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From the LA Free Press Archive – It’s a 50-year (!) Throwback Thursday!

Obscene Elections?


Well… it was just last week that we took you to a place we hadn’t taken you to before – – our Section 2. And this week, that’s exactly where you can find the answer to our Headline question: Who Rules The Country?
Spoiler Alert ~ ~ Back when that question was asked, the concept was concise, but the details were many. So many, in fact, that book after book was written to include them all. The good news is… our Lawrence Lipton read and reviewed quite a few of them FOR you(!).

Lipton’s discussion/comparison/analysis is, actually, so complete (or as others might say – lengthy) by way of its inclusion of so many aspects that it is unique. Therefore, while material relative to the week’s Issue is usually found in this blog, I am, instead, placing it in another Section of this website; the totally appropriate one of ‘A Unique Perspective’. Check for its Tab up top, then head toward the ‘Topic’ Revolutionary Vibes – as it’s thinking like what’s in this article that leads to structural change.

Again, past a concept, there are details aplenty to make its case – you’re in for a long read, and an enlightening ride. Keep in mind that it’s a summation of 50-year old views. If you find it relevant – or even if it only strikes you as a compilation of surpassed premises, you will have an extended view that may very well provide a handy insight to our political future.

Not ready to go that deep so soon? Then turn to page 3 – it’s re-published right here – for an instant tally of just ‘this’ year’s power-building turmoil and, too, a peek into the trouble ‘abrewin’ (that Valley State thing… that you’ll see quite a bit more of in the next few months – so says my crystal ball).

I’ll wrap up with this:  It’s your opportunity to see a group that you’ve probably heard, one that you might of heard of, and… who’s The Floating Bridge?
This ad will be posted on our FB LAFPMusic Page today – the 8th – and you’ll want to check there tomorrow, too – for a concert ya don’t wanna miss 🙂

To Vote or Not To Vote


Here’s something that you’ve not seen before… no, not this conundrum… the direction to our ‘Second Section’.
Hadn’t really thought about ever mentioning it, but back in May this year, when the Issue again expanded to 48 pages, we made that split. In fact, with the exception of just 2 Issues, all of ‘this’ year’s issues are 2-parters. And (spoiler alert!) ‘next year’ (1969), when the Issue makes it to 72 pages(!), we add a 3rd Section.
Of course, we try to keep a theme for the additional Sections. And this time around the theme is, of course, ‘voting’. But we’re not just a twirl the mind kind of paper, asking only if you should stand up or ‘just’ cop out. Therefore, and naturally, we included the low down on the amendments, propositions, and candidates so you could be moved to vote. AND, TOO, just as naturally for us (the LA Free Press), we included the thoughts of two activists – with demonstrated smarts and street creds – who had the long-awaited ‘plan’ to get past “the choosing of the lesser of two evils.”
There is no explicit mention of that intention by the writers – for back then, they knew, and they knew we knew, what all the Readers of our original Issues also knew – that the cause of the puzzlement posed by the Front Page headline was but the result of manipulated campaigns that out-paced those of principled politicians.
And isn’t it true that now (50 years later!) that those who are heading to the polls (you, for instance) know that there is still the very same dilemma?
Hence, once again, remarkably, an old 60’s article that espoused over-the-top idealism, seemingly as counter-intuitive as it was impractical, may also be the answer for these new times. And just so that it gets the fairest reading, before you go forward, I’ll add these few thoughts:
*Yes, ‘the war’ is over, but larger battles loom – causes that are worth fighting for, instead of protesting against – i.e. climate change, women’s rights and, now, compassion for refugees.
*LBJ DID cave under the pressure of the peaceniks – so, too, may those now holding positions in opposition to the majority of us, providing a way for change even after the election. (A real Party Problem.)
*The young authors went on to even bigger achievements – though both were defendants among the Chicago 7, Tom (a good friend of the LA FP) to both the California House and Senate, Rennie, from radical to advising some of the largest companies in the Nation, and met again at a panel to discuss “a progressive counterbalance to the religious right”. (Sounds timely, doesn’t it?)
*Finally, just its rhyming title earns it a break – Join the election strike: Vote with your feet – vote in the street.
So, whether you vote or not, follow the plan – there’s hope in high ideals and persistence.

Let Castro Teach American Government, Again



Two stories on our Front Page – the 3,000+ marching in one certainly outnumber the ‘about 50’ sit-down protesters in the other. Nevertheless, we’ve headlined the cause of the smaller group as it seems as important now as it did then. And, besides, (we just happen to know) that their protest succeeded.
As to the reason for the marching in the first article – the conviction of one Huey Newton just about a month before – it’s reversed more than a year later. Remarkably, both articles are continued onto the same page, herewith re-published.

In the second article, the Sal Castro Interview, you’ll find the genesis of its protest – educational inequality. The result, back in March, were walk-outs from 7 East L.A. high schools by more than 15,000 students and faculty members at the effect or sympathetic to the disrespectful fashion in which the schools treated their Chicano students.
Known as the Eastside Blowouts, they were the culmination of policies that had overcrowded classrooms, dropped reading scored, and raised dropout rates – to almost 60%! – within the School District.
Subsequently, there was a meeting of the Los Angeles Board of Education at which all of the students’ 39 demands were rejected. Then, 13 of the walkout’s organizers were jailed; Sal Castro, with the most charges pending, was finally released on bail in June. However, the arrest cost him his teaching position.
What you are reading about here is the beginning of a protest… one that became a round-the-clock sit-in at the LA Board office and 2,000 protesters surrounding the police station. All for good cause, protesting social injustice isn’t a crime. Eventually, the School Board yielded, and Let Castro Teach American Government, Again!
But there’s more to do, 50 years later educational inequality still exists.

Now onto ‘this’ year’s Presidential Race. Here are 2 more of the candidates and again, there are some surprises…
One is a candidate that you probably don’t know: the first-ever she before anyone was ‘with her’ – who was expecting to lose for a reason you might still remember. The other was a he who won… except for 297 votes.
First up is another youngster – but at 38 she does qualify for the Office – where as Mr. Cleaver does not. She, too, is an activist, though, and Black – providing her with 2 historical credits. And there a whole lot more Charlene Mitchell…

Eugene McCarthy was the ‘winner’ we allude to above – and a surprise of how close he came to besting the incumbent in the New Hampshire primary.

Peace & Freedom Party Presidential Candidate Says No Freedom No Peace


I’ve often thought that one of the best features of this 50-year Throwback Thursday column is how closely articles from our Issues back then – week-by-week, year-by-year – often tracked right along with the contemporary news.
Examples abound: ecology concerns vs. the cry against climate change, Gay parades and now legalized same-partner marriages, protesting Dow Chemical and winning suits against Monsanto, Union Oil spills and BP’s cleanup, smog reduction and fighting for fuel efficiency, water scarcity and… water scarcity, skid row and homelessness, the War on Drugs and today’s losing battle against opioids, topless to braless, considering bi to turning trans, whispering socialism to shouting “Why not?”, Women’s Lib to the Million Woman March, and so many more.

Each one is an evolution from then to now – their past somehow right in step with headlines 50-years later – even Jane Fonda is right on cue! But, of course, we pointed out these ‘remarkable coincidences’ purposefully.
In fact, a main objective of our ‘re-incarnation’ was to show that while the ideology of the 60’s was on target, the process of turning it into reality was amiss; for gosh sakes! we’re still striving for the same goals 50 years later!! The hope was that you would would see where we went wrong and would add to the conversation of how we could set it aright.

But I digress 🙂 … what I need to say is this: while it has been a pleasure to lay the parallel tracks of old news and new news before you, we’ve reached an inconvenient crossing; ‘this year’s’ Presidential election (in 1968) has no parallel in our current year.
And, surely, we want to put, what turned out to be, one of the most dynamic races of all time up as a history lesson. So here is what we’ll be doing just to keep somewhat to that side-by-side format ~ we’re going to compact those candidates’ yearlong run into the very short period between now and what will be our mid-terms. Let’s see if it, too, will be a neck-to-neck race!
***An Important Note: 6 Candidates later – with the oddities of them and their campaigns discussed – you’ll have an unexpected epiphany… of how you can change the course of history come 2020. So…

Presidential Candidate #1 (we aim to get your interest right from the start) – Black, Independent, a progressive (convicted) serial rapist, self-educated to the point that he could – and did – write a best-seller on the gist of a revolution (a classic, actually). He’s lectured at some of our Nation’s finest universities (he, still, is quotable), was key to the development of the first Party to truly promote the dictum that BlackLivesMatter and, eventually, became a conservative with letters behind his name (GOP).
Here’s the viewpoint, and the reasons that compelled the candidacy of Mr. Leroy Eldridge Cleaver.

p.s. Our Front Page story was of our continuing struggle to compete – legally – in the forum of the Establishment (read as ‘the mainstream press’). Graciously, Mr. Cleaver gives us kudos for that effort.

And one last note… John Mayall is the big name, CTA is the big band (yup, it’s Chicago), and the Mug-Wumps will bring Monday to mind. You can catch them all 3 nights if you hurry.

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