Monday, February 9, 1987

Before YIPPIE: How Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin Became Revolutionaries

(Editor's note from 2014: When this paper was written, I was a 15 year-old high school student, and Abbie was my hero of the moment. Why, then, when I shook his hand after hearing him speak at Brown University later that year (alongside Timothy Leary, facing down a former head of the DEA on the subject of Reagan's War on Drugs) didn't I take him up on his offer to meet with him and some other young activists later on at a nearby coffeehouse and talk politics? The truth is, I couldn't stick around only because I was trying to get laid. I'm sure Abbie would have appreciated my horny teenage reasoning, but not getting to hang with him that night remains one of my life's biggest regrets.)


If you believe yippies existed you are nothing but a sheep.
- Abbie Hoffman, 1968

New Year's Day, 1968 saw the birth of an idea which was soon to catapult the revolutionary antics of two radical activists, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, to nothing short of worldwide attention. On this morning in a small apartment located amidst the hippie kingdom of New York's Lower East Side, "in a burst of inspiration induced by severe acid hangovers"1, these two first conceived the mythical concept known as Yippie! (with invaluable assistance from their wives and local underground newspaper editor Paul Krassner).

In an article which appeared in Krassner's paper Realist on July seventh of that year, Hoffman stated that the entire Yippie! myth was created to serve as "a connecting link which would tie together as much of the underground as was willing into a national get-together"2 at the upcoming Democratic National Convention to be held in Chicago, "to make some statement (especially in revolutionary action-theater terms) about LBJ, the Democratic Party, electoral politics and the state of the nation in general."3

But Yippie! outlived the chaotic Festival of Life which took place that summer in Chicago and came to signify much more as the decade drew to a close, lending meaning and direction to the disruptive brand of humorous "monkey-warfare" previously developed by its radical co-founders. According to an exhaustive survey conducted in 1978, their bizarre and exciting tactics "combined the hedonistic elements of the counter-culture with political purpose," and were admired by or influenced over two thirds of those who identified in some way with the 1960s.4

The noticeable lack of a rigid ideological doctrine, the usually irrelevant forms of behavior and general confusion associated with the Youth International Party which arose with Yippie! was what easily distinguished Rubin and Hoffman's mythical brand of cultural revolution (the"politics of ecstasy") from that espoused by formal movement organizations such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Both activists refused to dispel the clouds of distortion which invariably gravitated towards Yippie! events. "Distortion is essential to myth-making...because understanding is the first step to control and control is the secret to extinction,"5 said Hoffman. "Were we hard-core, dangerous revolutionaries", asked Rubin, "or cute and obnoxious goof-offs? Nobody could pin us down, and that was our survival loophole."6

Yet despite the absurd image Yippie! helped to project, the philosophy and goals of its originators were oriented towards nothing less than a struggle for the complete reorganization of all existent social and political orders. In an interview conducted nearly twenty years after that fateful New Year's Day in 1968, Hoffman confessed:

"I still believe in the redistribution of wealth and power in the world. I believe in universal hospital care for everyone. I believe that we should not have a single homeless person in the richest country in the world. And I believe that we should not have a CIA that goes around overthrowing governments and assassinating political leaders, working for tight oligarchies around the world to protect the tight oligarchy here at home."7

These beliefs were not born with the Yippie! idea, just as they were not abandoned by Hoffman in favor of others more acceptable or newsworthy after the Yippie! Festival of Life that summer in Chicago and his subsequent trial for conspiracy to incite riot (along with Rubin and six others) the following year. Rather, the flamboyant style of protest and dissent employed by Hoffman and Rubin and defined by the concept of Yippie! was a unique hybrid resulting from previous years each spent engrossed in organizing for movement activities and causes from anti-war political campaigns and civil rights involvement to money burning and mass marijuana mailings. It is this chapter in Yippie! background and history which will be examined in detail here.

From delinquent to civil rights worker

Abbott Hoffman entered the world on November 30, 1936 as the first-born son of a large, closely-knit Jewish family. He was raised in the working-class suburb of Worcester, Massachusetts amidst a cultural home life which endowed him with a sense of Jewish identity he was never to forget. As a child, he suffered from asthma yet by 11 had outgrown all of its psychosomatic symptoms.

During Hoffman's teens the first indications of his rebellious nature surfaced throughout his educational career in the form of noticeably delinquent behavior. At sixteen he was converted to atheism by an older friend and subsequently expelled from high school following a scuffle which broke out when his English teacher destroyed a lengthy dissertation he had written exposing his heretical religious views.

His sexual experiences as a teenager were numerous as well. Once, he was stabbed in the thigh when ambushed by a jealous rival for his sweetheart Suzie's widespread affection. During a brief autobiographical section8 included in his 1968 manifesto, Revolution For the Hell of It (honestly enough entitled "Ego Tripping"), Hoffman bragged to the contrary that this scar was received during a violent "gang fight" experienced amidst this early period of his social rebellion.

Following a two year stint at the prestigious Worcester Preparatory Academy, Hoffman enrolled in the intellectual paradise of nearby Brandeis University where he studied under the greatest liberal minds of the fifties, among them Herbert Marcuse, Max Lerner, Frank Manuel and Abraham Maslow. In 1959 he was accepted by the University of California at Berkeley as a graduate student in psychology. Here was to come Hoffman's first exposure to radical ideas and behavior, which together with two events of May, 1960 would serve to "mold (his) consciousness forever."9

The first of these events occurred on May 1 with the failed appeal and execution at San Quentin Prison of Caryl Chessmen, a rapist whose conviction rested on circumstantial evidence and who had become a symbol for the battle against capital punishment. The second happened a week later when Hoffman became embroiled in the student riots which greeted the opening of House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings in downtown San Francisco. The hearings, held to investigate alleged subversive activity in the Bay Area, were supposedly open to the public, but admittance actually required identification distributed by local conservative organizations. The melee which ensued when huge crowds of students were denied admittance was described by Hoffman as follows:

"There was an elite special force of riot police called the goon squad. Each member stood six feet or better, in solid black leather, crowned by a white crash helmet with a plexiglass visor. Each carried a club. There were water-hose teams. Some had a device called the "knee bender". You hooked it around a person's wrist and turned it once. The person fell to his knees in pain...a second turn broke the bone. The force of the water hoses drove people smashing into plate-glass windows. Students were clubbed to the ground, thrown off balconies, and kicked in the face. A pregnant women was thrown down a flight of stairs. All around there was panic. People ran into stores. The tall black-leather shapes pursued, swinging their sticks. Screams filled the air. Four blocks from the riot, all was calm. No one seemed aware that the century's most turbulent decade had begun."10

Hoffman was deeply influenced by his Berkeley experiences, but following the unplanned impregnation of his college sweetheart Sheila, he returned east during the fall of 1960, back to Worcester and a disastrous six-year marriage. During a visit to local Clark University he spoke out in protest during the showing of an official HUAC documentary which attempted to blame San Francisco unrest on a handful of Communist agitators. Subsequently, he accepted the task of touring Massachusetts with the film as an ACLU representative.

Between jobs as a psychiatrist at Worcester State Hospital and manager of a local theater, Hoffman joined efforts to elect H. Stuart Hughes, co-chairman of the Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE), as Massachusetts senator in 1962. 146,000 voter signatures were collected to insure him a third party position on November's ballot, but immediately preceding the election the Cuban missile crisis developed and with it, the collapse of Hughes' anti-military campaign.

In 1963 Hoffman first became involved with the growing civil rights movement through Worcester's branch of the NAACP. With other dedicated organizers he established a CORE chapter, set up landlords for discrimination suits, picketed stores which refused to hire black employees and was responsible for policy changes and other actions which within months had earned the chapter a deservedly militant reputation. He then enlisted as a Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) worker in 1964 and headed south, where he was arrested several times in the year that followed for work in gearing up for the upcoming Democratic National Convention to be held in Atlantic City. He returned to Mississippi the following summer to find a divided movement soon to shift northward and with the rise of Black Power to purge white activists from its upper ranks. Hoffman participated during these final months in numerous local demonstrations, sit-ins and anti-discriminatory campaigns, in which violent beatings were the order of his movement existence.

From cub reporter to Berkeley dropout

During these years of Abbie Hoffman's early involvement with dissent, his future comrade Jerry Rubin had not yet been exposed to the growing protest movement. Born in 1938 and raised in a post-war city neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio, Rubin was first acquainted with politics through teenage admiration of Adlai Stevenson's 1952 Presidential candidacy and with activism by virtue of his father's work as a union organizer, yet it was not until his 1964 arrival in Berkeley that his own career as activist would begin. Rubin failed to excel in high school athletics, opting instead for journalistic work as the sports editor of his school paper.

This led to a job at age 17 as a cub reporter with the Cincinnati Post and Times Star, a position he held for five years. During this time, Rubin rose in prominence on the staff from feature writer to editor of his own two-page youth section in addition to carrying a full load of course work at the University of Cincinnati. After studying the out-dated policies and management techniques in use at the paper he developed several proposals with underlying socialist themes, calling for collective employee ownership of his newspaper employer. These suggestions, devised by Rubin as early as 1957, served no further purpose other than to label him a communist in the eyes of most senior staff members.

In August of 1960, Rubin's mother succumbed to the cancer she had battled in three successive operations since her condition was diagnosed in 1954. He completed his studies at the university and traveled to India nine months later, returning home after only a few weeks when reached by news that his heartbroken father had died as well. Following the funeral Rubin and his thirteen year old brother Gil moved to Jerusalem, where he enrolled in Hebrew University as a graduate student in sociology.

The year and a half he was to spend in Israel radicalized him through exposure to socialist ideals and sympathizers, preparing Rubin for the lifestyle which awaited. In late 1963 he returned with his brother to the United States with plans to continue his graduate work at the University of California.

Upon his arrival at Berkeley in January of 1964, Rubin dived headfirst into fledgling movement activities. "Within two weeks (he) had met every radical in town...running from group to group asking a million questions about politics and the movement, putting it all down in a notebook. Some people thought he was a cop."11 He dropped out after six weeks of classes and soon became involved with an illegal trek undertaken by eighty volunteers to witness firsthand the reforms brought about by Cuba's recent Marxist revolution.

After braving a circuitous route to Cuba via Paris and Czechoslovakian airlines, Rubin arrived in Havana to find the young Cuban revolutionaries' "abstract dreams transformed into reality...former casinos and fancy hotels converted to cost-free homes and schools for the poor. The entire society was putting into practice the Christian ideal of fellowship."12 He returned to the United States inspired by the casual governing style, spirit of aliveness and enthusiasm exhibited by Fidel Castro and Minister of Labor Che Guevara.

A month after Rubin's return to Berkeley, the Free Speech Movement arose following a decision by University officials to enforce a previously ignored ban on recruiting for political activity of any sort on campus grounds. It was opposition to this decision which led to the suspension of five student activists, all members of civil rights groups such as SNCC and the campus chapter of CORE who attempted to defy the ban on the afternoon of September 30, 1964.

A second attempt later that day to again ignore the ban resulted in the arrest of drop-out Jack Weinburg, at which point 200 students surrounded the police car in which he lay imprisoned and sat down. The student demonstrators' number quickly swelled to upwards of 3000 who refused to disperse and for the next 30 hours huddled together listening to impassioned speeches delivered first by Mario Savio and then dozens of others from atop the car. The sit-down, which ended with the unconditional release of Weinburg, catapulted the FSM to national attention and marked the beginning of Rubin's transition from participant to organizer.

During further actions, such as the sit-in at Sproul Hall which arose in protest to disciplinary actions taken against Savio for his role in the police car incident and resulted in the arrest of over 800 demonstrators, his level of movement involvement grew. Following the massive student strike which closed the university in November, Rubin was named by campus officials as one of six non-students responsible for a sit-in and was sentenced to 45 days imprisonment despite testimony from police that he did nothing but smile during the event in question. It was this conviction which led to his association with Stew Albert, fellow conspirator and leading spokesman of the anti-war Vietnam Day Committee.

Under the VDC banner Rubin assisted with the organization of Vietnam Day, "a nonstop thirty-six-hour marathon teach-in which drew 20,000 students to listen to Senator Ernest Gruening, Dick Gregory, Phil Ochs, Norman Mailer, Isaac Deutscher and I.F. incredible event with songs, speeches, debates and an empty chair signifying the State Department's refusal to attend."13 Further VDC actions, conducted from a six room dilapidated house located near the Berkeley campus, included the disruption of troop-laden trains passing through town enroute to nearby Oakland (the nation's military shipping point for Vietnam) and the largest demonstration in the history of Berkeley in which a crowd of 20,000 attempted to shut down the Oakland Army Terminal.

Novelist and LSD pioneer Ken Kesey was invited by the VDC to speak at the day-long teach-in of October 15, 1965 which preceded this massive event, an invitation he responded to in full force with his acid-crazed band of Merry Pranksters. Kesey's address to the crowd immediately preceded the signalled beginning of the march, but instead of the fiery anti-war oration all had expected to hear he delivered a rambling five minute speech on the futility of rallies and marches amidst a Prankster backdrop of assorted harmonica notes and noise.

"There was no way one could prove Kesey had done it. Nevertheless, something was gone out of the anti-war rally. The VDC tried to put in one last massive infusion of the old spirit and the great march on Oakland began. At the Oakland-Berkeley line the protesters were met by an arrow-shaped phalanx of police and National Guard. The VDC marched in a frantic clump at the head, trying to decide whether to force a physical confrontation or turn back when they were ordered to. Nobody seemed to have any resolve...and in the end the huge march turned around and headed for Civic Center Park in Berkeley and stood around there listening to music from Country Joe and the Fish wondering what the hell had happened."14

Following the abortive march on Oakland, "the energy drained from the anti-war movement...the VDC house rattled like an old skeleton...and the spirit once ours was restored to Mother Earth."15 Rubin ran for mayor of Berkeley in 1966 when shortly before the election he realized that no one from the movement was challenging the ultra-conservative incumbent. His campaign included pro-marijuana and anti-war platforms, as well as proposals to create a "rotating mayoralship with everyone taking turns as mayor for a day."16 He finished second in a field of four candidates, winning four student precincts with 22% of the vote.

In August of that same year, Rubin had been subpoenaed to testify before HUAC concerning VDC activities in Berkeley which right-wing Congressmen had publicly labeled as treasonous. He appeared dressed as Thomas Paine and handed out copies of the Declaration of Independence to astonished federal marshals and members of Congress..."successfully engaging the enemy in symbolic warfare. A delicate form of protest art, symbolic warfare insists one must love one's country in order to overthrow its government."17 Following four days of disruptions and affronts to the dignity of HUAC, the hearings were cancelled before an outraged Rubin could testify.

After speaking with Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary as "a representative of the Berkeley radicals" to hippies in attendance at San Francisco's first Be-In (Golden Gate Park, 1967), from whom he received a "cool reception,"18 Rubin spent thirty days in jail for a demonstration in which the limousine of General Maxwell Taylor was splattered with cow's blood. Following his release he received a call from Dave Dellinger, pacifist coordinator involved with the National Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam (MOBE), inviting him east to serve as project director for the MOBE anti-war demonstration planned for that October in Washington, D.C., and within a week was enroute to New York and his future Yippie! destiny.

Road to New York City

Abbie Hoffman had undergone a transformation while Berkeley seethed (both with protest and the antics of student radical Rubin), gradually evolving from non-violent civil rights activist to a full-fledged cultural revolutionary. In the spring of 1965 he had served as coordinator for a descendant of John and Samuel Adams and anti-war sympathizer Thomas Adams' primary campaign for the office of Democratic senator from Massachusetts. SNCC's reorganization at the time around the leadership of young black organizers such as Stokely Carmichael, prompted Hoffman (acting with Adams' approval) to invite Stokely north for a speaking appearance to show Adams' support for the militant Carmichael's already criticized radical platform of promised reforms. This campaign position marked his last foray into the world of conventional political tactics, and ended abruptly a few months later with Adams' loss in the primary.

Hoffman also worked that year to establish northern wholesaling connections for the distribution of handmade cloth and leather goods produced by the Poor People's Corporation (PPC) of Mississippi, a network of rural cooperatives. A PPC booth he and other SNCC workers set up at the 1966 Newport Folk Festival was one night dismantled and demolished by drunken police who then proceeded to attack and arrest SNCC organizers and Freedom Singers present to elicit support for movement activities from performers. The outrage which immediately developed among the festival population led to a hasty dismissal of all charges and "bizarre retribution in the form of public police penance the following morning."19

His efforts on behalf of PPC led Hoffman to New York during the fall of 1966 with intentions of creating a northern outlet for the Mississippi cooperatives' goods and products. Under his direction such a store was established and christened Liberty House at its opening in a renovated double storefront located in the West Village. Following the purge of whites from SNCC leadership at the winter 1966 conference, Abbie wrote an article attacking Black Power which urged that the struggle be re-defined in broader terms of class rather than race. The Village Voice published this article as a liberal argument in favor of an integrated civil rights movement. He soon reconciled with Stokely and other SNCC organizers, however, and by spring 1967 had followed their advice urging him to "turn over Liberty House to black management and organize around ending the war in Vietnam."20

He met Anita Kushner, a well-educated former psychology major, through work during his final months on the PPC payroll and fell hopelessly in love. They were married in Central Park in June of 1967 and rented a small apartment amidst the growing East Village hippie community, shortly before Hoffman's final break with Liberty House. This departure marked the end of his active civil rights involvement and the beginning of his career as revolutionary life-actor.

Hoffman soon took interest in the growing youth community which had begun to develop on New York's Lower East Side. His organizing efforts initiated over the issue of widespread police harassment with a leafleted call for participation in an immediate community discussion. Further actions which arose from this and other mass meetings included the formation of patrols to monitor city police, establishing bail funds and crash pads, attending to bad acid trips and organizing around local issues such as Gem Spa's nickel raise in the price of malted egg creams. Following a marijuana bust of twenty or so East Side blacks one Saturday night in 1967, he laid down to block the precinct station entrance until dragged inside by several officers, where he demanded arrest in a show of solidarity with the previously detained offenders. Although reluctant at first to comply, the Captain promptly jailed Hoffman when he shattered a nearby trophy case window with a deftly placed kick from his well-worn combat boots.

With the outbreak of rioting in Newark during early 1967, Hoffman established a shuttle service transporting from ten to fifteen truckloads of free food, clothing and blankets each day from the Lower East Side to local SNCC and NCUP (Newark Community Union Project) workers. He aided in the distribution of these supplies and alongside a work force of west coast Digger activists assisted with existent ghetto organizing as well. He established a counter-culture communications center with help from Jim Fouratt, a fellow organizer who along with Hoffman had just been fired from shortlived city positions as liasons between city hall and the East Village community, to "fill the information gap through reams of poetic and psychedelic street literature"21 dealing with topics of interest and local concern from upcoming rock concerts to venereal disease epidemics.

His successful efforts in publicizing and popularizing mass gatherings such as hippie-style weddings were again repeated with the Easter Sunday Be-In at Central Park which drew more than 35,000 assorted citizens. During the spring of 1967 he also assisted with the renovation of a Bowery location which was to become the Free Store. This concept was borrowed from Digger originators and ex-Mime Troupers of San Fransisco such as Peter Berg and Emmett Grogan, with whom he had only recently become acquainted. Various community beautification projects were organized throughout the summer with his help, including tree plant-ins and one city sweep-in joined by over 2000 people during which "an entire Manhattan cross street was made to sparkle."22

In response to a massive April 15, 1967 MOBE rally which drew 700,000 for a march on UN headquarters in New York, a right-wing Support Our Boys rally was organized and held in May of that same year. Hoffman was among a Lower East Side "flower brigade" contingent numbering less than twenty who received official permission to participate in the scheduled parade yet was denied a police escort. Subsequently, the entire group was mobbed and beaten by hostile conservative bystanders. In retaliation the following week, another march was planned during which over thirty bags of garbage were brought to the recently opened Lincoln Center (located in downtown Manhattan) and scattered in the elegant courtyard fountain. This event, billed by Hoffman as a "cultural exchange program," made headlines around the city and served as a prelude to the summer hijinks which were to catapult him to national attention.

Street theater as revolutionary art

August 24, 1967 marked what Abbie termed as "my first nontraditional organizing venture,"23 an incident in which two dozen or so long-haired hippies and fun-loving tourists drove the money changers from their Wall Street temple by throwing $300 in one dollar bills onto the gallery floor of New York's Stock Exchange from the balcony railing above. Following this event, the first of many symbolic "monkey-warfare" skirmishes later associated with Yippie!, the hippies proceeded outside to hold court for the eagerly awaiting press, in front of whom they joyously burned still more dollars and proclaimed the "end of money."

Stew Albert and Jerry Rubin had arrived in New York that morning and had only just been introduced to Hoffman when he invited them both to assist with the theatrical assault. That night the hippies received international publicity and Rubin "fell in love with the bundle of energy known as Abbie Hoffman."24

Three weeks later, officials responded by enclosing the visitors' balcony with bulletproof partitions and metal grillwork at a cost of $20,000 for what an exchange spokesman referred to as "security reasons."25

Next, Hoffman and other East Side organizers masterminded an attack on Con Edison, New York's all-powerful utility company. Soot bombs were planted in offices, smudge bombs set afire amidst crowded lobbies and signs plastered about indicating that "BREATHING IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH". During the summer of 1967 he also organized the War Is Over celebration which drew 2000 to Washington Square Park, reasoning that "if you don't like the news, make up your own."26 Police were caught unaware when the rally surged through nearby streets after counting down from one hundred to zero (and the end of the war), allowing for chaotic swarms of celebrants to charge Fifth Avenue and deceive thousands into believing that peace in Vietnam had actually come.

Inspired by these zany escapades of protest, multitudes of others joined in the growing outbreak of theatrical direct action. Witches in black robes exorcised the FBI building of its "evil spirits", hundreds filled the lobby of the NY Daily News during a mass smoke-in, panhandlers periodically entered crowded banks to scatter handfuls of change across floors and mice were released at a Dow Chemical stockholder meeting. A group comprised of mostly teenagers who were later to adopt the "crazies" label (which arose from erroneous media coverage of a Washington counter-inauguration held for Richard Nixon in January, 1969) infiltrated an Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) dinner posing as waiters and waitresses, proceeding then to deliver pigs' heads to Hubert Humphrey and other shocked liberals among the likes of J. Kenneth Gailbraith and Edmund Muskie.

Exorcism of the Pentagon

It was the more conventional organizing efforts of the National Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam, however, which were to provide a nationwide outlet for this new brand of guerrilla theater. On October 21, 1967 over 100,000 were drawn to Washington D.C. for a three-day exorcism of the "evil" five-sided Pentagon, coordinated by the MOBE steering committee of which Hoffman and Rubin were so vital a part.

During the September press conference at which MOBE plans for this event were announced, the media was led to expect massive occurrences of disruption and violent confrontation, yet was completely unprepared for the crazed actions promised by Col. Jerome Z. Wilson of the Strategic Air Command (posing as one Abbie Hoffman):

"He assured the newsmen that a crowd of holy men would 'surround the Pentagon, chanting and beating drums, and the Pentagon will rise in the air. When it reaches 300 feet, all the evil spirits will fall out.' Col. Wilson, who had recently dropped out of SAC because of 'bad vibrations,' also revealed that marijuana, already planted on the Pentagon lawn, would be ready for harvest by October 21. 'We will defoliate Washington's cherry trees and turn the Potomac River purple,' he added."27

When Washington police announced they were prepared to repel demonstrators with mace, Hoffman and Rubin responded by informing the press of a potent new sex drug possessed by anti-war forces, LSD combined with DMSO (a skin penetrating agent) which when applied externally caused subjects to disrobe and become sexually aroused. Skeptical reporters were invited to a demonstration the following night where they witnessed an orgy which "spontaneously erupted" when couples were squirted with the drug, known as Lace, in reality nothing more than purple-tinged disappearing ink stocked by local novelty emporiums.

A permit was received early in October which would allow MOBE forces to stage the massive demonstration, but which granted permission to raise the Pentagon itself only ten feet rather than the requested three hundred. Martin Luther King, Benjamin Spock and scores of other respected figures spoke in the hours preceding the actual Pentagon march and siege. Following an initial surge which overwhelmed lines of police defense and brought protesters within yards of the Pentagon walls, most obvious military resistance and brutality towards demonstrators ceased, surfacing again only during next two nights when TV cameras had vanished. Most mainstream participants in the march had dispersed with the first nightfall on Friday, and by midnight Sunday only 500 remained to be arrested when the MOBE permit expired. Nonetheless, this event had provided Hoffman and Rubin with the exposure and large-scale experience needed to set the stage for their planned Festival of Life at Chicago the following summer.

The Pentagon's levitation (which Hoffman claimed to have actually witnessed early Sunday morning) served as the final transition for both from mere creative and effective organizers to Yippie! warriors destined to play important roles in events soon to shape the nation's consciousness and to disrupt its very fabric.


1 Abbie Hoffman, Soon to be a Major Motion Picture (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1980), 137.

2 Free (Abbie Hoffman), Revolution For the Hell of It (New York: Dial Press, 1968), 102.

3 Ibid.

4 Rex Weiner, et al. Woodstock Census (New York: Viking Press, 1979), 243.

5 Free, 65.

6 Jerry Rubin, Growing Up at 37 (New York: M. Evans, 1976), 68.

7 Matthew W. Wald, "At 50, his radical fervor hasn't diminished," The Providence Journal, 8 February 1986, A-20.

8 Free, 199.

9 Hoffman, 39.

10 Ibid., 41.

11 Rubin, Growing Up, 73.

12 Ibid., 74.

13 Ibid., 76.

14 Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (New York: Bantam, 1968), 200.

15 Jerry Rubin, Do It! (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970), 46.

16 Ibid., 47.

17 Hoffman, 128.

18 Rubin, Growing Up, 80.

19 Allen Katzman, ed., Our Time (New York: Dial Press, 1972), 289.

20 Hoffman, 82.

21 Ibid., 96.

22 Ibid., 97.

23 Katzman, 290.

24 Rubin, Growing Up, 81.

25 Free, 191.

26 Hoffman, 110.

27 Rubin, Do It!, 70.



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Holles, Everett R. "Open Hostility In San Diego Greets Vanguard Of Activists Planning Protests At National Convention Of G.O.P." Sunday New York Times, 19 March 1972: 51.

Kennedy, Eugene. "The Year That Shook Chicago." New York Times Magazine, 5 March 1978: 27-36.

Kifner, John. "Chicago 7 Defense Files Appeal Brief." New York Times, 28 Feb. 1971: 14.

Naughton, James M. "200,000 Rally In Capital To End War." New York Times, 25 April 1971: 1-4.

Royko, Mike. "A Zippie Affair." Providence Journal, 10 Oct. 1972: 28.

Salpeekas, Agis. "Detroit Radicals Face Bomb Trial." New York Times, 17 Nov. 1971: 49.

Sirica, Jack. "Free Speech Movement Stirred Up A Decade Of Protest." Providence Journal, 16 Sept. 1984 B-1 + 4.

Spaner, David. "Interview With Abbie Hoffman." Overthrow, Summer '86: 1 + 11 + 14 + 17.

Wald, Matthew L. "At 50, His Radical Fervor Hasn't Dimmed." Providence Journal 8 Feb. 1986: A-20.

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