I took this photo of a hippy (note long hair) dismantling a Washington Monument Flag at the 1971 Mayday protest organized by Chicago Seven Defendant and Anti-War Activist Rennie Davis. The plan was for demonstrators to block the streets leading into Washington DC and shut down the government, as a statement against the Vietnam War. A besieged President Nixon and Attorney General Mitchell responded by illegally arresting 10,000 out of over 35,000 protestors, including my college roommate, an act the government later had to compensate them for. The defeat of tyranny demands nothing less.
However, as you can see in the above photo, a symbolic victory was achieved. Hippies may be peaceful pot smokers, but the skinny ones, who can avoid the munchies, are great at climbing poles, sitting in trees, or in general reverting back to nature..
Che had his beret, Mao his cap, Castro his cigar. Socialism, tyranny, or fascism may work through a variety of means in far flung lands, but in the US, it boils down to attire. In a word(s), fashion trumps fascism or any other schism. Revolution in America is achievable only with a uniform esprit de corp; emphasis on uniform.... corduroy or denim will do...but the one non-variable, as obvious as ZZ Top’s dark sun glasses, is a pair of bell bottom jeans. Backpack, woolen shirt, sleeping bag are musts; asterisk on sleeping bag. I will explain later. The plan was to arrive on the Capital Mall on Saturday for a speech, a protest parade, and a concert that night. On Sunday morning, demonstrators (after a peaceful sleep on the grass) would block all entrances to Washington, DC, and presto...Government Shutdown...End to War. Nirvana.
I was attending Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, when I decided to make the 4-hour hitchhike with a friend (not my roommate) and watch the government come tumbling down; I mean how many times does a college student get to do that? There were sacrifices, of course—a girlfriend had planned to cook a steak dinner for me that night at a professor’s house where she was house-sitting. I must have spaced it out (it happened in those days) or miscommunicated and let political pilgrimage overcome non-Platonic possibilities. She had an affair with another professor later (I know this because he walked into her apartment once when we were dissecting a dead cat on her kitchen table for anatomy class (I can still smell the formaldehyde reek), but we won’t get into that. Experimenting was part of the movement, apparently, in those days. In the woebegone words of a wino tavern customer of mine in more recent years, while discussing a sadomasochistic tryst with a woman friend, “I can f--, and I can fight, but I can’t f-- and fight.” Nevertheless, in Washington, I learned that hippies “can”.
It did not take long for the Love Children to arrive. Note police on roof of Capital Building, guarding against girl on left with guerilla scarf and possible peace symbol on back.
There were parades: peace, veterans, women ‘s rights, gay and lesbian, black, etc.
Peaceful gatherings by the Monument. See hands raised like peace signs?
Then, whoops! Who threw the bottles? Those fingers are not peace signs in the air!
Time for action. Notice dangerous attire, keen gaze, and long hair of hippies. Bell bottoms help keep Spiderman-like grip on canister that would defy ordinary human adhesion. Hippies are also able to leap and pounce like pumas.
No, the falling hippy is not shooting the bird; it is a defense mechanism commonly observed in falling freaks. But he obviously is a failed hippy, and falling like a rock: no bell bottoms. And then--