Monday, February 28, 2011

Hippie Happening

I haven't had much to talk about lately, but last night was an experience. 

Tim DeChristopher is going to be tried in Federal Court for disrupting a Federal bid auction for oil & gas leases.  He bid on leases he didn't intend on paying for, to demonstrate that leases should not be granted close to a National Park (Arches in Southern Utah) and that the continual pursuit and use of petrochemicals is killing our planet.  Tim's trial started today in Salt Lake City.

Last night the Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City held a solidarity meeting in support of Tim DeChristopher's actions.  A few hundred people showed up; mostly older, long graying hair, jeans and tie-dye shirts.  They had made banners with the number 70 on it, Tim's bid number. 

There was one speaker who was particularly powerful.  Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary fame.  Sorry if you're too young to really appreciate the significance of this.  Peter Yarrow marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, he was at the Chicago National Convention when all hell broke out in 1968.  Peter, Paul and Mary are famous for singing such protest anthems as Blowin in the Wind and If I Had a Hammer.  They also popularized such folk songs as Puff the Magic Dragon and Leaving on a Jet Plane.  They embodied the hope and optimism of the 60's.  They were an anchor where all seemed unhitched.

Last night's event was a throwback to those days, a true peace rally.  We sung We Shall Overcome and This Land is Your Land and of course Blowin in the Wind.  We sang one song that was really reminiscent of the 60s. It's title is Have You Been to Jail for Justice. The chorus goes: Have you been to jail for justice? I want to shake your hand; Cause sitting in and lyin' down are ways to take a stand; Have you sung a song for freedom? or marched that picket line? Have you been to jail for justice? Then you're a friend of mine. Peter Yarrow gave a rousing speech about why we need to question our leaders and why we are being very American for doing so.

Maybe it is the lack of sleep but I want to march on the capital and participate in a sit in.  The 60s were a time of profound change that affect us all in a good way now because a few had the courage to stand up to the status quo.  All those feelings came back.  I was really young in the 60s so I was an outside observer, not a participant.  This brought back all those desires to be involved and be part of something big.  It was history in the making and I'm glad I was there.

1 comment:

Max said...

Crap! I wish I had gone with! Great story.