Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Carmen's Retirement



The SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT had a news short on Carmen's retirement. It's online at:

news shorts: Carmen Lodise

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Carmen Lodise Farewell



It was just a wonderful space in time at Javan's (the former Borsodi's) to see and hang with so many comrades from the past and present!

Robert Bernstein captured the evening (12/10/2004) in a series of images at:

Carmen Lodise Farewell at Borsodi's/Javan's - 10 December 2004

Robert has his raw files (higher memory sizes) temporarily at:

Carmen - large files

Friday, December 17, 2004

Thomas Storke



Michael Redmon continues his great series of historical looks into Santa Barbara's past. Here's a bit on Thomas Storke, a key figure in UCSB's establishment at Pelican Point:

history 101

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Towels & Canisters 1970

Recently received the following message from Isla Vistan Murray Sobel (1967-1971):

--------------------------------------------

"Please ad me to your mailing list.

"I was at UCSB during the glory days, 1967 to 1971.

"We had an apartment on Madrid and became quite adept at soaking towels, rolling them up and sticking them under the door to block the tear gas. My roommate developed quite a pitching arm by putting on an army surplus gas mask and gloves and picking up the gas canisters and hurling them back at the police.

"Those were the days!

"Unfortunately, I have very little recollection of the classes I took.

"Best regards,

"Murray Sobel"

-----------------------

Ah, yes... Those Were The Days!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Carmen Retires

Carmelo's retiring and some of us are going to be on hand to see him off. You are all invited.

Here's the mini-press release:

"Carmen Lodise spent 20 years in Isla Vista, 1972-92. He was part of the community building movement of that era and a leader in the three campaigns for Isla Vista Cityhood. During the period, he was elected to the Isla Vista Community Counil (1972) and the Isla Vista Park Board (1976-80). He was the publisher of the Isla Vista Free Press, the town's longest-lasting weekly newspaper (1987-89), and his history of Isla Vista can be found at:
www.islavistahistory.com

"Carmen will be moving to a village on the Pacific Coast of Mexico shortly after New Years.

"People are invited to bring memorabilia of their experience in Isla Vista. Finals are nearly over on Dec. 10, so there should be plenty of on-street parking available."

Friday, November 12, 2004

Etta James in I.V. 1970

This vignette just in from Dick Flacks:

-----------------------------------------

"I attended the Etta James concert. She told an Isla Vista story. It seems that in the early 70s she was at a Jazz festival here, and went to Eggs, etc. for breakfast. She sat on a stool there and broke it (she was heavy!) and was rudely ejected from the place. Later she got a call from Gregg Knell informing her that as an official of Associated Students he had succeeded in getting her an apology and a check for $10k from the restaurant. It was quite astonishing that she remembered Greg's name (and said that he was now a lawyer)."

------------------------------

By the way, if anyone knows the whereabout of Greg Knell, please pass it on...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Jeff Probst



The neatest thing about having the DBOA website and blog is the occasional email I get from Isla Vista veterans. The most recent one comes from Jeff Probst, who was an active EL GAUCHO reporter during the period of the riots. With his permission, I am including some past and current info about him, as well as his email address for those of you who want to reconnect:

"I'm "Jeff Woodstock" (the name I adopted for a year or so in Isla Vista) and "Terry Lennox" (Jack Whelan's pseudonym for me) in dboa. I recently (I live in London) received a copy of your book and am enjoying reliving my and others' history and finding out much that I was unaware of. I expect to spend many interested hours reading it. Thanks for writing it..."

Years ago, Jeff wrote a very personal and hitherto unpublished version of those times. He has been kind enough to share it with me and I am reading it, now. I'll have more word about it and Jeff in future entries to the blog.

If you'd like to get a hold of Jeff, he's in London, at:

rosjeff@btinternet.com

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

John Seeley: Quo Warrento

Recently ran across this article from Ramparts, 1965, RE: the Free Speech Movement. It is written by John Seeley who later was at UCSB during the era of the riots and afterwards in Santa Barbara; driving force behind the STRATEGIC HAMLET (along with Becca Wilson) and, later, the SANTA BARBARA NEWS & REVIEW (predecessor of today's Santa Barbara INDEPENDENT):

FSM: John Seeley: Quo Warrento, the "Berkeley Issue" - from Ramparts Magazine 1965

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Southern Union Movement



Consolidation of North American media in the hands of a few is nothing new. As the following NPR book review of "The Voice of Southern Labor: Radio, Music and Textile Strikes, 1929-1934" illustrates, things were quite different before the Communications Act of 1934:

NPR : Music, Radio and the Southern Union Movement

Friday, August 27, 2004

KALEIDOSCOPE, March 18, 1970

Disregard the name of the following website ("Hippyland"). The fact they don't spell it right tells ya something. Anyway, there are some quite good links in the right hand frame, as well as some more general ones in the left. Center stage is this article on the Bank Burning, published only a couple of weeks later:

Isla Vista Student Riots

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Radical Union Notes From Steve Denney, 3/26/2002

Short note from Malcolm: I am continuing to slowly backfill the DBOA Blog with correspondence I've received over the years that I have managed to save. This one is from Steve Denney, dated March 26, 2002. When you have time, checkout Steve's website; awesome job on Southeast Asia.

------------------------

I appreciate your web site. I was a student at UCSB from 1968-71, I dropped
out and finished my education in Oregon.

I attended a few Radical Union meetings during the 1969-70 school year. But
I always felt out of place there and never got to know anyone. Truth is I
did not in my heart believe in what they believed. To be radical then meant
to embrace a libertine lifestyle while at the same time supporting the most
totalitarian regimes in the world, such as China, North Vietnam, Cuba. I remember seeing the Bank of America burning down. I know some people who
were involved in the riots, former high school classmates of mine. I also
participated in the final demonstration in June 1970 to protest what was
basically a police riot.

I would be interested to know what happened to some of the leaders at that
time, such as Lefty Bryant, Jim Gregory, Greg Knoll (?), etc.

best regards,

Steve Denney

IndoChina

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Random Lingering in Isla Vista



Carmen just turned me on to this one...

Amazon.com: Books: Random Lingering in Isla Vista

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Jeff Rense: KCSB & KTMS Alumnus

The name "Jeff Rense" sure seemed familiar to me, so I did an Google search which shook-up some broken synapses. We were at the same radio station at the time of the riots...

SIGHTINGS ON THE RADIO: ABOUT THE SHOW

Monday, June 14, 2004

Reagan Without Tears

I was brought up never to speak ill of the recently departed. The joke became: you wait until they're in the ground. Well, Ray-Gun's under Simi soil, so now, after a week of one-sided reporting on his service to the country, it's time for a bit more balanced look at the man and his work.

Here are some writers who are not afraid to tell it like it was:

Yahoo! News - Reagan Without Tears: Lets not forget what the Gipper did to America

Saturday, June 12, 2004

More from Peter Young

More from Peter Young, from an email he sent me on 25 August 2001:

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Malcolm,

I've read quite a bit more of your work since my last message. The whole story is amazing, almost surreal. If I hadn't lived through the time and didn't know it was all true, I'd say it was unbelievable. Perhaps that's because we live in a very different world now.

I spent the summer of 1967, between my second and third years at Harvard Law, clerking for a Santa Barbara law firm and lived in I.V. Joel Honey already had earned notoriety. The underground newspaper in I.V. ran several stories on him, and I think I even wrote one of them. John Maybury, its editor, who had been a freshman reporter when I was editor of El Guahco in 1964-65, told me a lot about Honey's vicious acts. I'm not surprised Honey graduated from the anti-drug squad to what I would term Santa Barbara's equivalent of a red squad.

Further reading also refreshed my memory of the UCSB connections of people I met after their UCSB days. Tom Tosdal worked with me on the Pentagon Papers case, in which I was cocounsel for Tony Russo with Len Weinglass, and I met Phyllis Bennis through the National Lawyers Guild; she did quite a bit of work on some of our cases in the 1970's. I once knew but had forgotten they had gone to UCSB, although I never knew of their role in the events you chronicle.

Anyway, thanks once again for posting an invaluable historical record.

Best,

Peter

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Ron Martin & The Campus Deli

Ron Martin, who used to own the Campus Deli, is looking for any pictures any of us might have of the Deli. If you have any or just want to get in touch with Ron, you can email him by clicking on the subject header of this blog item or clicking "comment" at the end of this message.

------------------------------------------------------------

Malcolm,

I just rec'd your book on the Isla Vista Riots. Thank you for writing it.

I lived in Isla Vista during all the riots and owned a business called the Campus Deli. You may recall it. It was more or less across the street from the bank.

I also lived, in my Aunt's beach house on DelPlaya, with an extrodinary surfer by the name of Harold C Spear, otherwise know as "Tex". Tex had polio when he was a kid and was quite the surfer. I still see Tex from time to time. He is now Dr. Tex Spear and lives in Hawaii. If you want his email address, I would be gland to send it to you.

I have lost all my photo's of the Deli. Would you have any?

I well remember the CS gas. Not long after I grew my hair to my belt, along with everyone else, I moved to Alaska. Now I am back in my much loved Canada. Life was very different after the riots. Things got real quiet. Our spirit was broken. My hair is not so long anymore but it's still long in my heart.

Best,

Ronald Martin
President,
Danatec Educational Services Ltd.
www.danatec.com

Friday, May 14, 2004

Dalai Lama - On The 1st Anniversary of 9-11

What's written below continues to be true and applicable today:

-------

A Message From the Dalai Lama
His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the Commemoration of the 1st Anniversary
of September 11, 2001. Reprinted from the website of The Government of
Tibet in Exile.


The 11th September 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre and
the Pentagon were deeply shocking and very sad. I regard such terrible
destructive actions as acts of hatred, for violence is the result of
destructive emotions. Events of this kind make clear that if we allow
our human intelligence to be guided and controlled by negative emotions
like hatred, the consequences are disastrous.

How to respond to such an attack is a very difficult question to answer.
Of course, those who are dealing with the problem may know better, but I
feel that careful consideration is necessary and that it is appropriate
to respond to an act of violence by employing the principles of
non-violence. This is of great importance. The attacks on the United
States were shocking, but retaliation that involves the use of further
violence may not be the best solution in the long run.

We must continue to develop a wider perspective, to think rationally and
work to avert future disasters in a non-violent way. These issues
concern the whole of humanity, not just one country. We should explore
the use of non-violence as a long-term measure to control terrorism of
every kind. We need a well-thought-out, coordinated long-term strategy.
I believe there will always be conflicts and clash of ideas as long as
human beings exist. This is natural. Therefore, we need an active method
or approach to overcome such contradictions.

In today's reality the only way of resolving differences is through
dialogue and compromise, through human understanding and humility. We
need to appreciate that genuine peace comes about through mutual
understanding, respect and trust. Problems within human society should
be solved in a humanitarian way, for which non-violence provides the
proper approach.

Terrorism cannot be overcome by the use of force because it does not
address the complex underlying problems. In fact the use of force may
not only fail to solve the problems, it may exacerbate them and
frequently leaves destruction and suffering in its wake. Likewise, acts
of terrorism, especially involving violence, only make matters worse. We
must condemn terrorism not only because it involves violence but also
because innocent people fall victims to senseless acts of terrorism such
as what the world witnessed on September 11th.


Human conflicts do not arise out of the blue. They occur as a result of
causes and conditions, many of which are within the protagonists'
control. This is where leadership is important. It is the responsibility
of leaders to decide when to act and when to practise restraint. In the
case of a conflict it is important to take necessary preventive measures
before the situation gets out of hand. Once the causes and conditions
that lead to violent clashes have fully ripened and erupted, it is very
difficult to control them and restore peace. Violence undoubtedly breeds
more violence. If we instinctively retaliate when violence is done to
us, what can we expect other than that our opponent to also feel
justified retaliating. This is how violence escalates. Preventive
measures and restraint must be observed at an earlier stage. Clearly
leaders need to be alert, far-sighted and decisive.

In today's world expectations of war have changed. It is no longer
realistic to expect that our enemy will be completely destroyed, or that
victory will be total for us. Or for that matter, can an enemy be
considered absolute. We have seen many times that today's enemies are
often tomorrow's allies, a clear indication that things are relative and
very inter-related and inter-dependent. Our survival, our success, our
progress, are very much related to others' well being. Therefore, we as
well as our enemies are still very much interdependent. Whether we
regard them as economic, ideological or political enemies makes no
difference to this. Their destruction has a destructive effect upon us.
Thus, the very concept of war, which is not only a painful experience,
but also contains the seeds of self-destruction, is no longer relevant.

Similarly, as the global economy evolves, every nation becomes to a
greater or lesser extent dependent on every other nation. The modern
economy, like the environment, knows no boundaries. Even those countries
openly hostile to one another must cooperate in their use of the world's
resources. Often, for example, they will be dependent on the same rivers
or other natural resources. And the more interdependent our economic
relationships, the more interdependent must our political relationships
become.

What we need today is education among individuals and nations, from
small children up to political leaders to inculcate the idea that
violence is counterproductive, that it is not a realistic way to solve
problems, and that dialogue and understanding are the only realistic way
to resolve our difficulties.

The anniversary of the tragic events of September 11th 2001 provides us
with a very good opportunity. There is a worldwide will to oppose
terrorism. We can use this consensus to implement long-term preventive
measures. This will ultimately be much more effective than taking
dramatic and violent steps based on anger and other destructive
emotions. The temptation to respond with violence is understandable but
a more cautious approach will be more fruitful.

-----

Thursday, May 13, 2004

NPR : 'Mandela: An Audio History'

The People finally won control of their country of South Africa in the early 1990's. I'm proud to say my son Das helped in the first free elections that brought Nelson Mandela and the ANC to its rightful place of leadership.

This event and what lead up to it is contained in an excellent audio documentary just released:


NPR : 'Mandela: An Audio History'

Monday, April 26, 2004

Perfect Park Peace Monument Dedication 2003

Carmen's got this archived at:

IslaVistaHistory.com

For those of us who were there when Bob Potter gave his dedication, it was a memorable moment. Not only are Bob's words right on, but his delivery was animated and in keeping with those times...


Dedication of the Perfect Park Peace Monument

By Bob Potter
June 10, 2003

A third of a century ago, our forefathers-and foremothers-and fore-motherfuckers-hippies and yippies; speed freaks and Jesus freaks; Students radicalized by their professors; Professors radicalized by their students; Anarchists, Pacifists and Registered Republicans; Flower Children, Franciscan Friars and pissed-off Football Players; Marxist-Leninists and Proto-Feminists; Surfers, Sorority Sisters and Sexual Revolutionaries; Space Cadets and Vietnam Vets; the Hare Krishna and the Woodstock Nation; Visionaries in all colors and Mindblown lead guitarists of non-existent bands; not to mention winos, transients, alcoholics Anonymous and Otherwise, the Chairman of the Sociology Department and ordinary college students caught up in the pure adrenalin of the moment‹ All of these people, and indescribable hundreds more, made history with their asses, by sitting down on them here in Perfect Park, in violation of a Police Curfew Order, linking arms to defend their community.

What could have brought so many unlikely people - including more than a few still alive here in this audience - to that outlandish act of defiance? Tonight, exactly 33 years later, it is worth looking back briefly, and as unsentimentally as possible under the circumstances, to remember what a hell of a mess things had gotten into.

To begin with, there was the Vietnam Crisis. By early 1968, with the February Tet Offensive, the American public had begun to wise up to the fact it had been lied to (does that sound familiar?) and that the Vietnam War had become unwinable, though young Americans continued to be drafted and killed in action by the thousands. This quickly brought on a Political Crisis, as President Lyndon B. Johnson was driven from the race in that Presidential Election Year by antiwar activists led by Eugene McCarthy and later Bobby Kennedy - whose assassination after the California primary in June brought chaos and deceit in its wake, a tumultuously rigged Democratic Convention and a bloody police riot in the streets of Chicago. And this coincided with a perilous turning point in the Racial Crisis in America. The non-violent insurgence of the Civil Rights movement to overturn segregation ended in calamity, with the murder of Martin Luther King on April 4,1968, touching off catastrophic urban riots across the country, and calls for Armed Struggle. The backlash from all of this brought the election in November of Richard Nixon as President of the United States.

It was in the long shadow of these events that activism - violent and non-violent - came to the sunny shores of Santa Barbara. Thanks to the EOP program, an early example of Affirmative Action, the previously lily-white UCSB campus was integrated - though the Black students who arrived were unhappy enough with their treatment by campus bureaucracy and local law enforcement that one day they took over North Hall - the campus Computer Center! That every bit of the campus¹ computing went on in one small building tells you how long ago that was. The peaceful settlement worked out by the UCSB administration, brought the promise of more minority faculty and students, and new Black Studies and Chicano Studies Departments‹ but triggered a vicious denunciation from Governor Ronald Reagan, who had won his job in the first place by attacking student demonstrators at Berkeley, an ongoing Educational Crisis.

Concurrently an Environmental Crisis had erupted, with the Santa Barbara Oil Spill of January 1968, the single worst ecological disaster of our times, and the opening gun in a war of attrition between developers and environmentalists that continues along this coast to this very day. The oil-soaked dead birds on the beach turned surfers and ordinary beach goers overnight into radical activists.

Meanwhile, thanks to the baby boom, UCSB had doubled its enrollment between 1954 and 58, doubled it again by 1963, and again by 1967. Too busy building classrooms to bother with dormitories, the University solved its problems by steering this avalanche of students into substandard overcrowded apartment houses thrown up overnight by private land speculators and slum landlords, creating a demographic dystopia called Isla Vista, and precipitating a Housing Crisis (well, there¹s always a Housing Crisis in Isla Vista).

And all of this, let¹s remember, was unfolding generationally in the throbbing context of the Countercultural Crisis of the 1960¹s, that sexually-pioneering, musically-energized, chemically-induced metaphysical vision quest and psychedelic light show. Oh, you should have been here!

But if you were, you¹ll remember the pain and disillusion of it too. Woodstock led on to Altamont. Repression and violence were as American as Apple Pie, as Black militant H. Rap Brown pointed out. There were signs of trouble locally as early as 1969, with the arrest of 7 Black student leaders by the Santa Barbara Sheriffs on the pretext of an eviction notice, bringing student demonstrators out by the thousands. And April of that year brought the first death, when a bomb set off in the Faculty Club killed an innocent custodian, named Dover Sharp ‹ a senseless violent crime still unsolved.

In the fall came news of the firing of a popular (and decidedly countercultural) Anthropology professor. The Bill Allen Crisis, which culminated in massive demonstrations and a petition signed by 7,776 students demanding an open hearing on his personnel case, was at once a carnivalesque assault on academic pomposity and a serious protest against the ivory tower obliviousness of much of the faculty, at a time when the world seemed literally to be coming apart. Bill Allen had the temerity to speak to students about what was on (and in) their minds, and it seemed he had been fired precisely for doing so.

And speaking of injustice, there were nightly TV news clips of the bizarre show trial of the Chicago Seven, with Judge Julius Hoffman railroading criminal Conspiracy charges against antiwar activists who barely knew one another, with Black leader Bobby Seale gagged and bound in the courtroom. At the year¹s end, as Tom Hayden, one of the defendants, came to speak on campus, a Crisis of Justice was palpable across America. Could we trust our traditional institutions, or were they in the process of failing us, precipitating anarchy and revolution - or maybe fascism?

It was in such incendiary times that Isla Vista burst into flames 33 years ago, putting this most improbable trouble spot on the world map forever after. In the first few months of 1970 there were to be three major civil disorders.

In January came huge campus protests against the firing of Bill Allen, and the calling of Santa Barbara Sheriffs to clear the Administration Building of protestors, with Captain Joel Honey, the loose cannon of the Sheriffs Tactical Squad, leading the charge. As Allen¹s appeal for an open hearing was turned down, with the arrest of 19 student leaders, matters careened off campus and out of control. On February 26, after a rousing speech by William Kunstler, the lawyer for the Chicago Seven, and the beating of student leader Rich Underwood by police, crowds gathered in the Isla Vista streets and attacked Realty Offices and the Bank of America, seen as the prime local symbol of the Establishment. Later that night, having chased off the police presence, the crowd set a fire in the lobby of the bank and then watched in amazement as the place burned to the ground.

The ashes of the bank were still smoldering the next day as Governor Ronald Reagan arrived in town to vilify the bank burners as "cowardly little bums" and call in the National Guard. The Bank of America took out nationwide full-page advertisements offering a $25,000 reward for the arrest of the arsonists, vowing to rebuild the bank. Reagan¹s call for a campus crackdown seemed to be heeded shortly afterwards, when Chancellor Vernon Cheadle banned Chicago Seven defendant Jerry Rubin from speaking on campus, saying it would "seriously threaten the welfare of the University." Unappeased, Reagan made a speech to a Growers Convention on April 7, in which he made the following infamous statement about campus disorders: "If it¹s to be a bloodbath, let it be now."

It seemed he didn¹t have long to wait. On April 16, after a campus speech by Berkeley radical Stu Albert calling on students to "rip off the pigs," there was an angry rally in Perfect Park, then a vacant lot at the end of the Embarcadero loop that had become an informal community gathering place. As night fell the new temporary bank was attacked, as were realty offices; other students ‹protesting the violence‹ defended the bank and extinguished fires. The police waded into the middle of this melee, firing tear gas and birdshot into the crowd indiscriminately, from dump trucks specially outfitted for the occasion - an action that was dubbed "Operation Wagontrain". The next night the violence (and the resistance against it) resumed ‹with tragic consequences. As police arrived in riot gear, amid reports of sniper fire, anti violence students were attempting to defend the temporary bank from assault. One of them, Kevin Moran, was shot and killed.

KCSB the campus radio station was covering these events live, with reporters in the field, as they had previous demonstrations. Fearing that the reports were giving away police tactics and deployments, Sheriff James Webster demanded that the University authorities close down the station ‹ an order with which Vice Chancellor Steven Goodspeed complied. So it was that the only recorded silencing of a radio station by government order in American history took place, right over there on the UCSB campus. The death of Moran was attributed to snipers, and a dawn-to-dusk curfew was imposed, with heavy police patrols and reports of beatings and apartments broken into. On April 20, as Governor Reagan made a speech blaming Moran¹s killing on those who "take the law into their own hands," it was revealed that a Santa Barbara policeman had admitted that his rifle had "accidentally" discharged at the time of Moran¹s shooting. In a subsequent Coroner¹s inquest, held with little public scrutiny, the shooting of Kevin Moran would be ruled to be accidental, and the policeman, Officer David Gosselin, exonerated and returned to duty.

Less than two weeks later President Nixon astonished the world, escalating the Vietnam War by invading Cambodia. The resulting firestorm of protest spread from coast to coast. At Kent State, Ohio National Guard troops fired into a crowd of protesting students, killing 4 of them. UCSB students occupied and closed the Santa Barbara airport, and surged onto the 101 Freeway, blocking it for many hours. As Universities across the country began to close down, the UCSB faculty was energized at last, moving quickly and effectively to keep our community together, by offering special "national crisis" courses focusing on the circumstances of the times.

It seemed that the school year might end quietly, but events intervened once again. On June 3 news leaked out that 17 people ‹ student leaders and activists, the "usual" suspects ‹ had secretly been indicted, accused of burning down the Bank of America. One of those indicted had in fact been in jail the night of the bank burning. The resulting outrage led to further street and campus demonstrations, including attempts to torch the temporary bank. With disorder in Isla Vista once again, State officials, apparently acting on instructions from Governor Reagan¹s office, ordered the Los Angeles County Sheriffs to dispatch their Special Enforcement Branch to restore order. Instead, this notoriously violent paramilitary outfit, which had cracked heads in many urban riots, brought a reign of terror into Isla Vista. On June 8 and 9, enforcing a dusk-to-dawn curfew, the LA Sheriffs, accompanied by local law enforcement units, kicked down doors, dragged Isla Vistans from their houses, beat them bloody with their nightsticks, sexually harassed and intimidated, destroyed vehicles and personal property, sprayed mace and threw tear gas canisters into private yards and dwellings, threatening to shoot to kill.

At this very dark moment came Isla Vista¹s finest hour. With their streets under siege the next day, June 10, a group of faculty, student and community leaders met in the Methodist to seek a collective strategy. They decided to organize a sit-in in Perfect Park that night, to protest the police repression. By the time of the 7:30 curfew a quiet and determined crowd of some 700 had gathered, including UCSB faculty and staff and students of all social and political persuasions. When the police began arresting them for curfew violations, they reacted with calm, non-violent acceptance in the tradition of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. At 9:20, with nearly 300 arrested, police ordered the remaining crowd to disperse. When no one moved, the police sprayed pepper gas from a machine directly into the crowd. Then, as the Santa Barbara News-Press described it the next day, "gas-masked deputies swarmed into the crowd, flailing their nightsticks in all directions." Those arrested were hauled away to the still-unfinished New County Jail where many were subjected to further beatings, denied bail, abused, stripped naked, sprayed with mace and thrown into solitary confinement.

But a crucial moral point had been made. Judge Joseph Lodge ordered charges dismissed against all those arrested and, faced with an ultimatum from University officials, Governor Reagan agreed to end the curfew and withdraw the L.A. Sheriffs. Peace returned to the streets of Isla Vista. The promised bloodbath had been averted, and the task of creating new institutions for the Isla Vista community had begun.

In the aftermath of the 1970 riots, a whole array of community institutions came into being in Isla Vista. The IV Recreation and Park District would go on to become a dynamic force in the establishment of parks and other public venues for the first time, along with the dream of cityhood (with or without Goleta). The University began to provide funds, and pay belated if sporadic attention to its unruly stepchild; one tangible result was the IV Foot Patrol, putting officers into direct daily contact with the community. Also established were the IV Credit Union, the IV Medical Clinic (bringing the inimitable Dr. Dave Bearman to town), the Isla Vista Youth Projects, and the IV Food Co-op which remain vital and highly-value institutions to this day. In short a true community was born, out of the courage and solidarity of the Perfect Park sit-in.

It was in an effort to commemorate that event, and in a larger sense the spirit of peaceful protest that is the most important legacy of the Vietnam era, that some visionaries set out in the early 1990¹s to create a Monument in Perfect Park. They had to begin by saving the Park itself!

Perfect Park had been purchased in the 1970¹s by a Santa Monica doctor who wanted to build a Safeway Supermarket. Only the long Goleta Water moratorium prevented him from doing so. In 1992 - eleven years ago! - Isla Vista voters approved a referendum saving Perfect Park from the developers, and two years later the Park District bought the property. Carmen Lodise, the historian and unofficial Alcalde of Isla Vista, was probably the first to propose building a monument to the anti-war movement on the site. That Carmen was proposing it guaranteed that certain other people would oppose it - and so indeed they did. Critics denounced the whole idea as an attempt to glorify bank-burners and bomb-throwers, waste taxpayers¹ money and enrich unspecified cronies.

In 1995 - eight years ago! -the IV Park District decided to appoint a committee to study the issue, including both proponents and opponents. Against my better judgment (I had, after all, co-authored a book on the IV Riots) I applied to join it. Despite our disagreements we held some useful public forums and learned that the IV community generally liked the idea. Most thought it should be a positive symbol for Peace, to unite rather than divide the community.

When the committee was reconstituted in 1996 we adopted a mission statement that made clear our commitment to honoring peaceful protest. We further decided that the monument should be built with private donations rather than public funds ‹ a noble idea, though easier said than done. And as for what the thing should look like, there were dozens of conflicting strong opinions. A consultation with the County Art Commission yielded the bright idea of a national design competition, which of course we couldn¹t afford to finance. Here the amazing people at the Fund For Santa Barbara came to our rescue in 1997, funding a $3,800 grant, which enabled us to reach artists all over the country.

To vet the entries we appointed a Selection Committee of arts professionals and community representatives (including John Muir, a combat veteran of the Vietnam war, who is here today). In June 1998- five years ago! - the committee picked 6 finalists, who were given $500 grants to build models of their proposed monument designs. The following year, as fund raising began with a goal of $20,000, we held three public exhibitions of the models, on campus and in IV, gathering input and reactions to the designs; Santa Barbara artist Colin Gray¹s design for a cluster of arches proved to be the public favorite. In May 1999 - four years ago! - our committee voted to recommend Colin¹s design be built, and the IV Park District Board accepted the recommendation, authorizing the monument to be built on Park District land here in Perfect Park. Now all we had to do was raise $20,000.

Thanks to a flock of small donations, and a few large ones (thank you, Michael Douglas, and Richard and Tekla Sanford, for your $1,000 checks!) plus two generous grants of $2,500 from the IV Community Relations Council of the UCSB Associated Students, we had by June of 2001 - two years ago! - raised some $13,000.

They say that everything changed after September 11, 2001. That was indeed the case with our project. Suddenly, with the war in Afghanistan, a Peace Monument began to seem like a timely idea, rather than an exercise in nostalgia. People who had written us off as a bunch of aging hippies began to understand what we were up to, and pay attention. In January Congresswoman Lois Capps lent her name and support to our effort, speaking at a campus gathering where Colin¹s model was displayed, with television coverage from KEYT. In May 2002 -just a year ago! - filmmaker and film critic Peter Biskind came to town to show his infamous documentary Don¹t Bank on Amerika and help us raise over $2,000, and someone found a stash of old Burning Bank Check Posters and donated them to the cause.

As the Bush administration began its push toward war with Iraq, our small Peace project rode the wave of public outrage and protest as the Peace movement came alive all across the globe. Daniel Ellsberg came to town and joined our honorary board of advisors, which by then included Dick Flacks, David Krieger, Tom Hayden, Marc McGinnis, David Smith and Terence Hallinan In February of this year, as the war clouds gathered, the L.A. Times ran a prominent feature story on our project.

That same week, - less than four months ago! - still $9,000 shy of our new goal of $25.000, I picked up the telephone to find that I was speaking with someone who wanted the Perfect Park Peace Monument to be built - and had the courage and the money to make it happen. Thanks to that visionary donor - who has insisted on remaining anonymous! - we received an astonishing pledge of $9,000 and broke ground in April.

So thanks to all the hundreds of people who made this possible-Diane Conn, Dave Bearman and Carmen Lodise still on the committee, and all the others who served time on it, including Mitch Stockton, Karl Brunner, Brent Foster, Dave Fortson, Leila Salazar, Ariana Katovich and untold others. And let¹s not forget someone whose reckless and disastrous actions put our initiative back on page one, and turned the Peace movement from a distant memory to an international necessity‹ President George W. Bush!

But finally our thanks must go to the people who, 33 years ago tonight, made a commitment to non-violence and kept it so memorably, who took a beating unflinchingly, looked repression in the face, and pepper gas in the eye - the people who made this ground historic when they put their asses on the line.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

FSM @ UCSB circa 1965

I received this letter from Peter Young back in 2001. His observations of the Free Speech Movement at UCSB in 1965 I think are important:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Peter Young"
To:
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2001 10:19 AM
Subject: Message from a Reformed Moderate


Dear Malcolm,

I've just read snippets from your monumental work so far, and have a comment about the pre-Bank of Amerika UCSB. I finished there in 1965, the year of the Free Speech Movement. While I would agree with your statement that the response to the FSM at UCSB was moderate, that there was a response at all on that campus--someone called it "Madison Avenue on a Surfboard"--was amazing. There was a small group of Marxists within the UCSB version of the FSM, which was called Students for Free Political Action, and their demands monopolized the student government's agenda that year. I was editor of El Gaucho that year from November, 1994 onwards, and I supported both the FSM and the SFPA generally in my editorials, much to the dismay of Cheadle and his cronies.

Frankly, I didn't like being cast, even by general reference, as a moderate in your piece, perhaps because I recognized the truth of it, and that prompted me to think a bit. Most of us are at college/university for only four years, and radicalization is a process that, at least for some folks, takes a few years. Most of the people who supported the SFPA in 1965 were by no means moderate a year or two later.

Moreover, the political climate was entirely different in 1971 than it had been in 1964-65. The students who had been active in SFPA in 1964-65 would have been outside the burning bank had they been born six years later.

By the way, I came back to Santa Barbara as a lawyer the day after the bank burned down to help the local lawyers in visiting and interviewing the jailed students. So did a couple of my comrades at the Venice office of the Neighborhood Legal Services Society, a poverty law office. It was amazing to see tanks rolling and the national guard marching down Storke Road to I.V.

The last time I saw I.V. was about 10 years ago; I stopped by on my way back from the Bay Area. It looked a perfectly horrible place.

Best wishes,

Peter Young

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Blogging & Burning

Blogging technology now enhances the DON'T BANK ON AMERIKA website.

This will enable me to pass on correspondence I receive and have received over the years that I haven't put up on the website due to time constraints. Also, there's new information and personal recollections that come my way all the time. I will be including them here and they will be archived. Some of the best stuff will no doubt make it into subsequent printings of the book.

Thanks for checking in and please pass the word...