The Sanitized Version of the 1968 Global Revolt

1968 Global Revolt – Summer of Love, Summer of Conflict

DW (2018)

Film Review

Part 2 focuses mainly on 1976-68, starting with ongoing anti-Vietnam War protests that took place in 1967 in Rome, Paris, Sao Paulo, Tokyo, Berlin, Sidney, Melbourne and many other cities.

In addition to student uprisings across the US in 1967, 150 American cities and towns experienced inner city riots as African Americans protested substandard housing, mass unemployment and police brutality.

This contrasted starkly with the 1967 Summer of Love in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco. This movement focused less on protesting than on drug and sexual experimentation. The film quotes a social scientist who maintains the Haight “love-in” came directly of of “suburban” (ie upper middle class) culture. The filmmakers make no mention of the role the CIA played in disseminating LSD to California youth in an effort to derail the student antiwar movement (see How the CIA Used LSD to Destroy the New Left)

This episode devotes major attention to the 9 million-strong student/worker protest in France that brought France to a standstill for two weeks in 1968.

The most disappointing segment of this film is an appearance of leftist-turned-neocon (and likely CIA asset) David Horowitz to discredit anti-Vietnam War activists who promoted Vietnam’s right of self-determination in its independence struggle. According to Horowitz, this position “disregarded” the desires of the South Vietnamese.

Like many of Horowitz’s sound bites, this statement is both misleading and factually inaccurate. One of the main reasons the US lost the Vietnam War is that the vast majority of South Vietnamese civilians opposed the US military occupation and supported the Vietcong (the South Vietnamese guerilla army that fought alongside North Vietnamese troops). See What You Never Learned in School About the Vietnam War

 

Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement

Berkeley in the Sixties

Directed by Mark Kitchell (2002)

Film Review

Berkeley in the sixties is a documentary about the history of 1960s Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement (FSM). Prior to watching the film, I had no idea that Youth for Goldwater helped start the FSM, joining forces with left leaning groups in 12-18 hour strategy meetings aimed at a university ban on political information tables. By necessity, these meetings made decisions by consensus. Decisions based on majority vote always engendered the risk the losing minority would walk away.

In 1963, the FSM would collaborate with black civil rights leaders in a massive civil disobedience that forced San Francisco hotels to end their discriminatory hiring practices.

Following this initial victory, the FSM oriented their protests against the Vietnam War, inspiring similar actions by tens of thousands of students at campuses across the US. In 1967, they successfully shut down the Oakland army induction center for five days.

The documentary also explores the FSM collaboration with the Oakland Black Panther Party in the Free Huey movement, their tenuous linkages with the CIA-fabricated  (see How the CIA Used LSD to Destroy the New Left Haight Ashbury counterculture movement and their involvement in the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

There is some great footage of Berkeley President Clark Kerr and Governor Ronald Reagan behaving like assholes.


*Newton was framed for the manslaughter of Oakland police officer John Frey during a Panther gun battle with the police. He was ultimately released after three unsuccessful attempts to convict him.