Saturday, April 01, 2006

You're getting nowhere, are you, jeweler? Posted by Picasa

This Day in Boomer History

April Lennon Day

Not too surprisingly, April 1 and John Lennon met in the news on several occasions.

On April 1, 1970, John and Yoko announced they were both having sex change operations. No indication of how many reporters took them seriously before the April Fools Day joke was discovered.

In a different kind of foolishness, more classical in terms of the court jester tradition, John and Yoko announced on April 1, 1973, the formation of a new nation, which they called Nutopia. Nutopia had no laws and no borders. It's national anthem was silence.

There were two April 1s of a different nature involving John Lennon and his father, Freddie Lennon, who had abandoned his family when John was a baby. John and Freddie met again for the first time on April 1, 1964. They didn't see each other much after that. And on April 1, 1976, Freddie Lennon died.

Friday, March 31, 2006

There's something happening here...
High school student protestor arrested in L.A. Posted by Picasa

1960s Now

New Protests in L.A.: "This is How They Did It in the 60s"

Antiwar demonstrations have become all too familiar since the 1960s, thanks to so many awful wars to demonstrate against. But the recent protests by Latinos against certain proposed legislation on immigration in the 2006 Congress have other direct roots to the 1960s: to the Civil Rights era, and to the Cesar Chavez marches and boycotts. In California, March 31 is a state holiday in honor of Chavez.

According to this article in the L.A. Times, high school students are looking to the 60s for some of their models for non-violent protest, in particular to Los Angeles school demonstrations in 1968 as depicted in the recently shown HBO film, "Walkout."

"It hearkens back to 1968," said Andres Jimenez, director of the California Policy Research Center at the University of California. "There was a sense of frustration that they saw with their parents in terms of the tenor of the immigration debate. This group is being singled out as a 'problem group.' And they wanted to seek an avenue to respond to that, to show that on the contrary, this group is very much a part of the broader society."

To be sure, students revealed both their youth and their naivete at times. When thousands of Los Angeles students descended on City Hall on Monday, for example, one student said she remembered something about civil rights protesters in the 1960s sitting down during demonstrations. It was a reference to the "sit-in," but it wasn't entirely clear whether the students recognized the pedigree of their decision to plop down on the steps.

"That was the idea of a girl from Belmont" High School, said Tabares. "In the '60s, the way they did it was sitting down. So we told everybody to sit down."

The story goes on to say that some students were also quite savvy about protesting, and had good instincts for how to be effective. They also use new tools, like the Internet, in particular, which became an information clearinghouse that every teenager knew but few adults did. The result in one school:

It didn't take long before most of Garden Grove High's roughly 2,200 students knew what was coming, without the knowledge or involvement of teachers or parents.

Soon, the bulletin crossed over an invisible but critical line between teens who were friends but attended different schools. Students began posting their telephone numbers, and soon dozens more pledges to participate were obtained through phone calls and instant text messages.

Still, when the tardy bell rang Monday morning, Muniz had no idea what to expect. Teenagers can talk a big game. But would they follow through?

She waited in front of the school. Soon, the doors opened, and scores of students — most of them Latino, but a handful of whites, African Americans and Asian Americans too — joined her. They marched through Garden Grove and Anaheim, picking up students at several other schools as planned through MySpace bulletins. By 1 p.m., they had covered 10 miles. An estimated 1,500 students had walked out. Muniz was a truant — and, to her friends, a hero.