Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Pershing Missiles Deployment Decision

A December 12, 1979 decision by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to station 464 land-based U.S. cruise and Pershing II missiles in Europe prompted a major protest movement across Europe and the United States.  Begun during the Carter administration, the deployment continued under Reagan.  In Britain, where Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister, one aspect of the antinuclear movement was an encampment led by women.  "The women’s persistent daily resistance to nuclear arms on English soil. The decision to put a fourth of the weapons at Greenham Common, the women said, had been taken “over our heads and without our knowledge” and over the heads of most elected Members of Parliament."

Friday, November 17, 2017

Nixon says he is not a crook

November 17, 1973
President Nixon told an
Associated Press
managing editors
meeting at Disney World
in Orlando, Florida,
"people have got to know
whether or not
their president is a crook.
Well, I'm not a crook."

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Doonesbury Comic Goes Nationwide on October 26, 1970

No longer just a comic strip for the Yale newspaper, Doonesbury hit the mainstream newspapers. Not exactly an underground comic, but its leftish political content meant that some newspapers put the trip on the editorial page instead of with the rest of the comics.

Here is that "original" strip

Thursday, September 14, 2017

New Orleans Police Attack Panther HQ

Using a US Army tank, the New Orleans police attacked the local party headquarters of the Blank Panthers.  The link below describes the situation and the results...

Friday, September 8, 2017

John Brown Anti-Klan Committee

Fighting white supremacists and fascists in the streets is not new.  As Mark Bray points out in his new book titled Antif: An Anti-Fascist Handbook (JBAKC), there was a group in the 1970s and 1980s called the John Brown Anti-Klan Committee that was but one such group who took it to the streets.  Another was the Communist Worker's party, who lost five of its members when the Klan shot them down in the streets of Greensboro, NC while undercover FBI informers looked on.
Here is a link to some newsletters from the 1970s.  They are archived (along with lots of other material) at the Freedom Archives website.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Jonathan Jackson Marin County Courthouse August 7, 1970

On August 7, 1970, Jonathan Jackson, the 17-year-old brother of prison revolutionary
George Jackson, entered the Marin County courthouse armed with a submachine gun. He
hoped to force the release of the Soledad Brothers— George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo, and
John Clutchette, who were charged with the murder of two guards at Soledad Prison after
guards had killed another prisoner. Jonathan gave guns to three prisoners who were present
in court— Ruchell Magee, a jailhouse lawyer who was testifying at the trial of fellow prisoner
James McClain, and William Christmas. The three then took the judge, the prosecutor, and
three jurors hostage. They left the courthouse and placed the hostages in a county van.
Before the armed men and their hostages left the courthouse, the Marin County sheriff had
ordered his men not to shoot, but the van was hit by a hail of gunfire from San Quentin
prison guards and other law-enforcement personnel immediately after it left the building's
garage. Jackson, Judge Haley, McClain, and Christmas were all killed.--from The Way the Wind Blew: A History of the Weather Underground

Monday, July 10, 2017

Huge March in Support of the Equal Rights Amendment

On July 9, 1978 , Washington, DC was the site of a massive march in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.  This amendment to the constitution stated:

“Section 1: Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

“Section 2: The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

“Section 3: This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.”

Friday, June 2, 2017

United Under the Sign of the (Record) Groove

Vinyl Freak: Letters to a Dying Medium is not a book for everyone. However, if you have ever had an obsession with collecting certain items, you may find it interesting. This is certainly the case if you “collect” music in any physical format and even truer if you collect (or did so at some point in your life) long-playing records (LPs). Although I am not the record collector I could have been if I had never had children, I have always enjoyed spending hours in record stores, especially those that sell used materials. This book is an inexpensive way to do exactly that.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

War Is Over 1975

May 11, 1975  War is Over concert in Central Park, NYC.  Saigon was liberated days before....

I write about another celebration in College Park, my book Daydream Sunset...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

April 1971--Organizing Against the US War on Vietnam

Spring 1971.  Organizing for a spring offensive against the war in Vietnam was well underway. Hundreds of local and national organizations were planning protests, civil disobedience and direct action.  The largest protests were planned for the belly of the beast--Washington, DC.  Foremost among these were the Dewey Canyon II protests organized by Vietnam Veterans  Against the War, the week of protests and lobbying organized by the People's Coalition for Peace and Justice (a collection of hundreds of antiwar groups), and the MayDay Tribe's call for direct action under the slogan "If the government won't stop the war, the people will stop the government."  The link below connects to a semi-satirical call to action for the protests that was published in Atlanta's underground paper The Great Speckled Bird.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 29, 1971--Two Mass Murderers Convicted

On March 29, 1971, Charles Manson was convicted for his role in the murders of Sharon Tate and six others in 1969 in California.

Lt. William Calley was convicted for his role in the murders of hundreds of Vietnamese civilians in 1968 in MyLai, Vietnam.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 28, 1972: Angela Davis Goes on Trial

On February 28, 1972 Angela Davis went on trial for murder......

Here is a link to a relatively objective look at the case (for a mainstream news presentation) and the worldwide movement to free Angela..

Here is a link to a page from the Berkeley Tribe underground newspaper about the opening of the trial..

I wrote about Angela Davis in my books The Way the Wind Blew and Daydream Sunset.

The Free Angela movement in Germany is part of the context in my novel All the Sinners Saints

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) Hits Patti Hearst and Steven Weed's Apartment and Then the News

On February 4, 1974, the SLA kidnapped Hearst heiress Patti Hearst was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, CA. Within days, the kidnappers released ransom demands, including a demand for free food to be distributed to working people in the San Francisco Bay Area.  This link describes food distribution efforts...

These two links connect to the first two pages of the issue of the Berkeley underground The Berkeley Barb that was released after the ransom demands were published....

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Italian Spring of 1977

"On March 11, 1977, in the city the Italian Communist Party had governed since 1945, the carabinieri shot an unarmed medical student, Francesco Lorusso, 25, during an autonomist demonstration.  Pitched battles ensued between students and the police, with barricaded streets and Molotov cocktails used on one side, and tear gas and rubber bullets on the other side. Tanks rumbled down Via Rizzoli. French intellectuals Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Felix Guattari, Jean-Paul Sartre, and others denounced the state’s repressive methods. In September, student groups forced the municipal government to sponsor a three-day, national conference against repression in the city, with free food and use of the sports stadium made available to the 100,000 people who came to Bologna."

I cover the Spring of 1977 throughout Italy in my book Daydream Sunset.  It was a revolutionary moment that freaked out everyone to its political right, including the Italian Communist Party.  The quote above is from the article linked to below.  Make sure you check out some of the links at the bottom of the linked article.....

Monday, February 13, 2017

Woke up this morning and I got myself a beer...

Released February 9, 1970, Morrison Hotel is, in my opinion, the best album The Doors ever made. No matter what, it is certainly an incredible piece of rock and roll music...."the future's uncertain and the end is always near...."

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Goodbye to all That

On February 9, 1970, the NYC underground paper RAT published an all-women's issue, the result of a takeover of the paper by is female staff and their supporters.  The highlight of the issue--for its militant separatism, right-on targeting of male chauvinism in the counterculture, and its fiery use of language and imagery was the piece attributed to Robin Morgan titled "Goodbye to all That."  Here is a link to the piece:

The importance of this piece to the early feminist movement of the late 1960s and the 1970s is reflected in its availability online.  I discuss it in my book on the Weather Underground and in Daydream Sunset.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bombings in Puerto Rico and Manhattan, January 1975

On January 11, 1975, Cuban exile (gusanos) CIA-paid terrorists killed two young Peurto Rican Independentistas and maimed a child in a restaurant in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico.  A couple weeks later, the FALN set off a bomb in a tavern in the Wall Street district of Manhattan in response.  They issued a communique to go with the attack.  Here is the link: