advent of these 2 conventions of the people – a true 3rd Party where anyone who was a Member could nominate its leader – Democracy lives.
Sadly, within just weeks, this exemplary example will run up against traditional politics – There will be no nomination of a true pro-peace, pro-people, pro-planet candidate for President. The Battle of Michigan Avenue will ensue, the hopes of the Democratic Party manipulators will be dashed and, in an irony of historic proportion, idealists will be the cause of a dystopia.
So much for a snapshot of what was, and what was soon to be… here is what the morning will bring…

And, too, there is the Newport Pop Festival on the 3rd and 4th.
Find it on our FB LAFPMusic Page…

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