U.S. Suspends Cuban Visas, Withdraws Staff Without Finalized Plan in Place

: thedailybeast – excerpt

The U.S. State Department announced it would stop authorizing visas for Cubans before actually finalizing the details on how to implement the suspension, The Miami Herald reported Friday. One official said that Cubans could possibly apply for American visas in other countries, but did not explain how such a procedure would work. The U.S. is also withdrawing some of its staff from its embassy in Havana, but says it will still officially maintain diplomatic relations. The announcement comes after mysterious sonic attacks damaged the health of around 20 diplomats, causing symptoms ranging from hearing loss to brain damage…

Reactions in the Washington and Miami have been mixed.

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio criticized the administration for not going further. “Shameful that State Department withdraws most staff from the U.S. Embassy in Cuba but [Raúl] Castro can keep as many as he wants in U.S.,” the Florida senator tweeted…(more)

One of our favorite cultures deserves some mention as it once again goes out of government favor. The old one step forward and one step back US dance.

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Lessons from Stop the Draft Week 50 years ago

In 1967, protesters filled the streets of Oakland to stop the draft. Seven faced serious charges — and their message still resonates today

With great fanfare PBS is airing a 10-part series about the Vietnam War. Critics charge that under the guise of being even handed, series producers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick say the US and Vietnam share equal blame for the war. Foreign correspondent  Reese Erlich offers a different historical perspective.

October marks the 50th anniversary of Stop the Draft Week, the largest militant anti-Vietnam War demonstration up to that time. Ten thousand people jammed into the streets of downtown Oakland to shutdown the federal draft induction center.

Demonstration organizers, who became known as the Oakland 7, faced an 11-week conspiracy trial. In a major victory for the anti-war movement, a jury acquitted them of all charges…

In October of 1967, the U.S. war effort in Vietnam was failing. In just a few months, Vietnamese rebels launched the Tet Offensive, a political defeat that proved to be a turning point in the US war.

Throughout 1967 President Lyndon Johnson sent more troops to South Vietnam, and that required bigger draft calls. The sons of the very rich and well connected always avoided the draft. Donald Trump received a medical deferment due to “bone spurs” in his heels. They didn’t prevent him from a lifetime of skiing, however…

We didn’t consider ourselves hippies, but the anti-war and counterculture movements were intertwined. Both groups used drugs, listened to rock, dressed unconventionally and engaged in the kind of sex that outraged our parents. But hippies tended to protest society by “dropping out.” We wanted them to “drop in” to the anti-war movement.

We also sought to broaden the anti-war movement by including workers and allying with black, Latino, and Asian activists. Dave Harris and his pacifist allies believed they could do that with an appeal to conscience and traditional, nonviolent tactics.

Others of us argued that working class youth were turned off by traditional pacifism. It was time that anti-war demonstrators become more militant and defend ourselves against police attack.

Our call for militant action was hugely controversial. Of course local politicians, university administrators and business people were opposed. But even most leaders of the mainstream peace movement were hesitant. Our rejection of non-violent tactics ran against the grain of protests at that time. Few leaders and no traditional peace groups endorsed STDW.

But we picked up grassroots support. I still remember walking the streets of Berkeley in early October and seeing scores of houses displaying Stop the Draft Week posters in their windows.

Our timing was spot on. “Our political antennae picked up something out there,” Oakland 7 member Terry Cannon told me years later… (more)

How the mighty have fallen. An unofficial Summer of Love celebration did squeak by with little fanfare in the fall of 2017 in the San Francisco Golden Gate Park Bandshell, with Wavy Gravy and some die hard local bands and their fans.
It is a sad day when San Francisco officials nix the 50th anniversary Summer of Love concert that ushered in the peace movement, especially now that we are dealing with a clash of cultures and political upheaval.
To add insult to injury, Silicon Valley officials and the 49ers Management want to extend a 10 PM noise curfew to allow for later performances to make up for the poor ticket sales at Levis Stadium. Money is king in the the former home of the peace and love movement.
Pay to play or just pay, as California turns itself into the most valuable real estate with the highest rate of poverty and one of the worst education systems in the country.

 

From dog poop to clown noses: San Francisco gets creative for Saturday’s alt-right rally.

By uala Sawyer : sfweekly – excerpt

It’s official: On Saturday, members of Patriot Prayer, a Portland alt-right group, will descend upon San Francisco for a “Freedom Rally.” Despite their claims on Facebook that “No extremists will be allowed in,” and that “Nazis, Communist, KKK, Antifa, white supremacist, I.E., or white nationalists [sic]” are not welcome, tension in the city is rising as the weekend gets nearer.

As hundreds of people prepare to attend Patriot Prayer’s gathering on Saturday, Aug. 26, in Crissy Field (map of protest permit area here), San Francisco’s activists are making Facebook groups, crafting signs, and rallying to step up against racism. And the upcoming protests against the rally reflect the city’s diversity through the plethora of choices available — be they dog owners, botanists, parents, or drag queens… (more)

My, how San Francisco has changed. One of our wiser friends said, “she can’t quite believe that the Summer of Love 50th Anniversary event permit was rejected for safety concerns while an event permit was granted for a group of agitators who align with armed militias, white nationalists, and neo-Nazis.”

Tina Fey Recommends ‘Sheet-Caking’ to Deal With Trump’s America

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“Don’t yell it at the Klan… Yell it into the cake.”

Like many Americans, she’s mad as hell at the white supremacists and President Donald Trump, but Fey thinks the best way to deal with them is not to show up to their rallies. The comedian explains: “I would urge people this Saturday, instead of participating in the screaming matches and potential violence, find a local business you support — maybe a Jewish-run bakery… or an African American-run bakery — order a cake with the American flag on it, and just eat it.”… (more)

Eating for peace. Sounds good to me. I’m going to try making a Chocolate roll cake tomorrow, but I will be decorating it with the end of summer fruit, Cherries, apricots and pears, and maybe some strawberries and blueberries. Yum.

Summer of Love lost on those living in Summer of Discontent

By Caille Millner : sfchronicle – excerpt

In our Summer of Discontent, what can we learn from the Summer of Love?

Since the Summer took place before I was born, I have no nostalgia, passions or bad memories about anything that happened in San Francisco in 1967.

I can tell that for some people it was a seminal event, judging by the extent of attention I’ve seen around the 50th anniversary. There have been at least 10 Bay Area museum exhibits celebrating some aspect of the Summer of Love this year. There have been endless free concerts, tours and tie-dyed public posters. There’s been even-more-extensive-than-usual glorification of the Grateful Dead.

I appreciate how all of this is an opportunity for a segment of Bay Area Baby Boomers to indulge in youthful memories of the good times. (Have fun, kids!)

But for those of us far too young to have been there, the Summer of Love has never felt as far away as it does in 2017.

On my way to the de Young Museum’s “Summer of Love Experience” exhibit, in Golden Gate Park, I traveled through the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. My misgivings began there.

San Francisco’s advanced state of economic inequality and neighborhood gentrification have led to strange street-level juxtapositions all over town. But the Haight is still a special place; these juxtapositions maintain a hard edge…

Continue reading “Summer of Love lost on those living in Summer of Discontent”

City to throw free Summer of Love concert in Golden Gate Park

Sam Whiting : sfchronicle – excerpt

People signed the banner celebrating the Peace Sign at the 2009 Summer of Love Concert. photo by zrants

After twice rejecting an independent producer’s plan to hold a free concert in Golden Gate Park to honor the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department will throw its own free concert on June 21.

The Surrealistic Summer Solstice boasts it will feature members of the Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Chambers Brothers, as well as “over 40 legendary musicians” in a jam that builds to a lighting of the Conservatory of Flowers in mandalas of psychedelic color.

“This is fundamentally a light installation where we are going to have music,” said Phil Ginsburg, general manager of Rec and Park.

That is not how Mill Valley promoter Boots Hughston sees it. Announcement of the June 21 event comes less than a week after Rec and Park staff rejected his second application for a scaled-down free concert to be held Aug. 27 in Golden Gate Park’s Speedway Meadow.

“Basically, they are trying to steal our event,” said Hughston, who was first denied a permit for a huge Summer of Love 50th anniversary concert June 4 at the Polo Field. In late May, he was offered the Aug. 27 date at smaller Sharon Meadow, pending permit approval, but that, too, was nixed when he allegedly violated terms dictated by Rec and Park staff not to announce the event… (more)

San Francisco City Hall is drenched in controversy over the on again off again Summer of Love Concert. They can’t seem to understand the importance of tradition when it comes to celebrating this event. Hint, it is not about a light show in the Conservatory of Flowers. It is a about Flowers in our hair and peace signs. Remember Peace signs?

 

Mayor Ed Lee – Support the 50 year Anniversary of the Summer of Love

Open Letter to the Mayor of San Francisco:

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Mayor Ed Lee,

So far this concert has had more interference than Super Bowl and it is coming from City Hall. You wasted no time in supporting big sports events that close down major sections of the city for days at a time and cost the taxpayers and small businesses millions of dollars. Why not support a free concert that celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love festival when the world needs Peace and Love now more than ever?

Where are all those liberated people who filled the streets with protest when Trump was elected who marched for women’s rights, LGBT rights, human rights and peace? Where are the protests and support for a free music event that celebrates the movement that started it all? Are we so jaded that we forgot all those who fought for our freedom and sanctuary status? Why are there no new protest songs on the top 40 list?

Does San Francisco only support events that involve millions of dollars and walls and fences in SF while protesting Trump’s wall with Mexico? Get with it Mayor Lee. Dig out your 60’s gear, peace signs and pipes and lead the parade for the Summer of Love, or at least kick it into high gear now.

Concerned Citizen of the world