|PRESS RELEASE [underlined]
The Haight-Ashbury community is only one active manifestation of a world-wide youth revolution that has been infused with a revelation of the spiritual unity of all men and women of all races here and everywhere on all planets in all solar systems of all galaxies in the universe. The most recent example of the consciousness and size of this new community was expressed at the Human Be-In.
Further, as a community in the Haight-Ashbury we have initiated a rebirth of this neighborhood, and there are obvious accomplishments that we would like to bring to the attention of the public.
* The establishment of town hall meetings, opening new channels of dialogue within the community.
* The emergence of a community service group called the Diggers which provides free food, clothing and lodging.
* The opening of 26 new businesses within the past nine months.
* The establishment of the Haight-Ashbury Independent Propriators (sic) job co-op supported by the community.
* The Haight-Ashbury Neighborhood Council's continuing project of re-foresting the neighborhood.
* The beautifying of homes and the organizing of street cleaning projects, which are a part of the increased aesthetic awareness of all segments of the community.
* The emergence of a newspaper, the San Francisco Oracle [underlined], a work of love expressing the spirit of the community.
* The establishment of a community theatre project, The Straight Theatre, with which we urge all possible official cooperation.
* The opening of a storefront lawyers' office to serve the legal needs of the community.
* The renewing of the ancient tradition of dancing as an expression of cultural awareness and as a healthy and constructive way for youth to involve themselves (and here let us recommend that no age limit be imposed by the city on these dances).
* The organizing of religious centers for meditation, prayer and spiritual discovery.
We are a delegation from H.I.P. representing at least 100 artists, merchants, craftsmen and professional people from this community. We are here today to suggest to the Chief of Police, Mr. Cahill, possible approaches for improved relations between the youthful new community and the older one.
First it is important to understand that the Haight-Ashbury represents a cultural renaissance and creative surge that is changing the bruted face of America. We recommend that the police and the community generally recognize and accept the beauty of
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the people on Haight Street. They bring color, laughter, interest, creativity, excitement and dialogue to the neighborhood.
Since the Haight-Ashbury community involves an active street life, we recommend that the police recognize this as such and not view it as criminal. As proof of unwarranted harassment in this neighborhood, the number of arrests far exceeds any reasonable proportion of convictions for alleged crimes. These street arrests are not only unjust to the people involved, but also constitute an economic disadvantage to all merchants on the street.
WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE BUSTED! We like and need them.
If the harassment situation continues, the Haight-Ashbury Independent Propriators [sic] have been advised that a civil suit can be initiated against the City of San Francisco for economic damages caused by official harassment.
Everyone in San Francisco must be aware by now of the vast number of unjust arrests and the general harassment in the Haight-Ashbury, such as was seen on Haight Street Saturday night, January 14th. We suggest that the citizens of San Francisco seriously consider redefining the duties of their policemen. We recommend "peace officer" as a more useful definition.
Finally, because the Haight-Ashbury community is [underlined] the reflection of a global youth movement, we suggest that we all remember these words from the Bible:
... and a little child shall lead them.
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