Saturday, 18 December 2010

Love and Peace Weekend - Part II

September 28-29, 1968 Live Oak Park, Berkeley
From the Berkeley Barb Issue 163:

Love and Peace Fest Bummed by Fuzz

Berkeley's Festival of Love and Peace last Sunday ended as an Exercise in Law and Order.
While hundreds of diverse people strolled through Live Oak Park gazing at sculpture, painting, photography and unnamed art forms, Carl Worth, director of the city's official art center, was spending much of his time on the phone, trying to keep the heat off.
Police arrived Sunday afternoon, gesturing a stack of complaints several inches thick. A call to City Manager William Hanley kept the festival open. When a group described by one observer as "members of the Geritol set" complained that they couldn't use the park, the test nevertheless went on.

Hanley's support was withdrawn Sunday at 10 p.m., the hour Berkeley's sound ordinance goes into force. Police arrived promptly to squelch the noise emanating from the Art Center's small in door theatre.
The noise was a Rock Mass being offered by the Free Church, sponsor of the weekend festival. According to people outside the building at the time, the sound of the band was far from loud, even near by.
Despite the efforts of Carl Worth and Free Church Reverend Dick York, the police insisted that the sound must cease. Hanley and Worth did succeed for two days in fending off those who objected to the display of "street culture" throughout the park and in its Art Center gallery.
Just before the 10 p.m. crack down Sunday, the Floating Lotus Magic Opera Company completed its ceremony-drama, the Quest for the Inner Eye of Truth. Costumes, gestures, music and words woven by the Floating Lotus led a procession of spectators into a spontaneous dance. That dancing mood, at a slower tempo, seemed to be reflected in the eyes of most of the thousands of people who wandered among the artworks during the two days. Many were heard to remark on the good quality of the work. Even the rock bands did not pack the people too tight together, but there always seemed to be a crowd.
Unlike many of the classic Be-Ins, at the Live Oak festival a weary body had room to lie on the grass without encountering stray feet.
Although many street people expressed bitterness that The Man ended the arts test on a harsh note, several are still working on a project to develop an Arts Center for the Telegraph Avenue community. They invite interested persons to attend a meeting for that purpose at the Berkeley City Hall on Friday, October 4, at 1:30 pm.

No comments:

Post a Comment