A Yippie Manifesto
A Yippie Manifesto
by Jerry Rubin
This is a Viet Cong flag on my back. During the recent hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee in Washington, a friend and I are walking down the street en route to Congress – he’s wearing an American flag and I’m wearing this VC flag.
The cops mass, and boom! I am going to be arrested for treason, for supporting the enemy.
And who do the cops grab and throw in the paddy wagon?
My friend with the American flag.
And I’m left all alone in the VC flag.
“What kind of a country is this?” I shout at the cops. “YOU COMMUNISTS!”
Everything is cool en route to Canada until the border. An official motions me into a small room and pulls out a five-page questionnaire.
“Do you use drugs?” he asks quite seriously.
“Yeah,” I say.
“I mean DRUGS! He shouts.
“Coca Cola is more dangerous for you than marijuana,” I say. “Fucks up your body, and it’s addictive.”
“Have you ever advocated the overthrow of the Canadian government?” he asks.
“Not until I get into Canada.”
Have you ever been arrested for inciting to riot?”
I reply no, and it is true. In August I was arrested in Chicago for something similar, “solicitation to mob action,” a violation of a sex statute.
Finally I ask the border official to drop out. “Man, your job is irrelevant,” I say. “The Canadian-American border does not exist. There are no such things as borders. The border exists only in your head.
“No state has the right to ask me these questions. The answers are mine. Next thing I know you guys will be tapping my brain!”
I try to get the cat to take off his uniform right there. But he refuses, saying, “I’ve got a job to do and a family to support.”
So goes the cancer of the Western World: everyone just doing his “Job.” Nobody learned the lesson of Eichmann. Everyone still points the finger elsewhere.
America and the West suffer from a great spiritual crisis. And so the yippies are a revolutionary religious movement.
We do not advocate political solutions that you can vote for. You are never going to be able to vote for the revolution. Get that hope out of your mind.
And you are not going to be able to buy the revolution in a supermarket, in the tradition of our consumer society. The revolution is not a can of goods.
Revolution only comes through personal transformation: finding God and changing your life. Then millions of converts will create a massive social upheaval.
The religion of the yippies is: “RISE UP AND ABANDON THE CREEPING MEATBALL!”
That means anything you want it to mean. Which is why it is so powerful a revolutionary slogan. The best picket sign I ever saw was blank. Next best was: “We Protest__________!”
Slogans like “Get out of Vietnam” are informative, but they do not create myths. They don’t ask you to do anything but carry them.
Political demonstrations should make people dream and fantasize. A religious-political movement is concerned with people’s souls, with the creation of a magic world which we make real.
When the national media first heard our slogan, they reported that the “creeping meatball” was Lyndon Johnson. Which was weird and unfair, because we liked Lyndon Johnson.
We cried when LBJ dropped out. “LBJ, you took us too literally! We didn’t mean YOU should drop out! Where would WE be if it weren’t for you, LBJ?”
Is there any kid in America, or anywhere in the world, who wants to be like LBJ when he grows up?
As a society falls apart, its children reject their parents. The elders offer us Johnsons, Agnews, and Nixons, dead symbols of a dying past.
The war between THEM and US will be decided by the seven-year-olds.
We offer: sex, drugs, rebellion, heroism, brotherhood.
They offer: responsibility, fear, Puritanism, repression.
Dig the movie Wild in the Streets! A teenage rock-and-roll singer campaigns for a Bobby Kennedy-type politician.
Suddenly he realizes: “We’re all young! Let’s run the country ourselves!”
“Lower the voting age to 14!”
“14 or FIGHT!”
They put LSD in the water fountains of Congress and the Congressmen have a beautiful trip. Congress votes to lower the voting age to 14.
The rock-and-roll singer is elected President, but the CIA and military refuse to recognize the vote. Thousands of long-hairs storm the White House, and six die in the siege. Finally the kids take power, and they put all people over 30 into camps and given them LSD every day. (Some movies are even stranger than OUR fantasies.)
“Don’t trust anyone over 30!” say the yippies – a much-quoted warning.
I am four years old.
We are born twice. My first birth was in 1938, but I was reborn in Berkeley in 1964 in the Free Speech movement.
When we say “Don’t trust anyone over 30,” we’re talking about the second birth. I got 26 more years.
When people 40 years old come up to me and say, “Well, I guess I can’t be part of your movement,” I say, “What do you mean? You could have been born yesterday. Age exists in your head.”
Bertrand Russell is our leader. He’s 90 years old.
Another yippie saying is “THE GROUND YOU STAND ON IS LIBEATED TERRITORY!”
Everybody in this society is a policeman. We all police ourselves. When we free ourselves, the real cops take over.
I don’t smoke pot in public often, although I love to. I don’t want to be arrested: that’s the only reason.
I police myself.
We do not own our own bodies.
We fight to regain our bodies…to make love in the parks, say “fuck” on television, do what we want to do whenever we want to do it.
Prohibitions should be prohibited.
Rules are made to be broken.
Never say “no.”
The yippies say: “PROPERTY IS THEFT.’
What America got, she stole.
How was this country built? By the forced labor of slaves. America owes black people billions in compensation.
“Capitalism” is just a polite schoolbook way of saying: “Stealing.”
Who deserves what they get in America? Do the Rockefellers deserve their wealth? HELL NO!
America says that people work only for money. But check it out: those who don’t have money work the hardest, and those who have money take very long lunch hours.
When I was born I had food on my table and a roof over my head. Most babies born in the world face hunger and cold. What is the difference between them and me?
Every well-off white American better ask himself that question or he will never understand why people hate America.
The enemy is this dollar bill right here in my hand.
Now if I get a match, I’ll show you what I think of it.
This burning gets some political radicals very uptight. I don’t know exactly why. They burn a lot of money putting out leaflets nobody reads.
I think it is more important today to burn a dollar bill than it is to burn a draft card.
“Humm, pretty resilient. Hard to burn. Anybody got a lighter?”
We go to the New York Stock Exchange, about 20 of us, our pockets stuffed with dollar bills. We want to throw real dollars down at all those people on the floor playing monopoly games with numbers.
An official stops us at the door and says, “You can’t come in. You are hippies and you are coming to demonstrate.”
With TV cameras flying away, we reply: “Hippies? Demonstrate? We’re Jews. And we’re coming to see the stock market.”
Well, that gets the guy uptight, and he lets us in. We get to the top, and the dollars start raining down on the floor below.
These guys deal in millions of dollars as a game, never connecting it to people starving. Have they ever seen a real dollar bill?
This is what it is all about, you sonavabitches!!”
Look at them: wild animals chasing and fighting each other over dollar bills thrown by the hippies!
And then someone calls the cops . The cops are a necessary part of any demonstration; always include a role for the cops. Cops legitimize demonstrations.
The cops throw us out.
It is noon. Wall Street Businessmen with briefcases and suits and ties. Money freaks going to lunch. Important business deals. Time. Appointments.
And there we are in the middle of it, burning five-dollar bills. Burning their world. Burning their Christ.
“Don’t, Don’t!” some scream, grasping for the sacred paper. Several near fist-fights break out.
We escape with our lives.
Weeks later The New York Times publishes a short item revealing that the New York Stock Exchange is installing a bullet-proof glass window between the visitor’s platform and the floor, so that “nobody can shot a stockbroker.”
In Chicago, 5,000 yuppies come, armed only with our skin. The cops bring tanks, dogs, guns, gas, long-range rifles, missiles. Is this South Vietnam or Chicago? America always overreacts.
The American economy is doomed to collapse because it has no soul. Its stability is war and preparation for war. Consumer products are built to break, and advertising brainwashes us to consume new ones.
The rich feel guilty. The poor are taught to hate themselves. The guilty and the wretched are on a collision course.
If the men who control the technology used it for human needs and not profit and murder, every human being on the planet could be free from starvation. Machines could do most of the world: People would be free to do what they want.
We should be very realistic and demand the impossible. Food, housing, clothing, medicine, and color TV free for all!!
People would work because of love, creativity, and brotherhood. A new economic structure would produce a new man.
That new structure will be created by new men.
American society, because of its Western-Christian-Capitalist bag, is organized on the fundamental premise that man is bad, society evil, and that: People must be motivated and forced by external reward and punishment.
We are a new generation, species, race. We are bred on affluence, turned on by drugs, at home in our bodies, and excited by the future and its possibilities.
Everything for us is an experience, done for love or not done at all.
We live off the fat of society. Our fathers worked all-year round for a two-week vacation. Our entire life is a vacation.
Every moment, every day we decide what we are going to do.
We do not groove with Christianity, the idea that people go to heaven after they are dead. We want HEAVEN NOW!
We do not believe in studying to obtain degrees in school. Degrees and grades are like money and credit, good only for burning.
There is a war going on in the Western world: a war of genocide by the old against the young.
The economy is closed. It does not need us. Everything is built.
So the purpose of universities is: to get us off the streets. Schools are baby-sitting agencies.
The purpose of the Vietnam War is: to get rid of blacks. They are a nuisance. America got the work she needed out of blacks, but now she has no use for them.
It is a psychological war. The old say, “We want you to die for us.” The old send the young to die for the old.
Our response? Draft-card burning and draft dodging! We won’t die for you.
Young whites are dropping out of white society. We are getting our heads straight, creating new identities. We’re dropping out of middle-class institutions, leaving their schools, running away from their homes, and forming our own communities.
We are becoming the new niggers.
I’m getting on a plane en route to Washington. An airline official comes up to me and says, “You can’t go on this airplane.”
“Why not?” I ask.
“Because you smell.”
That’s what they used to say about black people, remember? They don’t say that about black people anymore. They’d get punched in their fucking mouths.
Our long hair communicates disrespect to America. A racist, short-hair society gets freaked by long hair. It blinds people. In Vietnam, America bombs the Vietnamese, but cannot see them because they are brown.
Long-hair is vital to us because it enables us to recognize each other. We have white skin like our oppressors. Long hair ties us together into a visible counter-community.
A car drives down the street, parents in front, and a 15-year-old longhair kid in back. The kid gives me the “V” sign! That’s the kind of communication taking place.
Within our community we have the seeds of a new society. We have our own communications network, the underground press. We have the beginnings of a new family structure in communes. We have our own stimulants.
When the cops broke into my home on the Lower East Side to arrest me for possession of pot, it was like American soldiers invading a Vietnamese village. They experienced cultural shock.
Fidel Castro was on the wall. They couldn’t believe it! Beads! They played with my beads for 20 minutes.
When the cops kidnapped me in Chicago, they interviewed me as if I had just landed from Mars.
“Do you fuck each other?”
“What is it like on LSD?”
“Do you talk directly with the Viet Cong?”
The two generations cannot communicate with one another because of our different historical experiences.
Our parents suffered through the Depression and World War II. We experience the consumer economy and the U.S.A. as a military bully in Vietnam.
From 1964 to 1968 the movement has been involved in the destruction of the old symbols of America. Through our actions we have redefined those symbols for the youth.
Kids growing up today expect school to be a place to demonstrate, sit-in, fight authority, and maybe get arrested.
Demonstrations become the initiation rites, rituals, and social celebrations of a new generation.
Remember the Pentagon, center of the military ego? We urinated on it. Thousands of stone freaks stormed the place, carrying Che’s picture and stuffing flowers in the rifles of the 82nd Airborne.
Remember the Democratic Convention? Who, after Chicago, can read schoolbook descriptions of national political conventions with a straight face anymore? The farce within the convention became clear because of the war between the yippies and the cops in the streets.
We are calling the bluff on myths of America. Once the myth is exposed, the structure behind it crumbles like sand. Chaos results. People must create new realities.
In the process we create new myths, and these new myths forecast the future.
In America in 1969 old myths can be destroyed overnight, and new ones created overnight because of the power of television. By making communications instantaneous, television telescopes the rev solution by centuries. What might have taken 100 years will now take 20. What used to happen in 10 years now happens in two. In a dying society, television becomes a revolutionary instrument.
For her own protection, the government is soon going to have to suppress freedom of the press and take direct control over what goes on television, especially the news.
TV has dramatized the longhair drop-out movement so well that virtually every young kid in the country wants to grow up and be a demonstrator.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A fireman? A cop? A professor?
“I want to grow up and make history.”
Young kids watch TV’s thrill-packed coverage of demonstrations – including the violence and excitement – and dream about being in them. They look like fun.
Mayor Daley put out this television film about Chicago. It had cops beating up young longhairs. In one scene, the cops threw a tear-gas canister into the crowd, and one demonstrator picked it up and heaved it right back.
Who do you think every kid in the country identified with?
Then the announcer said the chiller: “These demonstrations are Communist led!…”
Communism? Who the hell knows from Communism? We never lived thro8ugh Stalin. We read about it, but it doesn’t affect us emotionally. Our emotional reaction to Communism is Fidel marching into Havana in 1959.
There is NO WORD that the Man has to turn off your youth, no scare word.
“They’re for ANARCHY!”
Damn right, we’re for anarchy! This country is fucking over-organized anyway. “DON’T DO THIS! DON”T DO THAT, Don’t!”
Growing up in America is learning what NOT to do.
We say: “DO IT, DO IT. DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO.”
Our battlegrounds are the campuses of America. White middle-class youth are strategically located in the high schools and colleges of this country. They are our power bases.
If one day 100 campuses were closed in a nationally coordinated rebellion, we could force the President of the United States to sue for peace at the conference table.
As long as we are in school we are prisoners. Schools are voluntary jails. We must liberate ourselves.
Dig the geography of a university. You can always tell what the rulers have up their sleeves when you check out the physical environment they create. The buildings tell you how to behave. Then there is less need for burdensome rules and cops. They designed classrooms so that students sit in rows, one after the other, hierarchically facing the professor who stands up front talking to all of them.
“Listen to the Professor.
“He teaches you.
“Keep your place.
“Don’t stretch out.
“Don’t lie on the floor.
“Don’t speak out of turn.
“Don’t take off your clothes.
“Don’t get emotional.
“Let the mind rule the body.
“Let the needs of the classroom rule the mind.
Classrooms are totalitarian environments. The main purpose of school and education in America is to force you to accept and love authority, and to distrust your own spontaneity and emot8ons.
How can you grow in such an over-structured environment? You can’t. Schools aren’t for learning.
Classrooms should be organized in circles, with the professor one part of the circle. A circle is a democratic environment.
Try breaking up the environment. Scream “Fuck” in the middle of your prof’s lecture. ‘
So we organized a University of the Flesh. Four of us go into a classroom. We sit in the middle of the class. The lecture is on “Thinking.”
We take off our shirts, smoke joints and start French kissing. A lot of students get nervous. This goes on for 10-15 minutes, and the professor goes on with his lecture like nothing is happening.
Finally a girl says, “The people there are causing a distraction, and could they either put their shirts back on or could they please leave.”
And the prof says, “Well, I agree with that. I think that if you’re not here to hear what I’m saying…”
We shout: “You can’t separate thinking from loving! We are hard in thought!!”
And the prof says, “Well, in my classroom I give the lessons.”
Scratch a professor deep and you find a cop!
Fucking milquetoast! Didn’t have the guts to throw us out, but in his classroom HE GIVES the lesson. So he sends his teaching assistant to get the cops, and we split.
The mind is programmed. Get in there and break that bloody program!
Can you imagine what a feeling a professor has standing in front of a class and looking at a room full of bright faces taking down every word he says, raising their hands and asking questions? It really makes someone think he is God. And to top it off, he has the power to reward and punish you, to decide whether or not you are fit to advance in the academic rat race.
Is this environment the right one for teacher and student?
Socrates is turning in his grave.
I was telling a professor of philosophy at Berkeley that many of his students were wiser men than he, even en though he may have read more books and memorized more theories.
He replied, “Well, I must take the lead in the transfer of knowledge.”
Transfer of knowledge! What is knowledge?
How to Live.
How to Legalize Marijuana.
How to Make a Revolution.
How to Free People from Jail.
How to Organize Against the CIA.
When a professor takes off his suit and tie, and joins us in the streets, then I say, “Hay man, what’s your first name?” You’re my brother. Let’s go. We’re together.”
I don’t dig the “professor” bullshit. I am more interested in a 15-year-old stoned dope freak living on street corners than I am in a Ph.D.
There is anti-intellectualism in America because professors have created an artificial environment. That is why the average working guy does not respect professors.
The university is a protective and plastic scene, shielding people from the reality of life, the reality of suffering, of ecstasy, of struggle. The university converts the agony of life into the securi6ty of words and books.
You can’t learn anything in school. Spend one hour in a jail or a courtroom and you will learn more than in five years spent in a university.
All I learned in school was how to beat the system, how to fake answers. But there are no answers. There are only more questions. Life is a long journey of questions, answered thro8ugh the challenge of living. You would never know that, living in a university ruled by the “right” answers to the wrong questions.
Graffiti in school bathrooms tells you more about what’s on people’s minds than all the books in the library.
We must liberate ourselves. I dropped out. The shit got up to my neck and I stopped eating. I said: NO. NO. NO!! I’m dropping out.
People at Columbia found out what it felt like to learn when they seized buildings and lived in communes for days.
We have to redesign the environment and remake human relationships. But if you try it, you will be kicked out.
You know what professors and deans will say? “Of you don’t like it here, why don’t you go back to Russia!”
A lot is demanded of white, middle-class youth in 1969. The whole thing about technological and bureaucratic society is that it is not made for heroes. We must become heroes.
The young kids living in the streets as new niggers are the pioneers of tomorrow, living dangerously and existentially.
The yippies went to Chicago to have our counter-festival, a “Festival of Life” in the parks of Chicago, as a human contrast to the “Convention of Death” of the Democrats.
I get a phone call on Christmas Day, 1967 from Marvin Garson, the editor of the San Francisco Express-Times, and he says, “Hay, it looks like the Peace and Freedom Party is not going to get on the ballot.”
I say, “I don’t care. I’m not interested in electoral politics anyway.”
And he says, “Let’s run a pig for President.”
An arrow shoots through my brain. Yeah! A pig, with buttons, posters, bumper stickers.
“America, why take half a hog, when you can have the whole hog.”
At the Democratic convention, the pigs nominate the President and he eats the people.
At the yippie convention, we nominate our pig and after he makes his nominating speech, we earth him. The contrast is clear: should the President earth the people or the people earth the President?
Well, we didn’t kill our pig. If there is one issue that could split the yippies, it is the issue of vegetarianism. A lot of yippies don’t believe in killing and eating animals, so I had to be less militant on that point.
We bring Pigasus to Chicago, and he is arrested in Civic Center. The cops grab him. They grab seven of us, and they throw us in the paddy wagon with Pigasus.
The thing about running a pig for President is that it cuts through the shits. People’s minds are full of things like, “You may elect a greater evil.” We must break through their logic. Once we get caught in their logic, we’re trapped in it.
Just freak it all out and proclaim: “This country is run on the principles of garbage. The Democratic and Republican parties have nominated a pig. So have we. We’re honest about it.”
In Chicago, Pigasus was a hell of a lot more effective than all those lackeys running around getting votes for the politicians. It turned out that the pig was more relevant to the current American political scene than Senator Eugene McCarthy. I never thought McCarthy could reform the Democratic Party. Hell, McCarthy barely got into the convention himself. He had to have a ticket. That’s how controlled the damn thing was. Finally, we forced McCarthy out into the streets with the people.
The election was not fair because every time we brought eh pigs out to give a campaign speech, they arrested him. It happened in Chicago, in New York, in San Francisco, even in London.
The yippies asked that the presidential elections be cancelled until the rules of the game were changed. We said that everyone in the role should both in American elections because America controls the world.
Free elections are elections in which the people who vote are the people affected by the results. The Vietnamese have more right to vote in the American elections than some 80-year-old grandmother in Omaha. They’re being bombed by America! They should have at least some choice about it, how, and by whom they are going to be bombed.
I have nothing in particular against 80-year-old grandmothers, but I am in favor of lowering the voting age to 12 or 14 years. And I’m not sure whether people over 50 should vote.
It is the young kids who are going to live in this world in the next 50 years. They should choose what they want for themselves.
Most people over 50 don’t think about the potentialities of the future: they are preoccupied with justifying their past.
The only people who can choose change without suffering blows to their egos are the young, and change is the rhythm of the universe.
Many older people are constantly warning: “The right wing will get you.” “George Wallace will get your momma.”
I am so scared of George Wallace that I wore his fucking campaign button. I went to his campaign rally – all old ladies.
There are six Nazis who come with black gloves and mouthpieces, looking for a fight. And two fights break out. Two guys with long hair beat the shit out of them.
I am not afraid of the right wing because the right wing does not have the youth behind it.
“Straight” people get very freaked by Wallace. “Freaks” know the best way to fuck Wallace up. We support him.
At Wallace’s rally in the Cow Palace in Sand Francisco, we come with signs saying “CUT THEIR HAIR1” “SEND THEM BACK TO AFRICA!” “BOMB THE VIETNAMESE BACK TO THE STONE AGE!”
When we arrive there is a picket line going on in front of the rally. I recognize it is the Communist Party picketing.
What? Picketing Wallace?
I walk up to my friend Bettina Aptheker and say, “Bettina, you’re legitimizing him. You’re legitimizing him by picketing. Instead, support him, kiss him. When he says the next hippie in front of his car will be the last hippie, cheer! Loudly!”
We have about two hundred people there, and we are the loudest people at the rally. Every five seconds we are jumping up and swearing. “Heil! Hitler! Heil! Hitler!”
Wallace is a sick man. America is the loony bin. The only way to cure her is through theatrical shock. Wallace is necessary because he brings to the surface the racism and hate that is deep within the country.
The hippie Fugs spearheaded the anti-war movement of the past five years by touring theaters and dance halls shouting into a microphone: “Kill, Kill, Kill for Peace! Kill, Kill, I’ll for Peace!”
Wallace says aloud what most people say privately. He exposes the beast within liberal America. He embarrasses the liberal who says in one breath, “Oh, I like Negroes,” and then in another breath, “We must eliminate crime in the streets.”
Remember what Huey Long said: “When fascism comes to America, it will come as Americanism.”
Wallace may be the best thing for those of us who are fighting him. You can only fight a disease after you recognize the diagnose it. America does not suffer from a cold: she has cancer.
The liberals who run this country agree with Wallace more than they disagree with him. George tells tales out of school. The liberals are going to have to shut that honest motherfucker up.
Do you dig that most cops support Wallace? Cops – the people who make and enforce the law in the streets! Wallace speaks FOR them.
Isn’t that scary? Can’t you see why blacks are getting guns and organizing into small self-defense units? Wouldn’t you, if you were in their situation? Shouldn’t you be?
Make America see her vampire face in the mirror. Destroy that gap between public talk and private behavior. Only when people see what’s happening can they hear our screams, and feel our passion.
The Vietnam War is an education for America. It is an expansive teaching experience, but the American people are the most brink-washed people in the world.
At least the youth are learning that this country is no paradise – America kills infants and children in Vietnam without blinking. Only professional killers can be so cool.
If you become hip to America in Vietnam, you can understand the reaction against the red-white-and-blue in Latin America, and you can feel why China hates us.
They are not irrational – America is.
Wallace is a left-wing agitator. Dig him. He speaks to the same anxiety and powerlessness that the New Left and yippies talk about.
Do you feel overwhelmed by bigness, including Big Government?
Do you lack control over your own life?
Are you distrustful of the politicians and bureaucrats in Washington?
Are you part of the “little people?”
Wallace stirs the masses. Revolutions should do that too.
When is the left going to produce an inflammatory and authentic voice of the people? A guy who reaches people’s emotions? Who talks about revolution the way some of those nuts rap about Christ?
Wallace says: “We’re against niggers, intellectuals, liberals, hippies.”
Everybody! He puts us all together. He organizes us for us.
We must analyze how America keeps people down. Not by physical force, but by fear. From the second kids are hatched, we are taught fear. If we can overcome fear, we will discover that we are Davids fighting Goliath.
In late September a friend calls and says, “Hay, I just got a subpoena from HUAC.”
I say, “Yeah” I didn’t. What’s going on here? I’m angry. I want a subpoena too.
It’s called subpoenas envy.
So I telephone a confident to the Red Squad, a fascist creep who works for the San Francisco Examiner, and I say, “Hey, Ed, baby, what about HUAC? Are they having hearings?”
He answers, “Well, I don’t know. Are they?”
Well, my friend just got a subpoena.” I say. “I’d like on too. If you can manage it.”
He says, “Call me back in a few hours.”
I call him back that afternoon and he says, “Well, I just talked to HUAC in Washington, and you are right. They are having hearings, and they are looking for you in New York.”
In NEW YORK? I’ve been in Berkeley a week! You guys are sure doing a shitty job trying to save this country!”
We exaggerate the surveillance powers of cops. We shouldn’t. They are lazy. Their laziness may be the one reason why America doesn’t yet have a totally efficient police state.
The cops were not lazy in Chicago. They followed the “leaders” continuously, 24 hours a day. If you are trailed by four cops just six steps behind you, you can’t do very much.
But the people really doing things – why, the cops didn’t even know who they were!
Pigs cannot relate to anarchy. They do not understand a movement based on personal freedom. When they look at our movement, they look for a hierarchy: leaders, lieutenants, followers.
The pigs think that we are organized like a pig department. We are not, and that’s why we are going to win. A hierarchical, top-down organization is no match for the free and loose energy of the people.
As the pigs check with their high-ups to find out what to do next, we have already switched the tactics and scene of the battle. They are watching one guy over there, and it is happening over here!
I come to the HUAC hearings wearing a bandolero of real bullets and carrying a toy M-16 rifle on my shoulder. The rifle was a model of the rifles the Viet Cong steal and then use to kill American soldiers in Vietnam.
The pigs stop me at the door of the hearings. They grab the bullets and the gun. It is a dramatic moment. Press and yippies pack us in tightly. The pigs drag me down three flights of stairs and remove the bullets, leaving the gun, Viet Cong pajamas, Eldridge Cleaver buttons, Black Panther beret, war paint, earrings, bandolero, and the bells which ring every time I move my body. My costume carried a nonverbal message: “We must all become stoned guerrillas.”
The secret to the costume was the painted tits. Guerrilla war in America is going to come in psychedelic colors. We are hippie-guerrillas.
In HUAC’s chambers Abbie Hoffman jumps up and yells out, “May I do to the bathroom?” Young kids reading that in their hometown papers giggle because they have to ask permission every time they want to go to the bathroom in school.
The message of my costume flipped across the country in one day: an example of our use of the enemy’s institutions – her mass media – to turn on and communicate with one another.
I wore a Santa Clause costume to HUAC two months later in a direct attempt to reach the head of every child in the country.
Our victories are catching up with us: America isn’t ready to napalm us yet, but the future doesn’t look easy.
From June to November 1968, when I was helping to organize the demonstrations against the Democratic convention in Chicago, I experienced the following example of Americana:
New York pigs use a phony search warrant to bust into my apartment, question me, beat me, search the apartment and arrest me for alleged felonious possession of marijuana; a pig in Chicago disguises himself as a biker to “infiltrate” the yippies as an agent provocateur and spy; he busts me on a frame-up, “solicitation to mob action,” a felony punishable by five years in the pen; the judge imposes $25,000 bail and restricts my travel to Illinois; then the Justice Department in a document to a Virginia court admits that it maintains “electronic surveillance…of Jerry Rubin..in the interests of national security.”
To try to suppress youth, Nixon will have to destroy the Constitution.
We will be presumed guilty until proven innocent.
Our privacy will vanish. Big Brother will spy on all of us and dominate our lives.
Every cop will become a law until himself.
The courts will become automatic transmission belts sending us to detention camps and prisons.
People will be arrested for what they write and say.
Congress will impose censorship on the mass media, unless the media first censors itself, which is more likely.
To be young will be a crime.
In response, we must never become cynical, or lose our capacity for anger. We must stay on the offensive and be aggressive: AMERICA: IF YOU INJURE ONE, YOU MUST FIGHT ALL.
If our opposition is united, the repression may backfire and fail. The government may find the costs too heavy.
Don’t think, “They can never get ME.”
You are either on the side of the cops or on the side of human beings.
Posted by: skip
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