The United States Library of Congress website provides the following listing for The SAN FRANCISCO EXPRESS TIMES aka The GOOD TIMES.

Title: Good times. : (San Francisco, Calif.) 1969-197?

Alternative Titles: San Francisco good times

Place of publication: San Francisco, Calif.

Geographic coverage: San Francisco, San Francisco, California

Publisher: Trystero Co.

Dates of publication: 1969-197?

Description: Vol. 2, no. 13 ([Apr. 2], 1969)-[v. 5, no. 19] (Aug. 2, 1972).

Frequency: Semiweekly July 14, 1972-Aug. 2, 1972.

Language: English

Subjects: Counter culture--California--San Francisco--poliscit

Notes: “Bulletin of the Church of the Times.”

Available on microfilm from UMI (Underground newspaper/press collection).

Suspended with Aug. 2, 1972.

LCCN: sn 87060235

OCLC: 1608301

ISSN: 0017-2197

Preceding Titles: San Francisco express times. (San Francisco, Ca.) 1968-1969

An entry on the website includes this description of the EXPRESS TIMES.

“San Francisco Express Times was a counterculture tabloid underground newspaper edited by Marvin Garson and published weekly in San Francisco, California from January 24, 1968 to March 25, 1969, for a total of 62 issues, covering and promoting radical politics, rock music, arts and progressive culture in the Bay Area. It was a member of the Underground Press Syndicate, and sold for 15 cents. Marvin Garson was a graduate of the University of California and veteran of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement, where he edited an FSM newsletter, Wooden Shoe, along with his wife Barbara Garson. He started the Express Times with co-founder Bob Novick and participation by David Lance Goines, Alice Waters and others. Regular contributors included Todd Gitlin and Greil Marcus. Staff photographers were Jeffrey Blankfort followed by Nacio Jan Brown. Documents released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the Express Times was one of a number of underground newspapers successfully infiltrated by the FBI, which had a paid informant on the staff. Starting in April 1969 the San Francisco Express Times changed its name to Good Times, publishing under that title, with a substantially different editorial policy, until August of 1972.”

The San Francisco Express Times focused on stories about social issues, racial equality, women’s rights, environmental concerns, literature, film, and music. The all-volunteer staff consisted of various writers, photographers, artists, and others who used pen names such as the “Black Shadow.” Marvin Garson contributed columns, as did max goldcrab, sharon, wayne collins and more. Richard Gaikowski authored several articles, including “dick gaik’s bits.”

David Lance Goines and Alice Louise Waters wrote a cooking column for the Express Times. Goines wrote:

“In 1968, our frequent dinner guest, Bob Novick, together with Marvin Garson, teamed up with others and founded the San Francisco Express Times, an alternative newspaper with a heavy slant toward anti-war and pro-drug reporting. I designed its masthead, and Alice and I were asked to do a weekly cooking column. Each Friday, I frantically designed, calligraphed and cut the linoleum block for the weeks offering, which was never late but always came close. We only infrequently got the ten dollars that we theoretically earned for each completed column. Although we started out with no particular idea in mind, after a short while the column evolved into a popular blend of Alices early efforts at expressing a culinary philosophy and mine at design. Soon we had enough recipes to consider putting out a cookbook. Although I carted it around to various prospects, even going to the extent of dragging the whole shebang to England, it waited until the Christmas season of 1970 to be published as the red-hot Berkeley bestseller, Thirty Recipes Suitable for Framing... Together with others of her friends, Alice took over a house on Shattuck Avenue, near the Co-op, and on August 28, 1971, opened Chez Panisse. In 1978, after Thirty Recipes had been continuously in print for eight years, Alice felt that the clunky recipes were a disgrace and we ceased production. In 1981, she asked me to design the restaurants first cookbook, the Chez Panisse Menu Cookbook, which is still in print. Thirty-one years after our cooking column first graced the pages of the San Francisco Express Times, Alice and I have again teamed up and together produced the illustrated Chez Panisse Café Cookbook. Plus ça change, plus cést la même chose.”

The San Francisco Express Times was one of many “underground” publications in the Bay Area, including RAT, The Oracle, and more, and, like most counter-culture media, promoted what was referred to as a “radical left agenda” with articles about police brutality and corruption, oppression by the government, the peace movement, life in and around the notorious Haight-Ashbury district, and the rapidly emerging drug scene. Some headlines read, “Goddamn Pigs!” or “Dirty Underwear Girl Strikes In Jail.” The Express Times also featured provocative and controversial art and photographs. One cover showed a woman holding a sign which read, “Every woman secretly wants to be RAPED.”

A 1968 photograph by Jeff Blankfort shows Marilyn Buck sitting in the offices of the San Francisco Express-Times, 1968. In later years, Buck joined forces with the Black Liberation Army. A Wikipedia entry states: “Along with a number of BLA members and supporters, Buck was convicted of armed robbery in the Brinks robbery of 1981 in which a guard and two police officers were killed.”

Express Times co-founder Marvin Garson was a persistent voice in the counter-culture movement of the 1960s and 1970s. One of Garson’s more bizarre credits was the infamous “Banana smoking” hoax, thanks to his 1967 article for the Berkeley Barb in which he claimed that one could get “high” by smoking the dried scrapings from banana peels. News of Garson’s fascinating yet fictional method of obtaining a banana buzz spread and was soon reported by major magazine such as NEWSWEEK and TIME. The incident served as a perfect illustration of Garson’s view of the times. “The sixties were staged,” Garson reportedly once said, admitting that much of the public protest and outrageous antics of the radical left were part of a campaign to harness the power of photographs and television. The now-iconic images of anti-war demonstrators, sit-ins, marches, and more fueled public discourse and debate. Garson and other voices in the counter culture movement were aware that the media was a useful propaganda tool.

In an article published in The Village Voice, July 11, 1968, Marvin Garson wrote about a series of bombings and some critics cite his words as proof that he advocated violence:

“The series of successful and highly popular bombings which have occurred here recently: The steady bombing of the electric power system from mid-March when the lines leading to the Lawrence Radiation Lab were knocked down, to June 4, when on the morning of the California primary 300,000 homes in Oakland were cut off; the dynamiting of a bulldozer engaged in urban renewal destruction of Berkeley’s funkiest block; three separate bombings of the Berkeley draft board; and finally, last Tuesday night, the dynamiting of the checkpoint kiosk at the western entrance to the University campus, a symbol of the Board of Regent’s property rights in the community of scholars.”

Despite its radical agenda and approach, The San Francisco Express Times focused on the issues championed by the anti-war and civil rights movements. Marvin Garson’s articles contained words of fierce resistence and even anger, yet his intent was always clear as he tried to shine a spotlight on social injustice. As a staunch advocate of gay rights, Garson wrote of “Queer Power” in January, 1969: “Remember when it was impolite to suggest that a Negro gentleman might have black skin? Now it’s ‘Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.’ Maybe in a few years the queers will be saying something like, ‘Don’t keep trying to rise above it– kiss me, darling, I’m queer and I love it.’”

Jesse Drew’s essay about the newspaper The Good Times Collective is available on the website

“2377 Bush Street, home of the Good Times Newspaper Collective, the primary underground newspaper of San Francisco during the late sixties and early seventies. Good Times was the paper the radical left depended upon to keep up with the anti-war movement, the trials of political prisoners like the Soledad Brothers and Angela Davis, political corruption in San Francisco, and general communal information like vegetarian recipes and holistic health care. The all-volunteer collective put out Good Times on a regular bi-weekly, weekly, and then twice a week basis until sputtering out in the summer of 1972. In the last issue, a collective member had this to say about Good Times:

‘For the first time in 4 and 1/2 years, the radical movement will not have a regularly printed voice (the Guardian notwithstanding) in San Francisco. We were always defined as an "underground" paper, and for a long time we thought of ourselves that way. We refused to deal with "straight" institutions except when we had to. We had to fight for the right to sell our papers in the streets. We had to struggle for access to the same news that Chron-Exam monopoly reporters were served up. We never were given police press passes. We covered stories from the perspective of the participants, dodging clubs as we took notes. The lines were clear and we knew which side we were on.’”

The San Francisco Good Times established itself as one of the most memorable underground newspapers of the late 1960s and early 1970s, and its influence and impact touched even popular celebrities and figures of the times. Filmmakers Allan Francovich and Gene Rosow produced and directed a documentary about the newspaper titled SAN FRANCISCO GOOD TIMES which featured such notable faces as musician Pete Townsend of legendary rock band The WHO and famous drop-out and drug advocate Timothy Leary.

(The documentary film SAN FRANCISCO GOOD TIMES is available on DVD and can be viewed online. Zodiac “suspect” Richard Gaikowski and his accuser Blaine aka Goldcatcher do not appear in this documentary.)

Rolling Thunder Speaks Out on Native Activism

By Marvin Garson - San Francisco Express Times, 11/13/68

"They’ve pushed the Indian far enough," says Rolling Thunder. "We're not going to pay any more taxes, and we're not going to give up any more land." Rolling Thunder is a Shoshone Indian from Carlin, Nevada. He is a lawyer and a warrior. He gives the impression of meaning what he says.

Two months ago, just before the hunting season opened, a Shoshone named Stanley Smart was arrested for killing a deer. He needed the meat for his family - a wife and nine children.

The Indians decided to retaliate against the white “head hunters" - sporting men who hunt deer for the prestige of big antlers and often leave the carcasses behind to rot on garbage dumps. On October 15 a group of armed Shoshone, some wearing war paint and feathers, surprised a drunken party of white hunters camped on the Ruby Valley Indian Reservation and gave them 15 minutes to leave. One of them was a deputy sheriff, and showed the Indians his badge. "That's no good here," Rolling Thunder told him. The white men were gone in fifteen minutes. "Headhunters" kept clear of the Ruby Valley Reservation for the rest of the hunting season.

The Shoshone earn a sparse living as ranch hands and mine laborers in the dry lands of the West - Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and the Mojave Desert of Southern California. How many Shoshone are there? "We don't want to be counted. Last time they sent around a census-taker, we locked him up."

Stanley Smart did break Nevada laws by killing a deer for his family to eat. But Rolling Thunder does not see why the Shoshone ought to get hunting licenses and follow Nevada game laws. "It would be like us getting licenses from the Chinamen or the Russians. The white men have got things backward: they think WE'RE in THEIR country."

He hastened to avoid giving the wrong impression: "We're not racists. We believe there's room here for everyone. But the white men have to realize that there must be room for the native people too. We're not greedy. We didn't wipe out the buffalo. When we shoot deer it's to feed our families, not to show off the head and throwaway the meat."

A white caught would have been cited like a speeder. But Stanley Smart was brought to Winnemucca and thrown in jail. The next day Rolling Thunder represented him before the judge.

"I said if they were going to take deer meat away from this man's family, then they'd better give them some other kind of food, because all they had was three cans of milk for the baby. The judge said, 'Well, you can go on welfare, can't you?' I said why doesn't he call the welfare people and see. He didn't want to do that. I called the welfare man and he said the paperwork would take 6-8 weeks. So I told him there would be a lot of Indians coming into Winnemucca to wait there until this man's family got food. Suddenly then he remembered that there was an emergency fund he could dip into to get groceries, and he did it."

Rolling Thunder speaks excellent English and knows his way around bureaucracies. He is one of those "instructed to travel among the white men and report back to his people" on what is transpiring behind the "buckskin curtain." He sees encouraging signs.

"I saw the young people with long hair and the Great Spirit told me they will have no greed. We have waited a long time to find white men without greed. But we knew there would come a time when we could get together as brothers."

(In another article, Express Times founder Marvin Garson explained his philosophy.)

The System Does Not Work

by Marvin Garson - San Francisco Times Express - January 1969

The Democratic National Convention ended for me in December, with a 20-day stretch in the Chicago House of Correction. I was the only political prisoner in a dormitory of about fifty men-some of them criminals, some outlaws, some there entirely by mistake. In the evenings we would drag out our mattresses and blankets and lay them down in front of the television set. We were like little boys then, without keys or money or watches or wallets or any other adult prerogatives, as we brought out our candy bars, cigarettes and jars of Kool-Aid, and huddled together on our mattresses to watch television. The guards, when they came in to count us, were friendly and even tender, perhaps a bit regretful that they could not watch television as we did, totally without worries and the wife.

As my time remaining grew short I began to get restless, not with longing for freedom but with fear of it. My last night in jail I could not sleep for the nervous fluttering in my stomach that I had not felt since high school examinations. At 6:51 the following morning, December 21, at the moment the Apollo 8 astronauts were blasting into space, I was rolling up my blankets and scurrying out of the dormitory -afraid. Perhaps that is America's social crisis: fear and trembling in the face of imminent freedom.

Some of the prisoners were radicals. They had pasted pictures of Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Rap Brown, Malcolm X and Leroi Jones, along with the slogan "Keeping the devils at bay," right over the water cooler, a semiofficial location. The radical subculture is accepted today in many jails, but it is still the criminal culture that dominates. Though criminals are the hippest people around-they know how to get by on the bare essentials: soul, muscle, wit-they are also the squarest: so utterly, childishly selfish and self-pitying. It was a great pleasure to get away from them.

Once I'm out of jail I would just as soon forget about criminals, all things considered, but I'm not permitted to. Society is as terrified by the criminals as it once was by the Communists. I can't even get on the bus in San Francisco any more without the exact change, since the drivers have insisted on a locked cashbox to discourage stick-ups. (Making bus service free was never seriously considered. You wouldn't want someone else to ride more often than you without paying extra, would you?)

There was a time when the countryside was dangerous and towns were safe. In fact, a thousand years ago people were forming towns in Europe precisely for the purpose of physical safety. It was not the police that made towns safer than the country; professional police forces did not come into being until the 19th century. What made towns safe was simply the presence of so many people. If you were attacked on the street, there was always help nearby.

The reason so many people feel jittery in the streets of a modern American city is that they do not expect to get any help from their fellow citizens. People hold opinions on whether the courts are too lenient or the police too brutal, whether the generals should save us from the politicians or the politicians save us from the generals-they are, in short, conservative or liberal, and perhaps they vote accordingly, but generally they will not cross the street to save a man's life, even at no risk to themselves (e.g., if someone is having a heart attack); so they count for zero politically and socially, no matter which lever they pull on Election Day.

They whine for more police, but the police are recruited from the same psychopath population as the criminals, by and large, and they begin to grow restive of their employers. Even the detectives, the aristocrats of the police force, seldom get to save any damsels. More often they arrive on the scene after the damsel is already dead under the languid eyes of thirty-eight neighbors who didn't want to become involved and don't want to talk about it. For the ordinary cop there is neither damsel nor dragon, just dirty drunks he must haul out of the gutter to keep good citizens from being offended. He grows restless, he begins to dream of a police state, and civilization is threatened precisely by those who are supposed to be its last defense.

The prisoners are no more at ease than the police. They are constantly quarrelling over the pettiest things-an accidental jostling, an incident in a card game, an indiscreet boast-in order to score points. There are lots of threats but very few fights. (The consequences are severe: solitary confinement for both participants, with the corresponding loss of "good time," so that the days in solitary don't count towards the sentence.)

It resembles basketball: men constantly charging at each other at top speed, then a last minute swerve and a try for a two-point basket-one says, "I'll whip your motherfucking ass," and the other swallows it in silence.

It would seem that the best actor, rather than the best fighter, would score the most points. True, but everyone is a "method" actor who is what he pretends to be; so that the one who comes out on top is neither the best -victor nor the best fighter, but the toughest man. The prisoners have entered naked. They have no wallet to keep their identity in; it must be in the voice, in the eyes, in the walk. If they want to look tough, they have to be tough.

Do you want protection from crime? Then you have to be tougher than the criminal. It's not enough just to outnumber him, if most of your numbers are zeroes. You can't hide behind the policeman; he's not often around and he's often a criminal himself. You can't hide behind the loudmouth politician; he just hides behind the policeman. You have to stop hiding altogether, and start to be a better man than the criminal.

It should not be hard. Criminals, after all, are a weak, selfish, self-pitying bunch of people (I speak of street criminals, naturally, not of Syndicate men or military commanders). We really ought to have no crime problem at all-except for the fact that the typical decent citizen produced by capitalist society is himself so weak, selfish and self-pitying that he is not an existential match even for a criminal. He is weak because he is alone. He shares with no one except wife and children, who depend on him. If he slipped and fell, he cannot be sure that his close friends, even his family, wouldn't trample him as they ran squealing toward the trough. His fife has neither beauty nor purpose. He believes in nothing except staying alive as long as possible. His children do not respect him because he achieves no wisdom with age. His leaders are grateful to him for being a sucker. His culture is trash-the people who create it are themselves ashamed of it. He squawks to his master for protection from crime as a chicken squawks for protection from the fox.

It is natural to feel admiration for the fox and contempt for the chicken. Lately, in fact, the revolutionary movement has made a cult of the criminal, with "Up Against the Wall, Motherfucker" its rallying cry. (The original, complete phrase is "Up against the wall, motherfucker, this is a stickup.") I dug criminals myself until I began to make a close acquaintance with one who bunked next to me in the Alameda County Jail in July, 1967. Every night we played cards. and he told stories about his exploits removing merchandise from department stores with phony credit cards. One night he told me about the time he'd posed as a medical student, brought girls to a motel room where he said he'd perform an abortion, taken their money, had them lie down on a table, gone to "wash his hands" and disappeared out the window. He expected me to be impressed with how far he'd gone beyond the bourgeois moral code.

The fox does not attack the farmer; both prey off the chickens-who, if left alone, would starve. A lovely state of affairs, and there's no way out of it without some social theory.

A social system has to be judged by the people it produces; not by what they are fed-we are talking about people, not horses-but by what they are. That's the key to the revolt of the 1960s: an existential revolt which characteristically says "We refuse to be like you" rather than "We demand more of what you have." "Like you" means greedy, cowardly, stupid, ugly-possessing the virtues, in short, of a pig. Even the Beatles, so careful not to needlessly offend, sing this song on their latest album:

Have you seen the little piggies Crawling in the dirt And for all the little piggies Life is getting worse Always having dirt to play around in. Have you seen the bigger piggies In their starched white shirts You will find the bigger piggies Stirring up the dirt Always have clean shirts to play around in. In their styes with all their backing They don't care what goes on around In their eyes there's something lacking What they need's a damn good whacking. Everywhere there's lots of piggies Living piggy lives You can see them out for dinner With their piggy wives Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.

Why are the young people so rude? ask newscasters and commentators in the grey stretches between such zingy commercials as the Ultra-Brite spots. "Ultra-Brite gives your mouth sex appeal” – the line is delivered with wholesome ski-slope freshness, but still carries a subliminal connotation of lowdown blow job, a combination that has brought newcomer Ultra-Brite to the No. 3 spot in national toothpaste sales. In a recent issue of Progressive Grocer, UltraBrite has a full-page ad urging supermarket managers not to let Ultra-Brite run out of stock so often "Sex appeal for them means profit appeal for you," say the toothpaste people.

Now do you see why we call them pigs?

Ten years ago the only opposition was the self-conscious bohemians who dinged tailfins and dug "folk music." Today it consists of young people from all social classes absolutely determined not to be like their parents; not to be like the dumb sucker father who works in a factory all day and watches television at night, with nothing for his son but an ignorant leer; not to be like the timid clerk of a father whose only word of advice is "crawl"; not to be like the greedy pig of a father who has bought so many men that he thinks he can buy anything; not to be like the mother who prattles about herself like a six-year-old; not to be like the mother who got drugged unconscious to avoid experiencing childbirth, who nursed with a bottle because it was "clean" and "scientific"; not to be like the mother whose whole life is a plot to advance her husband's career in The Company. But that's all negative. How do they intend to live?

Biological instinct tells them that they must, somehow, survive-get food every day, keep warm and dry. All their years of school have taught them only one thing about survival: you sell your time to some Company, you do your job, faithfully and punctually. Nothing has prepared them to live without the Company. Two hundred years ago the runaways and dropouts from old Europe managed to live off the American land without any preparation for it; but since then the game has been killed, the forests cut down, the topsoil used up. So the modern pioneer has to hustle his bread in the city: finding casual labor, selling odds and ends, dealing in contraband, shoplifting, going on relief, playing con games, setting up some low-capital small business, working a series of jobs with no "future" and no "security."

A few become criminals; not many. All, however, become outlaws. They sell marijuana, or they give it away, or they possess it, or they are present in a room where it is being smoked-acts none of which are crimes but all of which are against the law. Those who run away from home at sixteen have to live as fugitives; and the fugitive slave acts, known as Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor statutes, make it unlawful for an adult not to turn a runaway in to the police. Even when they do not happen to be breaking the law, young rebels are likely to wind up in jail on charges of vagrancy, resisting arrest or (in some jurisdictions) “Failing to give a good account of himself."

They are not criminals, they do not tattoo self-pity on their arms ("Born to Lose"). They are outlaws, people who do not fear their own impulses and do not seek to be punished.

It's a hard life. They choose it because there is no alternative. In dropping out of the world of just-do-your-job-and-pay-the-mortgage, they have made no noble sacrifice; they have simply chosen the difficult in preference to the impossible.

Our purpose is to abolish the system (call it the Greed Machine, capitalism, the Great Hamburger Grinder, Babylon, Do-Your-Job-ism) and learn to live cooperatively, intelligently, gracefully (call it the New Awareness, anarchism, The Aquarian Age, communism, whatever you wish). We don't rely much on resolutions, manifestos, proclamations. Instead we follow Western Union's advice to "say it with flowers." We say it with flowers, bricks, dynamite, songs, poems, drugs, hair, meat. We are everywhere, all over America, and we have friends all over the world. It was our brothers and sisters who took the streets of Paris in May, who were massacred in Mexico City in October, who sat down in front of the Russian tanks in Prague in August. We are gaining courage, bit by bit: a few years ago there were so many afraid to picket, now there are some who dynamite draft boards. We grow in numbers and broaden out, down to the 12-year-olds who consider assassinations and burning cities to be normal domestic phenomena, up to their parents, men and women in their thirties who have lived the straight life right into a dead end.

The future of our movement depends upon the future of the Greed Machine. Will it continue its slow crumbling? Then increasing numbers of people will drop out and seek a new life as outlaws. Will it take a turn for the better? Then the Underground will stagnate. Will there be a sudden collapse-economic crash, political crisis, military revolt? Then it's time for revolution, quite possibly before we are ready.

For some reason, it is always considered most likely for things to continue the way they've been going. All right, how have they been going? "The cities," runs the standard phrase, "are becoming uninhabitable." Time magazine, in a recent cover story on the collapse of New York City, fears that it might "prove ungovernable or explode in bitterness." The streets are becoming more and more dangerous. The police force is becoming a political party. The air is a menace to health. Traffic is strangling. Lines grow longer for everything. The treasury is close to bankrupt. Strikes trigger political crises over such basic tasks as collecting the garbage. The teachers go on strike because of a conflict with parents and students over the nature of education. That's the way things are going in New York, which Time fears may set the pattern for the rest of the country.

Yet the cities continue to grow. High-rises are built in what once were suburbs. New tracts are developed even further out from the center. Small towns are engulfed by expanding metropolitan areas. “The cities are uninhabitable" means "America is uninhabitable."

But this is, of course, a gross exaggeration. America IS inhabited, and by 200 million people, – each with a powerful sot of shock absorbers. Social crises disappear for them whenever they flip from the news pages to the sports section-then sneak right into their houses to perch for evermore.

"I'm in charge in our family; I worry about the important things, like whether to recognize Red China, and my wife decides the minor things, like where the kids should go to school." An old joke, that has lost all its bite, for nowadays where the kids should go to school is much more burning a political issue than whether to recognize Red China. It is the kind of thing that destroys middle-class families. There is not enough money to send the children to private schools, but the public schools are in constant chaos. The child comes home full of filthy ideas he has learned from a teacher who sounds like a hippie, or he is terrified of the colored children who beat him up and take his money, or he has become an impossible disciplinary problem who simply refuses to learn. It starts as a minor problem and grows to a permanent crisis with no resolution.

Another family watches helplessly as one of its members cracks up. "Mental illness is a disease like any other," they chant. "There's nothing to be ashamed of." But they are ashamed. What can they do? "Consult a specialist." They believe in doctors, and dentists. There is an automobile mechanic they can trust. But throughout their long, expensive relationship with the psychiatrist, they always suspect he is a pure quack. Maybe all he knows is how to get money out of people. Maybe he knows nothing about treating the, uh, disturbed. They have run away from the problem, have paid someone else to do the job, and yet it keeps coming after them. (No escape.)

At a certain point in their marriage, the wife knows her husband is seeing another woman, and he knows she knows. No more romance for her. Now she looks forward to nothing but old age.

No one asks in this society whether it is better to be old or young, better to have wisdom or strength. There is no wisdom in old age. Old people are disgusting. Their children cannot stand to have them around. A man of sixty, still in command of himself, lives in terror of the day when his son will treat him like a child.

The parents had believed that it was just a few teenagers who took drugs and got all the publicity. Then they discover that their own children have been doing it under their noses for years. "Why do you do this to us? Why do you do this to yourself? What's this fantastic" –she searches for the appropriate slang word– "kick that you get out of it?" The child says nothing at all. Or cooly holds out a pill. "Do you really want to know? Then here, take this pill."

Crises like these once turned people to the churches. Not any more. Organized religion has placed itself at the service of greed. Now only the "underground church" has any spiritual power, and it belongs more to the underground than to the church; a priest who pours blood on draft board files is no prop for the system. Most often, the despairing soul curls up and dies while the body lives on, a productive American citizen and a zombie. But sometimes the soul goes on a journey, discovering in a flash the secret of travel: leave your furniture behind.

Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, have “dropped out” – lost their fascination with the bright plastic toys they are supposed to want-in the present period of slow crumbling. Their mere existence is a powerful subversive force, but it is not yet truly revolutionary; for we will be considered useful gadflies or dangerous parasites-but not an alternative to the Greed Machine-as long as we are hustling our bread from the system instead of baking it ourselves.

How do you bake it yourself? Well, let's drop the metaphor and talk about literal bread-Wonder Bread, Taystee Bread, soft white bread that tears apart when you try to spread butter on it. Suppose you want good bread made with real ingredients, fresh baked and still hot. The system won't even try to sell it to you. It's too much trouble to bake it for yourself. It's too much trouble to bake it for your tight little family of man, wife and two children. It might begin to be worth the trouble in a big family of man and wife, six children and maiden aunt, but those families don't exist anymore. You could bake for the neighbors and sell it to them, but you'd probably go out of business (most neighborhood bakeries have). It all seems impossible.

Now imagine a "village" of, say, fifty or a hundred adults and their children living communally in the heart of the city. They cannot grow their own food, generate their own electricity, refine their own gasoline; but they can bake their own bread, butcher their own meat, make their own shoes, brew their own beer, maintain and repair their own dwellings, make their own clothes, make their own furniture, provide their own medical care, and educate their own children. They cannot be self-sufficient. There are many things they will have to buy (wholesale, usually) in the capitalist economy. They will need some money, and they will have to get it like everyone else: by selling their labor, selling a product, or hustling. But they won't need much money. Most of the time most of the commune members can be busy baking, butchering, cobbling, brewing, tinkering, sewing, carpentering, doctoring and teaching inside a moneyless economy.

Is it ridiculously inefficient? Not at all, when you consider that it eliminates all the work of packaging and selling that constitutes so much of the cost of consumer goods. Efficiency will depend on the competence of the master workmen and the willingness of their assistants. If people have to succeed in order to survive, they will; if they are merely conducting an experiment or trying to prove some point, then their commune will fall apart sooner or later. (The Underground and the straight world function exactly alike in this respect: whatever has to get done, gets done; everything else runs into mysterious difficulties.)

As long as the capitalist economy continues to boom, the Underground will continue to live by hustling. If the capitalist economy should tighten up, the Underground will be forced to develop its own communal countereconomy, which would take many forms (the one described above is just an example). If the capitalist economy should crash, then the drop-outs would number in the tens of millions and the counter-economy they would create might well be a match for capitalism in the revolutionary struggle for land, machinery and raw materials that would necessarily ensue. In the depression of the 1930's, capitalist property was generally respected. Occasionally an eviction was forcibly prevented, but no warehouses or department stores were looted, no land was seized, in fact there were hardly any strikes until 1934. If there should be another crash, this time the stores would be looted bare in a month and communards would be licking their chops at the sight of any vacant land or idle machinery.

The final conflict will be between outlaws and criminals: on one side, millions of Americans turned outlaw by force of circumstance; on the other side, the forces of respectable society at last revealed as Organized Crime. The outcome will be determined by who has the guns-at the end, of course, not at the beginning. The old order always starts off with all the guns, but they get taken away in every successful revolution.

Our movement is very tender. One cop can usually handle ten of us. Though we have burned our bridges behind us and can't go back, most of us think we can just camp on the riverbank for the rest of our lives. Our militancy is mostly the nervous boasts of green soldiers who insist they are itching for combat-bad acting which cops and criminals can easily detect. But that is the way it always is at the beginning.

(Article about musician/songwriter Neil Young)

by Greil Marcus - Good Times, August 1969

Neil Young used to be number one or number two man with the Buffalo Springfield, depending on your taste; after the group broke up for various reasons, one of which was lack of commercial success (they never really had a hit after ‘For What It’s Worth’, though the continuing validity of that song was demonstrated once again during the People’s Park Memorial Day March – everyone in Berkeley seemed to have it on their turntable), Neil Young signed up with Warner Brothers Reprise and cut an album on his own.

Then he made yet another, and a couple of weeks after that was released it was announced he’s now to join Crosby Stills & Nash. The Best of the Buffalo Springfield in person as well as on record. Since a phase in the career of one of rock and roll’s most talented performers is at an end, it might not be a bad time to take a look at what he’s done so far.

Neil Young doesn’t know where the limits are – he goes too far, blows it, overdoes it. He takes risks with his music, his lyrics, his voice his guitar. Because he takes risks he gets a lot farther, sometimes, than those with more talent and better sense. Steve Stills, for example, never makes a mistake important enough to mar anything he does; never goes so far that he can’t scramble back real quick to where the ground’s a bit firmer. The only word I have for Stills’ music is “perfect.” Young isn’t like that. He blows it quite often. And his failures are often more impressive and more capable of moving a listener than the successes of many another artist.

It’s easy to notice an odd quality in the early music of Neil Young, the songs he wrote for that first Buffalo Springfield album. The quality is fear and a paranoia. In one of the most touching, depressing songs ever written, ‘Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing’, Young told the story of a kid he’d gone to school with up in Canada. They boy used to spend his time making up songs and signing them right out loud, not caring who heard them, or perhaps it’s the other way around – wanting everyone to hear them. I wouldn’t know. But the kids in the town banded together and teased this boy, shamed him, scared him, made him afraid of himself and his own natural impulse to express himself with the little melodies he gathered up throughout the day. Working with the marvelous abilities of the early Buffalo Springfield, Young’s composition threaded its way over all sorts of changes of mood and instrumentation, each of the group’s three guitars talking to each other in a soft sense of compassion and friendship. It was a rare song – a song about friendship. It shows just how scary and cruel childhood can be.

It was another cut that I like to think of as truly representing what Neil Young is all about, though that’s no doubt wrong. ‘Out of My Mind’ is just one side of Neil Young, but it is the most gripping, compelling side, one that can’t be ignored and cannot be minimized. It’s not the idea as much as the music. Groups don’t come up with this sort of performance every time out – and the Springfield’s performance of ‘Out of My Mind’ makes their other material seem trivial and childish by comparison. With guitars tuned to a pitch that somehow brings them to within an inch of hell and fire and torture, the musicians count out a matrix for lyrics that, thankfully, are not too common:

All I hear are screams From outside the limousines (shiny limousines) That are taking me Out of my mind

When I first heard this song it struck me as the tale of a mental hospital. Young’s later ‘Mr. Soul’, which used exactly the same images to tell the story of the rock and roll star besieged by girls, managers, and other fears, indicated that ‘Out of My Mind’ was a matter of Young’s new role as a star as well. The first impression of a mental hospital might not be too far off — just an asylum playing one-night stands.

The Buffalo Springfield was managed by Charlie Greene and Brian Stone, two of the most insidious of all LA rock’n'roll entrepreneurs. They made Lou Adler look like St. Francis of Assisi. I remember watching the two of them being interviewed on the David Susskind show some years ago, as they described how they liked to tool around in their chauffeur-driven limousine with two-way glass or whatever it was that it was equipped with, watching the kids on the strip who couldn’t look in at them, listening to Greene and Stone deny that this funny new rock’n'roll music (well, it was new to David Susskind) had anything to do with drugs, sex, politics, or anything bad. They talked about it as if it was a healthy outlet for dumb kids, like masturbation or Little League baseball. Remembering good ol’ Charlie Greene and Brian Stone, it wasn’t hard to see it from Young’s point of view– except that his visions of cruelty and terror far transcended a shit manager, the fatigue of going on the road, or the day-to-day hassles of the celebrity. There was a lot more there.

Young’s most notable contribution to the Springfield’s second album was a long cut called ‘Broken Arrow’, presumably inspired by the movie of the same name. It was an extremely complicated song, musically and lyrically, a song that cried out for interpretation and analysis, and it was this quality of over-structuring that weakened the composition. Yet one couldn’t ignore the force of Young’s voice, the obvious pain of the lyrics and the arrangement, even if one wasn’t interested in figuring out their “deeper meanings”. Along with ‘Mr. Soul’, Young seemed deeply enmeshed in a web of fear and vague terror. It didn’t exactly fit with the ‘Good Time Boy’ song on the same album. Only the fact that Steve Stills was fast becoming the best songwriter in the West kept Young’s material from once gain overshadowing the rest of the group.

Young seemed to move out of the colder landscapes on the Springfield’s last album; not writing much, he wrote and sang a song that once again reached a kind of sentiment that no one else in rock’n'roll has ever approached, ever really bothered with in fact. What is it like to be a little boy? “I am a child / I last a while / You can’t conceive of the pleasure in my smile.”

Young’s first album on his own, Neil Young, was a triumph. He seemed to be almost toying with the listener, grasping gracious, tantalizing riffs and then abandoning them, throwing away what most would be happy to use for a whole career. The songs, again, were scary and at times virtually maudlin, creepy, almost a horror show. The soul chorus that backed him on masterpieces like ‘The Old Laughing Lady’ approached a feeling something like that which one might expect from the Brides of Dracula. But it was never ludicrous– eminently melodic and creative, the album found its own place in the life of whoever listened to it. Young’s fears, again, were focused on those things that most other songwriters simply couldn’t bother with: “Well I was driving down the freeway when my car ran out of gas / I pulled into the station / But I was afraid to ask.” If that sort of experience is foreign it would be pointless to listen to Neil Young: if it is even a bit familiar you’ll find that Young takes the trivial and endows it with a significance that trivializes all around it. He has that much power.

Young has released a new album, called Everybody Knows This is Nowhere. I can’t “review” it; most of it somehow has no drawing power and just never gets to my rock-shriveled hearing. This is not a record review, anyway; it’s a piece of writing about music, a suggestion about things to listen to at someone’s house, in a record store, on the radio, whatever. There is a song on this album called ‘Cowgirl in the Sand’, and if you never hear it, you are missing something important. This will most likely be Young’s last burst of real musical freedom, at least until Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young break up, and it is one of the songs of the year, in a year when, so far at least, the pickings have been thin. Along with Van Morrison’s ‘Madame George’, this composition will be part of whatever is meant to live through 1969.

‘Cowgirl in the Sand’ is hard rock, but it isn’t “classic” hard rock – it owes nothing to Elvis, Little Richard, Carl Perkins. It is very hard to play hard rock without the boost of a quick tempo and a snappy four-four beat on the drum. Most attempts end up sounding something like Jerry Lee Lewis getting out of bed. Great hero he may be but he still drags himself out and looks gritty just like the rest of us.

The key to it is tension and drama. Musicians have to appear to be fighting each other when in fact they are at their most sympathetic; notes have to come at points where no ear would expect them, destroying old assumptions and getting the listener ready for something he’s not quite prepared for. ‘Cowgirl in the Sand’ begins with a quiet fingering of a guitar, almost subliminally accompanied by drops of rain from a rhythm instruments, setting a mood like that of the opening notes of ‘Paint It, Black’. Silence, a long silence, and then a crash of a band that suddenly rises up and takes that mood away, not destroying it, but stealing it. Young takes over on guitar. He takes over, but only because he’s so fucking good. The rhythm guitarist is a rhythm guitarist in name only, for his lines are as creative and as individual as anything Young plays. He plays rhythm like Ginger Baker played drums and Jack Bruce played bass to Eric Clapton’s guitar, except that he’s more effective than Bruce or Baker, and Young is more gripping than Clapton.

Young moves off on long, entrancing voyages, accompanied by slashes of the second guitar, a loose, winding beat, the bass and drums pounding with the steady, gritty energy of a man pulling a bucket out of a well hand over hand. Anyone who dug Young’s guitar on ‘Mr. Soul’ or ‘Out of My Mind’ will simply dive into this song. Like Robbie Robertson, Young used to be quite sparing in what he’d give to the listener — but here he gives it all. On and on he goes, winding his way through passages and alleyways, his guitar really talking in a way that the guitars of only the very best bluesmen (B.B. King and Robert Johnson) talk, in a way that only the guitar of Keith Richard of the Stones can talk. I say that the guitar talks because when this miracle happens there is simply no alienation between the artist and his instrument. Try to draw the line, and it can’t be done. The man seems to be speaking with his fingers, with the strings, like a deaf and dumb boy communicating with signals.

This realization becomes overwhelming when Young sings the brief verses to this ten minute song. His singing is fine, effective, but it is just nothing compared to the guitar he plays at the same time. It is as if his voice is merely a melodic device meant to intensify his guitar. Young plays so hard one can almost feel the pain in his fingers, as he draws out notes with a sound that might remind one of a man taking his own blood with a knife. With his guitar Young communicates as powerfully as Dylan did with words on ‘Memphis Blues Again’. With his guitar he achieves a musician’s freedom in the same way that Mick Jagger achieved a singer’s freedom with ‘Goin’ Home’. Danny Whitten, on second guitar, literally destroys the old idea of the rhythm guitar for any rock and roll music that has any pretensions to free from. If one wants to know how this panorama of truly revolutionary music was captured on the record, one must ask the muse. She’s the only one who’d know.

Anti-Vietnam War rally in Golden Gate Park

NOVEMBER 25 1969 - Photo: Good Times Newspaper

Saturday's rally at Golden Gate Park climaxed the two-day Moratorium in San Francisco when over 100,000 marched very peacefully through the streets. There were contingents in the march who carried the flag of the National Liberation Front, anti-imperialists who saw other purposes for the march than to convince Nixon to "Give Peace A Chance," but they were far outnumbered by the masses of people trying to sway Nixon from his avowed policy of not letting street demonstrations affect his policy on Vietnam.

Weather Underground Frees Timothy Leary! (1970)

September 15, 1970. This is the fourth communication from the Weatherman Underground.

The Weatherman Underground has had the honor and pleasure of helping Dr. Timothy Leary escape from the POW camp at San Luis Obispo, California.

Dr. Leary was being held against his will and against the will of millions of kids in this country. He was a political prisoner, captured for the work he did in helping all of us begin the task of creating a new culture on the barren wasteland that has been imposed on this country by Democrats, Republicans, Capitalists and creeps.

LSD and grass, like the herbs and cactus and mushrooms of the American Indians and countless civilizations that have existed on this planet, will help us make a future world where it will be possible to live in peace. Now we are at war.

With the NLF and the North Vietnamese, with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Al Fatah, with Rap Brown and Angela Davis, with all black and brown revolutionaries, the Soledad brothers and all prisoners of war in Amerikan concentration camps we know that peace is only possible with the destruction of U.S. imperialism.

Our organization commits itself to the task of freeing these prisoners of war. We are outlaws, we are free! (signed) Bernardine Dohrn

Letter From Timothy Leary

The following statement was written in the POW camp and carried over the wall (in full sight of two gun trucks). I offer loving gratitude to my Sisters and Brothers in the Weatherman Underground who designed and executed my liberation. Rosemary and I are now with the Underground and we’ll continue to stay high and wage the revolutionary war.

There is the time for peace and the time for war. There is the day of laughing Krishna and the day of Grim Shiva. Brothers and Sisters, at this time let us have no more talk of peace.

The conflict which we have sought to avoid is upon us. A worldwide ecological religious warfare. Life vs. death.

Listen. It is a comfortable, self-indulgent cop-out to look for conventional economic-political solutions.

Brothers and Sisters, this is a war for survival. Ask Huey and Angela. They dig it.

Ask the wild free animals. They know it.

Ask the turned-on ecologists. They sadly admit it.

I declare that World War III is now being waged by short-haired robots whose deliberate aim is to destroy the complete web of free wild life by the imposition of mechanical order.

Listen. There is no choice left but to defend life by all and every means possible against the genocidal machine.

Listen. There are no neutrals in genetic war. There are no non-combatants at Buchenwald, My Lai or Soledad.

You are part of the death apparatus or you belong to the network of free life.

Do not be deceived. It is a classic stratagem of genocide to camouflage their wars as law and order police actions.

Remember the Sioux and the German Jews and the black slaves and the marijuana pogroms and the pious TWA indignation over airline hijackings !

If you fail to see that we are the victims defendants of genocidal war you will not understand the rage of the blacks, the fierceness of the browns, the holy fanaticism of the Palestinians, the righteous mania of the Weathermen, and the pervasive resentment of the young.

Listen Americans. Your government is an instrument of total lethal evil.

Remember the buffalo and the Iroquois! Remember Kennedy, King, Malcolm, Lenny!

Listen. There is no compromise with a machine. You cannot talk peace and love to a humanoid robot whose every Federal Bureaucratic impulse is soulless, heartless, lifeless, loveless.

In this life struggle we use the ancient holy strategies of organic life:

1. Resist lovingly in the loyalty of underground sisterhoods and brotherhoods.

2. Resist passively, break lock-step & drop out.

3. Resist actively, sabotage, jam the computer & hijack planes & trash every lethal machine in the land.

4. Resist publicly, announce life & denounce death.

5. Resist privately, guerrilla invisibility.

6. Resist beautifully, create organic art, music.

7. Resist biologically, be healthy & erotic & conspire with seed & breed.

8.Resist spiritually, stay high & praise god & love life & blow the mechanical mind with Holy Acid & dose them & dose them.

9. Resist physically, robot agents who threaten life must be disarmed, disabled, disconnected by force & Arm yourself and shoot to live & Life is never violent. To shoot a genocidal robot policeman in the defense of life is a sacred act.

Listen Nixon. We were never that naive. We knew that flowers in your gun-barrels were risky.We too remember Munich and Auschwitz all too well as we chanted love and raised our Woodstock fingers in the gentle sign of peace.

We begged you to live and let live, to love and let love, but you have chosen to kill and get killed. May God have mercy on your soul.

For the last seven months, I, a free, wild man, have been locked in POW camps. No living creature can survive in a cage. In my flight to freedom I leave behind a million brothers and sisters in the POW prisons of Quentin, Soledad, Con Thien...

Listen comrades. The liberation war has just begun. Resist, endure, do not collaborate. Strike. You will be free.

Listen you brothers of the imprisoned. Break them out ! If David Harris has ten friends in the world, I say to you, get off your pious non-violent asses and break him out.

There is no excuse for one brother or sister to remain a prisoner of war.

Right on Leila Khaled !

Listen, the hour is late. Total war is upon us. Fight to live or you’ll die. Freedom is life. Freedom will live.

(signed)Timothy Leary

WARNING : I am armed and should be considered dangerous to anyone who threatens my life or my freedom.

Source: San Francisco Good Times, September 18, 1970.

September 15, 1970. This is the fourth communication from the Weatherman Underground.

The Weatherman Underground has had the honor and pleasure of helping Dr. Timothy Leary escape from the POW camp at San Luis Obispo, California.

Dr. Leary was being held against his will and against the will of millions of kids in this country. He was a political prisoner, captured for the work he did in helping all of us begin the task of creating a new culture on the barren wasteland that has been imposed on this country by Democrats, Republicans, Capitalists and creeps.

LSD and grass, like the herbs and cactus and mushrooms of the American Indians and countless civilizations that have existed on this planet, will help us make a future world where it will be possible to live in peace.

Now we are at war.

With the NLF and the North Vietnamese, with the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Al Fatah, with Rap Brown and Angela Davis, with all black and brown revolutionaries, the Soledad brothers and all prisoners of war in Amerikan concentration camps we know that peace is only possible with the destruction of U.S. imperialism.

Our organization commits itself to the task of freeing these prisoners of war.

We are outlaws, we are free!

(signed) Bernardine Dohrn

Womens Presidio March 1971

by the September Women's Action Committee

Poster from The Good Times Collective for a woman's anti-war march on the Presidio, 1971.

On Saturday, September 4, 1971, some 1,500 women -- smiling, laughing, yelling, chanting, painted, angry, beautiful, happy -- marched against the Presidio -- headquarters of the 6th Army and construction site of the Western Medical Institute of Research.

We marched through Fisherman's Wharf, where hundreds of tourists had flocked for their Labor Day Weekend in SF. A huge banner announced our march--Madame Binh's face glowing 6 feet high– “Sisters fight for life, support PRG 7-point peace proposal. Against death, fight germ warfare.”

After some chanting, we began our rally. The energy and spirit was overwhelming. Our statement about the purpose of the march was often interrupted by applause and chants. Then Le Anh Tu, a Vietnamese sister, spoke. She spoke mostly about the parallels between the Vietnamese struggle for liberation and our struggle as women: how we both understand that a true revolutionary struggle is born out of love (for our sisters) and hatred (for the oppressor).

Our militance was frustrating for some sisters. We shouted, "Tear down the Presidio" only to helplessly confront open gates at the Army base. Many sisters felt our chants should have taken new forms, expressive of the women's movement and what is possible...

We accomplished a lot. We brought broad public attention to the issues of germ warfare, ethnic weapons and the PRG's 7-point peace proposal. We made it clear that there were hundreds of women who stood on the side of the Vietnamese people... We showed that we could be brave without being macho. It was a heavy thing to march in defiance of the cops that week in San Francisco. After all, only a week before, three guards were killed at San Quentin when [inmate] George Jackson was killed. In retaliation another cop was offed; there were three major bombings and several bank burnings.

The unity among the women at the march was beautiful, the energy electric. We went home with new energy, experience and ideas. Four days of activity gave us time to combine politics and culture and work out in practice some of the contradictions that have developed in the women's movement. Mutual baiting between so-called "feminists" and "anti-imperialists" receded into the background.

Our mistakes reflected a lot about the experience of the women's movement. Sisters everywhere have righteously criticized and rejected sexist, manipulative, domineering leadership. We were very self-conscious about avoiding the traditional pitfalls of leadership. In that avoidance, however, we made the opposite mistake. Because we didn't want to be domineering or elitist, we sometimes failed to take leadership responsibility at all. In working on the women's action we began to get some hint of what a new kind of leadership might be, but we still have a way to go.

May Day 1971

SF police work over some demonstrators

Anti-Vietnam War Demonstrations Paralyze Financial District

The financial district got an adrenal rush in SF last Wednesday. Office workers for the most part stayed at their jobs and the wheels of war continued but everyone was aware that something was happening. Demonstrators were scattered all throughout the area and their words were falling on a lot of sympathetic ears. The full invincible force of the city's private army was there including Motorcycle pigs, Honda Hogs, Horse Mounted pigs, squad cars with four cops in them, Tac squadders on foot, and plain clothes pigs. They angrily busted over 100 demonstrators. Two of the victims were Good Times reporters Eric and Mike. They both have a story we would like to print. The pigs don't relate to deadlines.

There are a lot of stories to tell about the day's activities. Most of them are repeats of similar incidents that were going on throughout the country. Office workers standing on the streets in front of their corporations rapping, some of them getting clubbed or busted in the rush of pig violence. Cops busting people with total disregard for their rights. Slamming them into paddy wagons as if they were hardened criminals. Demonstrators chanting and laughing. Everyone involved.

Here's one account from a brother back from the day:

1:00 People rapping in groups on corners all over financial district. Freaks presenting treaty to Montgomery streeters. . .explaining it to them. Majority of them were sympathetic. Streets very crowded--workers on lunch now-- Theatrics at B of A plaza ... burning of U.S. flag. (mime troupe?) Plaza packed. Then after theatre, group breaks up into splinter groups ... each proceeding to, a target building (Shell Oil, Std. Oil etc.) But most of the buildings were locked & super "secure.” Crowds, wandering around the sidewalks found horsepigs surrounding them. With the sidewalks packed, a few mounted pigs began backing their horses into people. Then indiscriminate clubbing. Screams and hysteria.

May Day 1971

2:00 Young office workers got clubbed along with freaks. Pigs were especially brutal to women-- Saw one pig at Zellerbach Plaza ride his horse into a crowd. A secretary screamed and the pig grabbed her by the hair and dragged her to a paddy wagon.

Drifted down towards Battery & Market. Workers stood with demonstrators gaping in awe as a brother ran up Battery St. with 3 mounted pigs in hot pursuit. "Run, Run!" came the cries from freaks & straights alike. Someone who had seen the beginning of the chase said that he had been holding a sign when a pig declared his corner to be an illegal assembly... and that made him the "leader" of the illegal assembly.

Near the Stock Exchange a brother lay on the ground unconscious bleeding from the head. A pig stood over him. No medical aid for twenty min. then into a paddy wagon. On California St. a brother lay on the sidewalk badly hurt ... kicked by a horse. Stockbrokers with horror on their faces.

Later in the afternoon the streets of the financial district were mostly deserted except for clusters of freaks and cops on alternate corners. Occasionally the cops would ask them to move on. Eventually people started drifting over to Union Square. Union Square was quickly surrounded by pigs and as people gathered there, Honda Hogs would ride into the park and harass and intimidate. A couple of people were quickly busted for no apparent reason. Then a brother hoisted a peace flag and things got heavy. Cops came flying at him as though he had shot off a cannon and the brother was hauled away. The pigs stood tense waiting for the next feeble excuse to spring.

Honda Hog stepped up to and screamed in my face, "Get out of this Park! Get out!”

Soon an announcement came over a bullhorn from outside the Square. "You have five minutes to disperse." And then the countdown ... one ... two...

At five they charged the park like outraged rednecks. The Square was cleared within minutes. The pigs call it a victory. For our part the war isn't over yet. The whole day was just one battle more.

–Good Times newspaper, May 7, 1971 (Volume IV, No. 18)

– from GOOD TIMES, September 17, 1971

The Revolutionary Army blew up the office of Foster and Kleiser at 1601 Maritime Street, inside the Oakland Army Terminal, saying in a note to KSAN (our local "underground radio station" which, like Foster and Kleiser, is owned by Metromedia) that "Billboards in Babylon are an offensive manifestation of pigthink. Their fascist distortion of our people's reality can no longer be tolerated." They demanded KSAN abandon their billboard contest and donate the prize money to a revolutionary cause...

The problems of fame continue to beset Abbie Hoffman, America's best-loved revolutionary. Besieged by the charges of Izak Haber that he stole the book Steal This Book, from him, Abbie has also made a formal announcement of his retirement from the movement.

Stop Our Ship: 1971 anti-war actions in the Navy

Good Times graphic, from GOOD TIMES/VOL. IV NO. 30 OCT. 15, 1971


With three sailors in the brig and 12 others hastily transferred from the ship the USS Coral Sea sailed out the Golden Gate Tuesday for its final sea trials before returning to Vietnam.

Captain William Harris, the attack aircraft Carrier's commander, locked up the three and kicked the 12 off his ship in hopes of squashing a growing anti-war protest among his ship's crew.

The Coral Sea will return to the Alameda Naval Air Station before sailing for Southeast Asian waters on Nov. 12. Over 1000 men out of the 4,500-man crew have signed a petition asking congress, to keep the Pentagon from sending the ship back to Vietnam. Organizers of the petition drive, called "Stop Our Ship.”expect to gather even more signatures during the eight-day shakedown cruise.

Already 30 crewmembers have said they won't sail if the ship sails to the war zone as ordered. Some of the men are confident they will be able to Stop the ship even if congress won't.

”The Coral Sea will not go back," said Larry Harris, a crewman from Philadelphia. "If the petition doesn't work we have other means." He didn't elaborate.

Civilian supporters and anti-war sailors from the ship held a vigil outside the East Gate at the naval base Monday noon, through Tuesday morning before the ship sailed.

The vigil was unlike previous anti-war demonstrations in that at least half of those who participated were active duty servicemen. In 1965, during the "stop the trains" movement when protesters attempted to stop troop trains going to the Oakland Army Terminal, most GIs supported the war and wanted to fight in it. They refused to accept anti-war material. During the vigil however many sailors asked for copies of the petition and gave the clenched fist salute or flashed the V peace sign.

One crewcut officer, dressed in civilian clothes, came along and frenetically tore up some banners and picket signs, but he was the exception. Most officers and lifers just pretended not to see the demonstrators.

The SOS movement is strictly a serviceman's trip. In fact they have had trouble drumming up support among civilians. When the Coral Sea came into port two weeks ago, over 40 men spelled out "SOS" on the flight deck as it sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. They had hoped some civilians would be on the bridge demonstrating support for their movement. But the ship was an hour late in arriving and the few civilians on the bridge had left by the time the Coral Sea entered the Golden Gate.

The sailors also hoped that some supporters would be at the pier. But the Navy brass was so uptight that they refused to issue visitor's passes to anyone. They also had military police at the pier with firehoses and erected wire barriers to keep out any civilians who managed to slip through the security net. Tight security was maintained all the time the Coral Sea was in port.

The SOS movement is not confined to the Coral Sea. Sailors aboard the USS Ranger and USS Hancock, both of which are now at the Hunters Point shipyard being refitted, have also started organizing. Those two aircraft carriers are due to return to southeast Asia after the first of the year.

A low level guerrilla attack broke out on the Hancock. There were two fliers on board the ship when it sailed here from San Diego, one causing considerable damage although the Navy is keeping mum about it. Someone aboard the ship is also taking pot-shots at lifers with what is apparently an air pellet gun.

Civilians may not appreciate how difficult it is for servicemen to do simple things, such as circulate a petition. When petitions were first circulated on the Coral Sea, three men who were caught were thrown in the brig. Twelve other sailors then publicly started passing it around. They were hauled before the captain, and petitions with 300 signatures were seized. The men then went and collected 1000 signatures.

Thus far the SOS movement has been primarily a white one. "The black brothers on the Coral Sea are very tight," said Ed Smith, another crewmember. "But they're wary of it because we're white, although some blacks have signed the petition."

Before sailing Tuesday one of the organizers said, "this time out we really have to work– we got eight days to do it." The importance of civilian support was also stressed. "A lot of people on the ship are afraid to do anything because they feel nobody will hear about it or care if they get thrown into the brig," said Smith.

Meanwhile aboard the USS Constellation now en route to the war zone, nine anti-war sailors are in the brig. The nine had sought sanctuary at a church when the ship sailed from San Diego on Oct. 1. Military police entered the church and arrested them. They were flown to the Constellation aboard a helicopter.

The men were convicted at a Captain's Mast last Saturday for missing the ship's departure, being absent without authorization and shirking important service. A Navy spokesman said men were sentenced to 30 days' correctional custody, which allows them to leave the brig for work during the day. But the men have refused to work. In addition to the 30 days the men were sentenced to forfeiture of half pay for two months and to reduction in rank to the next lower pay grade.

David Harris, the anti-war leader and one of the organizers of the civilian support for the sailors on the Constellation, said he considered the San Diego campaign a success even though the carrier sailed for Vietnam. He said over 50,000 civilians signed a petition in San Diego asking that the ship not be returned to the war zone. “This in a city were 30% of the people work for the Navy," he said.

"But the Constellation sailed," Harris was reminded when he made an appearance at the Coral Sea vigil.

"There are only two ways to stop a ship that I know of," answered Harris. "One way is to get the orders changed in Washington. The other is for the sailors to refuse to sail it."

"There's another way," said someone in the crowd which had gathered around him. "It could be sunk."

Harris agreed that this may be possible, but said he didn't agree with such tactics.

As Nixon is withdrawing ground forces from Vietnam, the bombing of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam has been increased. Against countries with weak air forces the aircraft carriers in the Tonkin Gulf are secure bases from which to launch the bombing raids.

Thus the SOS movements aboard these ships is as important a movement as the one among the ground troops who are refusing to fight.

Civilians who want to support the sailors on the Coral Sea should contact SOS, 1232 Market St, Room 104, San Francisco.


Rally Bombed Out

by dick gaik (Richard Gaikowski)

Good Times, Vol. IV, No. 32, Nov. 12, 1971

The most theatrical moment of the day was at 2 p.m., the time of the Amchitka explosion, there was a moment of silence leading up to the big moment. then at 2 pm a siren on stage signaled the nuclear blast. A flock of doves were released. The doves were pretty confused and some of them flew off the stage and landed in the crowd. Some in the crowd shouted, "We've been silent long enough, bomb Nixon."

There was another march for peace on Saturday. About 20,000 made the treck from the Embarcadero to the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park. I drove this time instead of marching. I viewed the whole affair with mixed emotion.

The largest nuclear explosion ever touched off by the US--Amchitka--took place midway through the demonstration, as if to mock the peace movement's efforts.

But the march was lead by sailors from the USS Coral Sea who are trying to stop their ship from returning to the Southeast Asia war theater. Some of the men had watched last April's peace march when 200,000 marched and the whole thing had turned around their heads. Ths time they were leading the march and trying to stop their ship from leaving for Vietnam. So I went to the demonstration to distribute leaflets about the Coral Sea to spread the word about what these sailors were trying to do.

Nine of the sailors got up on the speakers' stand and announced that they will not be aboard the Coral Sea when it is scheduled to sail Nov. 12. "We should take those 600,000 pounds of bombs and shove them up Nixon's ass," said one. Everyone, liberal, radical, and revolutionary, cheered.

Their actions and words contrasted starkly with most of the other speakers. One official of the International Longshoremen and Warehousemen Union got up to say how much he and his union were for peace.

"Liar, liar," shouted members of the crowd, who reminded him that members of the his union are loading war materials for that ugly war daily. "Stop loading bombs," the crowd shouted up at him. The hecklers made him angry.

Former New York Congressman Allard Lowenstein, who has made a career out of his ballot box opposition to the war, also spoke. He was one of the originators of the "Dump Johnson" campaign. He said the way to end the war is to vote against Nixon.

He got the same response as the ILWU official got, "Bomb the ballot box," shouted one group. "Vote Communist," chanted those radicals who are a little to the left of the Democratic Party.

The most theatrical moment of the day was a 2 pm, the time of the Amchitka explosion. there was a moment of silence leading up to the big moment. then at 2 pm a siren on stage signaled the nuclear blast. A flock of doves were released. The doves were pretty confused and some of them flew off the stage and landed in the crowd. Some in the crowd shouted, "We've been silent long enough, bomb Nixon."

Pierre Vaillancourt, the sculptor who created the fountain in Embarcadero Plaza, said he wanted to take one of the doves and tear it apart as a protest tot he limp-wristed nature of Saturday's protest. He restrained himself, however.

Most of those who marched were not aware of these arguments. They marched because they were opposed to the war, to Nixon. The majority were young freaks who are turned on by the festive air of the march. Viet Cong flags were plentiful. Such rock groups as Clover and the Elvin Bishop Band performed.

At the edge of the crowd members of Revolutionary Union sold Red Books, Jesus Freaks offered free koolaid and cookies if you listened to their speil, McGovern supporters sold bumper stickers, and the Trots sold literature. The Beast, an East Bay theatrical group, put on a skit knocking the liberal nature of the march.

The demonstration was liberal. Peace is something that even Mayor Alioto can endorse. He issued a statement deploring the war not only for the loss of life and resources but for the "dispiriting effect on the American people who live in our big cities."

Despite this, the marches have become progressively radical. One group carried a big banner which said "Support A Communist Victory in Southeast Asia." That sign would not have been permitted at the first Vietnam Day march held in Berkeley in 1965 when 14,000 marched to the Oakland line. The people are becoming more radical even if the organizers aren't.

--from GOOD TIMES/VOL. IV NO. 32, NOV. 12, 1971

Issued July 1971 by the groups Contradiction and Point-Blank (the latter of which had just previously put out a comic called “Out of Order”). 1000 copies were distributed to telephone workers during their brief national wildcat strike.

No copyright.

The text, which is too small to reproduce well online, reads:

Shit! First a wildcat, then sabotage, now another wildcat and workers refusing to go back to work. Where does that leave the CWA [Communication Workers of America]?

Comrades! The telephone workers have extended their game — let’s extend ours and up the ante!

All they lack is the consciousness of what they’ve already done!


Despite all the crap in the papers about union demands, we’ve made apparent what was already obvious — that everybody is bored shitless with work and will seize any chance to show it!

Joe Beirne and all those other union bureaucrats don’t fool us.

The battle against capitalism and the battle against the union are one and the same: anyone who tries to represent us is our enemy.

It’d be easy to take advantage of our strategic location within the system to destroy unilateral communication and open a real dialogue with our fellow workers who went back to work.

In a wildcat the creativity of isolated sabotage which goes on daily with little effect can be organized collectively.

We can open up the lines for free calls while cutting off business and government calls. We must communicate directly with Philadelphia, Tucson and New York to coordinate and spread our actions.

And to workers in other industries as well!

The Spanish revolution of 1936 was the most advanced foreshadowing of proletarian power. The armed workers of Barcelona occupied their factories — including the telephone exchange — defending their revolution against the Stalinists as well as fascists.

Our goal is nothing short of the suppression of wage-labor and the commodity-economy through the international power of workers’ councils – democratic assemblies of the base who elect immediately revocable, strictly mandated delegates.

A wildcat is the first step on the road of “excess,” the game of discovering the organization of the new world in the pleasures of destroying the old.

As usual, PL, the Spartacists, International Socialists and other recuperators of the bureaucratic New Left seek to replace the union bureaucracy with a “revolutionary” one under the guise of support for the wildcat.

Humanity won’t be happy until the last bureaucrat is hung with the guts of the last capitalist.

Open Letter to “Good Times”

Faced with the long overdue collapse of the so-called Movement, the underground press is beginning a desperate search for new copy to cover up the discrediting of all the rotten ideologies it pushes and to stave off its decline in readership. Thus, on the one hand, we see the widespread dissemination of apparent total critiques such as the Anti-Mass Methods of Organization for Collectives, that pseudo-critique of the Movement which is actually an attempt to salvage it by grafting on a dosage of “situationism.” (See our critique of the Anti-Mass pamphlet, available from us.) On the other hand, the underground attempts to integrate into its eclectic show carefully fragmented scraps of real theoretical and agitational practice. However, even this falsification of revolutionary critique is not without danger to the bureaucrats of the underground press, since any truly revolutionary critique carries within itself an explicit critique of the spectacle, which ( in both its “straight” and “underground” sectors ) monopolizes communication between people around their unilateral reception of images of their alienated activity.

The July 23rd issue of Good Times reprinted two frames from our comic “Out of Order” as illustrations for an article on the telephone strike. In doing this, you removed the two frames from the context of our two groups’ agitational practice during the strike. Worst of all, you placed these frames in the midst of a banal interview with two telephone workers. Our leaflet, which explicitly attacks all unions as such, was turned into graphics for complaints that “the union is often not there when you need it.”

We therefore demand that our revised leaflet, “Still Out of Order,” be reprinted in its entirety (including our addresses) with this letter.

POINT-BLANK, P.O. Box 446, Palo Alto, CA 94302

CONTRADICTION, P.O. Box 1044, Berkeley, CA 94701


Food Conspirators like these got together to start storefronts around San Francisco, organized under the People's Food System. Photo: Teitelbaum

"Many houses belong to one of the Food Conspiracies. The conspiracies are groups of people in different neighborhoods who get healthy food for the cheapest prices possible. There are conspiracies all over the city, including 10 in the Haight. Each house does some work, and this breaks down the servant-master trip of grocery stores." --San Francisco Good Times, 7/18/72

The San Francisco Food Conspiracy was a loose federation of autonomous buying clubs based either on neighborhood or political affiliations. Household representatives would meet to discuss and take orders on quantities and varieties of produce and bulk items. If there were 10 households in the buying group, for example, each household might order 10 pounds of brown rice, so an order of a single 100 pound sack of rice could be placed. Or several households could agree to split a case of bananas. The orders were taken, the money exchanged and then the buying club coordinator placed the order. Volunteers picked up the food, brought it back to a central location in the neighborhood, and then members either picked up their order, or had it delivered.

There were hundreds of such clubs in San Francisco by the early 1970s, in the Haight Ashbury, in the Western Addition, Noe Valley, and almost every other neighborhood. For many conspiracy members, it would be the first time they sampled such fare as brown rice, bulgur, garbanzo beans, tofu, and whole grain flours. For many others, it marked the discovery of delicious fresh vegetables, in contrast to the canned or frozen ones they pushed around their plates as children.

"The Free Breakfast for Children program is a socialistic program, designed to serve the people. In America this program is revolutionary. In capitalist America any program that is absolutely free is considered bad business." --The Black Panther, 10/4/69

The building of food conspiracies were, at their core, political acts. Such "conspiratorial" activities were often used as ways to organize neighborhoods against price-gouging supermarkets, and to raise consciousness about the irrationality of the profit system. The Black Panther Party used their food co-op to agitate for more independent economic activity on the part of the Black community. Food conspiracies grew rapidly all over the U.S., and in many cities the range of ordering included non-food items such as tools, farm equipment, even tractors! But the food-buying club model was very time-consuming and depended on volunteer labor. People grew weary of working so much to stock their kitchens. Activists felt that such buying clubs discriminated against full-time workers with kids, who may not have time to go to a buying meeting, run down to the produce terminal, or break down food orders. New models for "serving the people" were being looked at and discussed.

--Jesse Drew, excerpted from "Call Any Vegetable: The Politics of Food in the San Francisco Bay Area" in Reclaiming San Francisco: History, Politics, Culture (San Francisco: City Lights Books 1998)

Printed in the San Francisco Good Times (6 August 1971).

Microfilm of The SAN FRANCISCO EXPRESS TIMES and GOOD TIMES issues can be viewed and copied at the San Francisco Public Library.

See Also: Blaine Blaine aka Goldcatcher - and - Richard Gaikowski