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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.


Do 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.



Works Cited

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.
Hoffman, Abbie. Square Dancing in the Ice Age: Underground Writings. NY: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1982
Hoffman, Abbie. Steal This Book. NY: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1971.
Hoffman, Abbie. The Best of Abbie Hoffman. NY: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1989.
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.

 

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