The History of the Isla Vista Riots of 1970 - By Malcolm Gault-Williams
Greetings Malcolm, I've lurked here for a while... very nice site, very nice book (which I ordered and read over the last year). I don't think UC systematically tries to censor info... UC is too disorganized to coordinate a united front. However, there are all kinds of reasons that UC doesn't encourage discussion of IV's present or past. The biggest is that UC still doesn't know what policy to pursue on IV, and UC doesn't like to publicly admit ignorance or mistakes. IV is not an easy problem, and a problem that UC is not good at addressing. Which does not excuse UC, just describes it. The threat to Darkside was wrong, but I think was not a thought-out policy decision. The Darkside author believes differently, and sees a vast conspiracy. There is also a lot of info on the late 1960's and 1970 in special collections in the Library... outwardly, it looks like UCSB keeps that info in reasonable shape... but you may know better. The coroner's inquest of Kevin Moran is easy to get from the Library... although Lou Cannon's book on Reagan in error states that the source of the bullet was never established. (Local bookstores have copies of, I think, `Governor Reagan'). One issue that arose recently... DA Sneddon pointed to prosecution of Lefty Bryant as an important milestone in his career... see http://www.newspress.com/mjacksonupdate/1205da.htm The details look overstated... was Lefty Bryant really a Black Panther? Certainly he did not firebomb the bank, but I was surprised to learn that Bryant was caught with some Molotov Cocktails on Feb. 27, 1970, and convicted of possession... from your book I mainly knew that he was in jail the night of Feb. 25, nevertheless he was indicted. I think he was released at 9pm or so, however. Well, I'm a little curious as to whether Sneddon has a bit of history of suspicious prosecution of African Americans, given a prominent trial now underway. all the best and thanks for maintaining this site... RR
Lefty Bryant was just a street punk. Sneddon took no more notice of him then he did of hundeds of these street urchins. By the way..Tom Sneddon was not the District Attorney then, it was David Minier. Sneddon was just one of a couple of dozen Deputy DAs..and I'm not sure Sneddon even went after the punk Bryant. I did in a streeet confrontation. I was County Chair of the Young Republicans and we looked forward to a tangle...Bryant was a loser,a short kid and wanted to be a leader of losers. My side won. Bryant died in Colorado ..so I heard.BB
Thanks... so Bryant was not a Black Panther? It was Sneddon who claimed he was... I did not think Bryant was a Black Panther. Why would Sneddon exaggerate?Sure, the violent students of IV in 1969-1970 lost and they deserved to. The havoc they caused, including injuries to a number of Sheriffs' Deputies and the death of Dover Sharp, are inexcusable.But why are those on the right sore winners? And why can't those on the right admit that some pretty atrocious acts were committed by, for example, by LA Law Enforcement officers called in? Even William F. Buckley agreed.I've never heard anyone from the right applaud UCSB for taking a strong stand in the case of Will Allen, whose denial of a faculty position at UCSB started the major fracas that led to the bank burning. Seems like everyone has chosen to attack UCSB, which means UCSB was probably the most honorable in the whole affair.
Well, what a site. I lived in IV from late 68 (except for several months in Canada)through about late 1970. I met Bryant at a chic's apartment (her name was Jane, and a sister to one of my best friends. He called himself a Black Panther and I had no reason to doubt him. Maybe you remember my Dog? HIs name was Mike, black long hair witha a white front and he was the best frisbee player on the beach. I hung out with the guys from "The Void." and worked leather at Leather Ltd. Most everybody called me Jude on the streets/ I came a day late for the fire.
Just a little more depth to my story. I said I was a day late for the bank burning, but I still got gassed, and saw the bedlam from the window of the bus I was living in. At the end of the loop there was a gas Station, I think it was a Standard, and in the back but plainly visible was a green school bus belonging to a friend of mine named Nick (Starbuck). He let me stay in the bus for awhile and I was living there when the bank burned. I had taken a trip north to do some business and when I got back boy was I surprised. Anyway, I saw all the action in the area that came to be known as People's Park (I think), and when the cops gassed the kids a big cloud of it hit my bus. Needles to say, the chick who was visiting split right away. So I just sat there looking out the window at a surreal scene. I must say that I knew many of the people who lived on the streets and did not recognize many of them in the fray. It appeared to me that there were provocatuers starting some of the trash bin fires. I even stopped one fire by asking the kids where they were from, and then told them to put the fire out, Oddly enough, they did put the fire out. In the days that followed, Isla Vista became an occupied city, and went from being the freest place in America to the most controlled. It wasn't but a few months after that when I moved to Oregon, where I have been ever since. And Mike the frisbee dog--he got runned over by a damned old truck. I guess he just couldn't adapt to country life too well. I sure miss that dog. He was loved by many of the denizens of Isla Vista, and had some fame on the coast. I could climb into a pickup after hitching a ride and the people in the truck knew Mike, but not me, how about that? Anyway, there is much more to be said about IV, and if my readers would like then I will coninue on in my own blog.Jude
PS The Republican asswipes didn't win, they just supressed an idea. but funny how those things work. Now the idea is squeezing out of the box and starting to spread all over the place again. NO, the neo facist Republican Youth did not win, they just delayed the enevitable.Jude
Keep 'em coming, Jude!