|Notes:||r.s.: Photo-repro of 5 dollar bills with lettering, "Debased War Money | Not Negotiable". On BL/A copy, on R.S. there is the following twp note:
we were going to start a daily newspaper, & this was to be in the first issue, but we ran out of ink. By the time we had more ink, we realized that, both being new to the scene, we didn't have the reportorial staff & community cooperation needed for a daily paper, so we're still [underlined] going to start one someday.
There were more than 25,000 hippies present, turning on & happy at the Human Be-In. The poster for the Be-In, included herewith, is typical Haight/Ashbury poster art. Now very famous, all these hippie posters.
(The myster sky diver, it turns out, was Owsley Stanley, San Francisco's major manufacturer of black market acid.)|
|Full Text:||Variant in Bancroft Library: Broadside (with tpw note on back), The Pow-Wow (in hand-lettered block letters), at bottom of sheet: God Bless The Diggers (in same lettering). Also note that hdw date (presumably by Chester) is 1/14/67.
Yesterday was Day One, when all the local heads & hippies stood up to be counted. Yesterday we began to function as a political power. We declared ourselves.
Just how many people were there is an open question. The police say 10,000, more reliable witnesses say 30,000. (If we had rioted, the cops would've counted 50,000 of us. You can always trust the police, once you've learned their rules.)
Yesterday, we graduated from whatever criminal bag the establishment has reserved for us & became a minority group. A persecuted minority.
Politically speaking, it was an impressive demonstration. There we were: the Berkeley thunderbolts, the Haight elven, the blessed Angels, the awesome lovelies of Marin, unaffiliated strays from everywhere, grizzled veterans of Officer Bigarini & downey-cheeked veterans of Officer Garans, all the low men on all the totem poles -- 30,000 of us! -- all together on that glowing field in unity.
Claude handed me a stick of incense & said, "Man! It sure is nice of us to be so peaceful."
He was right, of course. Considering what a mere 1500 of us did to Mississippi, what we had in the Polo Grounds yesterday was a display of enough power, properly applied (& the Berkeley cats are good at that), to turn the state of California inside out.
Sooner or later we'll probably do just that. Imagine, for instance, the masterful puff-ins we could stage! You just can't arrest 30,000 people. Not all at once.
But yesterday we were quiet -- amazingly quiet. Getting used to the fact that there are so many of us. Growing together. Being.
For five hours yesterday, in that safety of numbers, were free. Some of us had never been free before. It felt good. We'll remember it.
And Oh what a beautiful party! It started with Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder (just back from 10 years in a Zen monastery), Lenore Kandel & Mike McClure chanting polyphonic mantras with bells & cymbals, expressing the spiritual nature of our revolution.
From then on, things happened too fast to keep track of. The poets read (& McClure sang). Saint Timothy Leary told us again to turn on, tune in & drop out, & we all said Yes. The Grateful Dead, The Jefferson Airplane, a lovely byzantine group from Big Sur & others made music. The sound system cut in & out at random.
A defense fund was started for the latest Berkeley martyrs, & instantly an anonymous saint picked up the whole tab. Buddha, who was running the stage, announced he'd been handed $50 to give to anyone who had a "proper" use for it.
On the ground, everyone was sharing everything. Incense, food & flowers were passed around. Nameless holy men went among the multitudes distributing free acid. Strangers handed one another joints.
A parachutist floated down during The Dead's set. We all watched in ecstatic awe, somehow expecting miracles to happen when he landed. But he made a beautiful landing, folded up his 'chute & walked away, & no one even learned his name.
We thank the mystery sky diver for adding yet another magic to a day already heady with silken banners, ecstatic costumes, colored smokes & people so lovely that to see them brought tears to my eyes.
As far as The Communication Company knows, no one was busted or hassled. (That came later.) The cops (thinking God knows what about those 30,000 dangerous criminals) were refreshingly cool.
We saw only one fight, a rolling brawl on the slope behind the east fence that blew over in two minutes.
At five o'clock the party ended with Allen & Gary chanting again. We walked slowly into the sunset, most of us, to the beach.
There was a fog & everything was opalescent. We stood there, overwhelmed, thousands of hippies on the glistening sand. Flutes piped, a harmonica wailed, the ocean chanted its own mantra.
We all knew that the Be-In handn't ended at all, that it was still beginning. We were a people.
It got dark & cold. We wandered south along the beach, free & unafraid, & then turned eastward, back into America.|