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.

 

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Let Them Eat Rabbits: Maduro’s Food Program Backfires As The Proletariat Sees Pets Rather Than Meat

By – excerpt (includes videos and really funny comments)

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has been channeling his best Marie Antoinette this month in responding to widespread and growing hunger in the country. Maduro went on the news to told citizens to eat rabbits. The problem is that Venezuelans have been putting bows on the rabbits and adopting them as pets rather than eating them…

Maduro announced on television that “For animal protein, which is such an important issue, a ‘rabbit plan’ has been approved because rabbits also breed like rabbits.”…

Bernal is quoted as saying that “to his surprise he found people had put little bows on their rabbits and were keeping them as pets, it was an early setback to Plan Rabbit.” He referred to this as a “cultural problem” and insisted that the government need to convince people that “rabbits aren’t pets but two and a half kilos of meat.”… (more)

This is one of the stranger stories brought to us by one of the country’s leading constitutional attorneys and law professors. The Killer Bunny video is worth a few laughs as are the comments. Elmer Fudd is vindicated.

Sen. Orrin Hatch introduces medical marijuana research bill with pot puns

By : sfgate – excerpt

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch intends to support more research on medical cannabis with equal parts legislation and hack comedy.

The Utah lawmaker on Wednesday introduced a bipartisan bill to ease federal restrictions on medical marijuana research with a pun-laden written statement, reports Forbes’ Tom Angell.

“It’s high time to address research into medical marijuana,” says Hatch in his unveiling of the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017, or MEDS Act.

According to the rest of Hatch’s statement:

“Our country has experimented with a variety of state solutions without properly delving into the weeds on the effectiveness, safety, dosing, administration, and quality of medical marijuana. All the while, the federal government strains to enforce regulations that sometimes do more harm than good. To be blunt, we need to remove the administrative barriers preventing legitimate research into medical marijuana, which is why I’ve decided to roll out the MEDS Act.”… (more)

We need some good news this week in the wake of the hurricanes as our friends are struggling with the aftermath. We can read this as good news.

 

Danny Kalais

Kalais.jpg

Danny Kalais performing at Beaux Arts and in his youth at high school. These photos came from the Beaux Arts Collection.

One of the musicians I missed at Beaux Arts was Danny Kalais. Many believed him to be the most creative and talented musician they knew. He had a rather large fan club. This links to the Danny Kalais page: http://www.beauxartsbook.com/Music/Kalais.html

Danny had a daughter with his wife Cheri who never knew him. His daughter, Kim Kerson discovered the Beaux Arts connection and contacted me in hopes of learning more about her parents. I put her in touch with Lynch French, who called Dan Finley. I am sure she would like to hear from others who were close to her parents.

We are so happy to help people connect.

Hi

My name is Kim Kerson. I was born in 1967 and given up for adoption.I have been searching for information on my biological parents for a very long time. I was recently matched to a 1st cousin (Daniel Wiley Kalais’s half sibling, Wanda Heisel) through Ancestry DNA, and found out that I may be the daughter of Daniel Wylie Kalais and Cheryl Dawn Chisholm. Unfortunately his half sister is quite a bit older than him (approaching 89)…and the only information I have found out is through her daughter who did not know him too well. I have learned that he passed away in 1996. I would really like to get to know him…I am hoping that you might have some stories to share or could point me to some of the people that may have known him and are willing to share some stories with me. It would be greatly appreciated!

Sincerely,

Kim Kerson
kersonkim@gmail.com

Llyn’s response:

THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!!!! As soon as I got your e-mail, I called Kim. What a miracle!
 
Cheri Dawn and I were pregnant together. My daughter was born 4/29/67 and Kim was born in June. Danny & Cheri were married but just not in any condition to take parental responsibility and (sadly but wisely) had Kim adopted. She said that overall, her adoptive parents were okay. I’ve told her all I know; sent her a photo of Danny from our high-school yearbook and the lyrics to Danny’s song “You Got to Keep Your Madness Magic”; what I and then Nano Riley posted on the Beaux Arts Book Web site about Danny; a newspaper article that I wrote about the Beaux that described Cheri; and info from Dan “Panama Red” Finley, who was in touch with Cheri until she passed on and has some photos if he can find them. I’ll soon send her more from my Beaux history folder. I also sent the lyrics of “Bob Dylan’s Dream” and the following quote:

“Medicine Crow is Tlingit and Haida from Kake. She told a story about a lesson she learned from Polynesian navigators. “The traditional practice of sailing by the stars requires that they set their bow looking forward but they are navigating from the stars behind them because from that they can know the direction their bow is going. I think that is such a powerful analogy about the way our ancestors think about time. And the way we should think about it, too.” “

There’s no getting around it, Danny was the most talented and charismatic of us. To quote Kerouac:
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”
Every one of us still standing says, “Yes. That was Danny Kalais.” Yes!
Thank you so much, Mari!!!! What a blessing that this child has come home!!!!

Llyn

Dan Finley talked with Cheri Dawn’s husband, Richard Doyle, of Santa Teresa, NM.
Finley’s Facebook page is under his stage name & nickname “Panama Red.” For many years, Finley has been Facebook-friends with Cheri Dawn and her husband, Richard Doyle of Santa Teresa, NM. This morning Finley contacted Richard. Cheri died of cancer on March 22, 2013. Richard’s Facebook page is titled “Richard Doyle” and his Intro says he is “Chairman & CEO at “Dawn Chisolm-Doyle Music Scholarship Fund“…” Richard told Finley that he has known that Cheri had a daughter with Kalais who was adopted out at birth. Richard said that Kim is welcome to get in touch with him. Richard can be contacted through his facebook page.

Patriot Prayer holds news conference in Pacifica after cancelling events

ktvu – excerpt (includes video)

– Free speech group Patriot Prayer held a news conference in a remote location in Pacifica after cancelling their San Francisco events… (more)

Talk about a moving target. We are glad this is over. Or hope it is over. Where are all the new protest songs coming out of our anguish over this worldwide political divide? Are artists so confused they don’t know how to respond? Tommy has one: End this Lies is always appropriate.

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

I’m

by

“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.