There are protests and then there are insurrections…
An Afro wig worn by my granddaughter which made her look like one of the Jackson Five and then one of the men trying it on made me think of Abbie Hoffman and the Chicago Seven. Probably none of you remember those days but then last night I drifted into the Kent State massacre and ended up not sleeping at all. Compare the treatment of those protesters to January 6. Or maybe not…you might have a sleepless night also.
1968 – Chicago held the Democratic National Convention and “A counterculture group known as Yippies, including Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman, were also planning a “Festival of Life”, announced at a press conference on March 17, to counter what they described as the Democratic “Convention of Death”.: 2 In January, the Yippies had issued a statement that included: “Join us in Chicago in August for an international festival of youth music and theater … Come all you rebels, youth spirits, rock minstrels, truth seekers, peacock freaks, poets, barricade jumpers, dancers, lovers and artists … We are there! There are 500,000 of us dancing in the streets, throbbing with amplifiers and harmony. We are making love in the parks …” In March, representatives of various groups met in Lake Villa, Illinois, to discuss coordination of the demonstrations; Tom Hayden and Rennie Davis drafted a proposal stating “the campaign should not plan violence and disruption against the Democratic National Convention. It should be nonviolent and legal.”
“A variety of groups convened in Chicago to protest during the convention week, including the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (MOBE) and the Yippies. The Black Panther Party and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference also sent representatives to protest racism.On Friday, August 23, the Yippies nominated their own candidate for president: a 145-pound pig they called Pigasus, who according to Frank Kusch, was “released to the public” at the Civic Center Plaza and promptly “arrested” by police as he was “interviewed” by journalists.”
Then the shocking dominoes started to fall…Martin Luther King was assassinated in April, Robert Kennedy in June and people like me living in Houston at the time with three young babies started to wonder if it was safe to go out of the house. The assassination of John F Kennedy in Dallas TX had shocked us all when I was a junior in high school but now it was all “coming undone” again.
I believed in the protests and the right to do it.
“by August, many Americans believed the nation was in the midst of a profound political and cultural crisis.”
To see how these people were treated for protesting and then seeing the treatment of the vicious January 6 rioters is a mind boggling idea. The Kent kids sitting and chanting were unarmed and shot dead! A tragedy! and now dragging our feet with these adult violent insurrectionists who broke into a historical government building? Those actions were not a protest!
I thought this morning maybe writing this out would help me resign myself to the fact I am basically ineffective relating thoughts of the past. Those innocent lives lost in peaceful protests haunt me.
**quotes from articles beginning at this address: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Seven