|My name is
Abbie Hoffman. Steal this speech while square dancing in the Ice
ages, it’s soon to be a major motion picture…
Yippie! Do you know what that
means? That means that there’s a revolution on, that we can change an H to a Y.,
that we can bring more than 10,000 people to Lincoln Park in Chicago on a myth,
a rumor, a story. Yippie! It means the home of the FREE and the land of the
BRAVE. Chicago was a place for the brave to fight for their freedom. When we
came to Chicago, we thought, hey, they’ll put up some resistance, but they’ll
give us a permit to have our little Yippie! get-together in the park. I mean
shit, it’s our right. Mayor Daley, he didn’t give a shit about our “rights” he
didn’t want one goddamn hippie in his city, let alone 10,000. He didn’t want
Chicago to have that reputation, HE didn’t want to have that reputation.
you know what happened in Chicago? According to
Mayor Daley, only a few minor
injuries due to resisting arrest and rioting; according to some outside sources,
and my own count, a couple people died and a lot of people were wounded because
the pigs were beating on us for practicing our right to assemble peacefully.
Hell, we were peaceful, a damn sight more peaceful than the cops. We were
assembled to protest war, all we wanted to do was get together and smoke a
little weed. The cops, they came at us with arms swinging. But I get ahead of
myself. You’re all so young, you don’t know about Chicago’s other, meaner side.
In Chicago, we Yippies wanted to have a rally, and Chicago was really
central to the movement, so we petitioned the Chicago Parks Department for a
permit to have bands come play during the week of the Democratic Convention in
1968. They stalled, and pretended to have little problems with the permit. No
one was fooled. We sued them for denying us our constitutional rights; but we
withdrew our suit when we saw who our judge was. His name was Judge Lynch, and
he was mayor Daley’s friend or cousin or something. Very ironic...the next judge
that we went before because the city was stalling was Judge Stahl. S-T-A-H-L. So
in a nutshell, we said “can we have a get-together in the park?” Chicago said
“no, you damn hippies can’t have a riot in our peaceful city!”. At this point
we, the Yippies, said “hell with that, we’re having it anyway!” and we did.
When we had the rally, five thousand people showed up, not nearly what I’d
expected, but the city had really cast us in a negative light. We had our permit
to have bands in the park, so we went ahead with that, but while the groups were
performing, the pigs came storming in with their batons and teargas and started
beating on people. We hadn’t even done anything illegal. Yet. So, I told my
police tails (yes, I was being tailed constantly by the Fucking Bureau of
Ignorance), I told them to call off the pigs, because we hadn’t broken the law.
They called off the pigs, and claimed that they agreed with us. Yet, every time
anyone’s back was turned, and even sometimes when they weren’t turned, the pigs
would beat on people. They really got off on hitting guys with long hair, which
was most everybody there.
In Chicago, I was beaten innumerable times, at
least one person that I knew personally, died, and the world saw the pigs
beating on the youth of the nation. The media was there in force, and because
the journalists were beaten in addition to the hippies and Yippies, the coverage
was really biased against the pigs. The world saw the dreadful state of the
nation, and the criminality of the Chicago Police Force- the pigs.
Gitlin, Todd. The Sixties: Years of Hope,
Days of Rage. NY: Bantam Books, 1987.
Jack Hoffman and Simon David. Run Run
Run: The Lives of Abbie Hoffman. NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1994.
Abbie. Square Dancing in the Ice Age: Underground Writings. NY: G. P. Putnam’s
Hoffman, Abbie. Steal This Book. NY: Four Walls Eight Windows,
Hoffman, Abbie. The Best of Abbie Hoffman. NY: Four Walls Eight
Hoffman, Abbie. Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture. NY: G. P.
Putnam’s Sons, 1980.
Hoffman, Anita & Abbie. To America With Love:
Letters From the Underground. NY: Stonehill Publishing Company, 1976.
Walker, Daniel. Rights in Conflict. NY: E. P. Dutton & Co, Inc., 1968.