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A thing like that would have been funny but it happened all the time, causing the Diggers to blast the underground press for printing nonsense rather than publishing the news the people had to know, and serving the people they claimed to represent. The Diggers also called for a conference among themselves, the HIP merchants, and anyone who was actively involved in the Haight-Ashbury, to discuss what could be done for and about the waves of young immigrants heading for the district. Because it was neutral territory, the basement of Glide Church was used for the meeting, which was more than well attended. The main figures or speakers at the conference sat on a dozen or more chairs that were arranged in a circle in the middle of the one hundred fifty to two hundred spectators. Emmett sat next to Tumble, Coyote and the Hun, facing the editorial staff of the S.F. Oracle and the members of the Haight Independent Proprietors association.

The meeting began with Coyote asking the shopkeepers what they planned to do about the continuing constant assault on the community by the cops. He was answered by one of them who read a proposal that had been adopted by the HIP merchants' recently formed organization, The New Community, and drafted by its Ad Hoc Committee for Better Police-Community Relations. "We invite all law enforcement officers, news personnel, firemen, health inspectors, judges, barristers, detectives, narcos, military personnel, and state and local government representatives and their families to join us for a meal--a dinner--to advance our understanding of each other and promote community goodwill and service."

Emmett couldn't believe he heard that and said so. "Are you serious! Haven't we been through that 'Take a Cop to Dinner' rubbish before? You gotta be kidding! When are you guys gonna take your fingers out of your assholes and--"

Another HIP merchant interrupted by commenting, "We used 'Love' successfully in dealing with the media during the Human BeIn, and Tim Leary said that if we continued to share our love with the other establishment agencies, and with the persons who run them, we'll eventually win our right to--"

Emmett jumped up, cutting him off. "Lookit, nobody wants to hear that dribble, understand! The only relevant thing to our situation Leary ever said was that 'Tune-In, Drop-Out' metaphor of his, and the only right anybody'll get by following his advice is the right to go mad--to become a gibbering idiot! What do you think we are, chumps? We don't wanna hear that shit! You're the only ones doing [end page 292]


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