Monday, 11 January 2016

Hippie Redux: #35 Why I'm Glad I'm Over 65!

The 1968 Democratic Convention, The Black Panthers, the Weathermen

Peace and Love was not on everyone’s mind in the Sixties.

In August of 1968 10,000 demonstrators arrived in Chicago to protest at the Democratic Convention. Chicago’s mayor, Richard J Daley, know for his dictatorial style, greeted them with 23,000 police and national guard. Mayhem ensued with beatings and copious tear gas in the streets. Eight of the organizers were arrested and put on trial for conspiracy to riot as the Chicago Eight, although after many years in court charges were dropped.

The Black Panthers were originally formed to police the police. Armed patrols shadowed the police in Oakland. Soon becoming a national organization, needless to say their existence was fraught with conflict with the government, and resulted in many deaths.

The Weathermen Underground undertook bombing of many government buildings, with advance warning to prevent human casualties. A secret leftist organization, they declared war on the United States.

The end of the war in Vietnam in 1975 reduced the radical agenda for many groups, although the current Black Lives Matter movement echoes the original concerns of the Panthers.

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