Friday, December 23, 2005

Jaywalking During the Nixon Era Continued:


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Many Americans are being told that the Patriot Act is a new thing. I want everyone to know, it is old hat for GOP Presidents to misuse the law, ignore the Constitution and to abuse power. Unlike so many left leaning blogs, I don't just want to talk about all this but figure, why now illustrate how it worked in the past. Fighting for freedom isn't easy and it involves real, pitched battles as the Chinese and Korean peasant farmers can attest this very day. We are always in a struggle for truth and freedom which is why our oppressors like to hijack that language and pretend murdering civilians is bringing power to them.

It turned into a full scale riot. We had the police shoot so much tear gas at us this year that we would sniff it and say, "Ah, this is better than nose spray!" We became rather immune to the smell of tear gas.

But while locked in the paddy wagon, I began to worry, what if it is set on fire? That would really make me unhappy. Luckily, this didn't happen. It struck me as odd that not one person was put in the van with me. I didn't know it was because the cops couldn't get near enough to put anyone in and were actually running from the scene of the actions. This is how, after shooting at us at People's Park which was a peaceful demonstration until the police refused to let anyone go down Telegraph Avenue.

I was in my own, private cell, even. They put everyone else in crowded cells but not me. This was tremendously boring. People were laughing and singing in the other cells on other levels and I could faintly hear them. After midnight, my future husband, David, and some of my friends bailed me out. It was now very cold and foggy outside but I one of the guys gave me a jacket.

In the jail, the police threatened to hit me with "inciting a riot" charges but they evidently gave up on that since there were just too many witnesses to my calls for calm before and during the riot. They did hold this against me for I was blamed later for a riot I didn't even know had happened!

The obvious point is, the arrest should have never happened. And living in a police state that is not accepted by the populace always leads to blow-ups like we used to have at Berkeley and in other parts of America.

Today, the country is quiet but it isn't because all is well, it is because it is the quiet before a storm. The petty concerns of the right, worried about my sex life or your intimate relations, worried about "Merry Christmas" and the Easter Bunny, these people want us to ignore the destruction of America as they cooperate with power hungry creeps who are the spawn or worked for Nixon and his gang.

The candidate for the Supreme Court is one of these puppies, Alito, a far right wing religious nut who doesn't give a fig about the Constitution or my civil rights, he is happy to take control of my body just like the police wanted to control us back under Nixon. We wrestled for our rights, our freedoms and we paid in blood, sometimes.

And here we are, in a similar situation. It is important for us all to resist the powers of the state and to encourage everyone to support our Constitution and to fix our elections so they reflect the will of the people and we must waken our right wing fellow citizens from their childish dreams: there is no Santa Claus, no Easter Bunny. Life is serious. There is a storm about to break and building beach houses without any flood insurance=disaster.

To see part one of this cartoon, click here.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Today is Like, So Like it Was in 1969


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Only cartoons can really tell what happened in the past and what it means today. The culture wars we started in the Summer of Love continue to reverberate in funny and awful ways. So let us time travel together to those halcylon days of yore.

This cartoon will take quite a few hours to do so stay tuned for each episode. It is a LOOOONG story, all 100% true.

This is the year I nearly died several times. Some rather strange things happened, not all of them pleasant.

When I was Shanghaied by a motorcycle gang that was fueding with the Hell's Angels, it got rather dicey. They were going to kill me until they got hungry on the road. One of them ran over a rabbit and I cheerfully gutted it with one of their switchknives, skinned it and cooked it on a makeshift cooking range I rigged out of rocks and some metal. They were so impressed, the asked me to show other skills. This pleased them until they discovered my hidden skills.

The Oakland Tact Squad were the super mean guys. They loved to beat up hippies. And yes, one did, after meeting me on the street and trying to clobber me, came to my pad to ask for a date! Worse, I accepted! It was really funny. He wanted me to marry him.

Gads. No way in hell.

A nonviolent artist who was the typical laid-back person who I had met only once before this happened, heard the guns going off during the People's Park police riot and opened the door, hearing his neighbors screaming outside, and was shot dead center in the face and lost both eyes. Not too long afterwards, his baby girl died. A tragedy. I couldn't believe Reagan decided to kill us. But he did and at that point, we lost all ability to call the police for help. They were out to destroy us. If someone attacked us, the police would stand aside and let them do their worst. This is when I formed my first street patrol to protect people especially after the minister who let us use his church for meetings and such was badly beaten in a back alley by the police one night.

I saw my childhood friend from Tucson, John Damon, across the street unexpectedly. I yelled to him, but he didn't hear me over the street noise so I decided to jaywalk over and snag him only I was snagged. At long last, the police had an excuse to arrest me. Odd, going to jail for jaywalking. Unheard of, actually, except in a police state. But getting me to jail hit some serious snags!

A fellow teen, a street kid named "Sinbad" decided to save me. He succeeded in slashing at least one tire. This ticked off the police who couldn't drive away from the growing crowd so they called in more troops. They arrived with a paddy wagon and threw me unceremoniously inside. I told the crowd, as I was being tossed, to make room for them to drive me off, it was OK. But then things grew truly ugly.