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hood, and get it all done before summertime? It was no small featand Emmett went around discussing it with the different community groups, trying to come up with an angle, a way to get it taken care of. At the same time, Bob Fass began talking about the problem on his radio program, and after a few nights of discussing it with his audience and his guests he came up with the lame idea of having a series of "Clean-In's" to be held every weekend until the Lower East Side was cleaned up. He invited all the members of the listening audience to come to a specific street in the neighborhood that Saturday to participate in the first Clean-In.

They came, all right! About two hundred of them from all the different boroughs and suburbs of New York City, carrying protest signs about the various social evils which were bred by filthy streets and sporting the buckets and mops and the wire brushes and cleansers with which they intended to realize the first of the CleanIns. They were all in a jocular brotherly mood as they grouped in the middle of the street for what they considered to be a social event, something like a hayride. The people who lived on the block hung out of their windows looking down on the milling, mostly white kids, who were discussing how they should go about attacking the problem of "helping the poor help themselves."

They were quite a sight, these boys and girls--who grew up in places where there were lawns to play on and trees to climb--as they separated into pairs and walked to different spots along the block, wearing their casual "Saturday work clothes" which they always wore whenever there was a car to be washed or leaves to be raked at home. They kept to themselves and the people who lived there left them alone, just watching as they swept up paper with their brooms or actually got down on their hands and knees to scrub a patch of sidewalk spic and span.

That's what was really so pathetic and absurdly futile about the Clean-In. In the center of a neighborhood which averaged six to eight abandoned cars per square block, you had a group of weekend hippies on their hands and knees frantically washing away some stain of middle-class guilt from the pavement, while tons of real garbage remained untouched, clogging all the lots and alleys. The arrogance of it was so outrageous and obvious to almost everyone, that Bob Fass announced on his radio show that there would be no more Clean-Ins because most people from the Lower East Side neighborhood felt that they were a bummer, and he had to go along with their feelin~s because, after all, they did live there! [end page 333]


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