Thursday, June 9, 2011

Where was it we stopped being afraid? People's Park?

Lexington. Concord. Yorktown. Manassas. Antietam. Gettysburg. Guadalcanal. Iwo Jima. Okinawa. Khe Sanh. Hue City. Baghdad. Fallujah. Mosul. New York, New York. Oklahoma City. Ruby Ridge. Mount Carmel.


"People's Park" was a vacant lot in Berkeley, California, not far from one of the main entrances to the campus of the University of California.

People of all types - students, professors, street people, tramps, drug dealers, activists, radicals, intellectuals, prostitutes, winos, Jesus freaks - the beatific - and the plainly evil, came together to plant grass and flowers and trees and build a band stand and - well, party down.

The Regents of the university made a decision to put a fence around the park, declare it off limits and announced plans to turn it into a parking lot to handle the overflow of vehicles competing for convenient spots near campus.

The people tore the fence down, and, like the Irish girl said, "It t'was on - for fair. It was."

The riots. The teargas. The complete disruption of all instruction, traffic, business, commerce, you name it.

Everyone from Governor Reagan to the hobo passing by on his way to the next job or the next joint had an opinon.

School was definitely in session. The lesson was learned.

No one was afraid. No one, no matter what they thought about People's Park, was afraid.

No one.

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