Rainbow Peace Caravan San Francisco to Dallas 1984
Beatnik-hippie-punker "family" to drop in on GOP
Santa Monica, California
Wednesday, August 8, 1984
2 photos, not shown here, captioned:
'Flowing River' prepares to launch a pass at Venice Beach
while Evette Justus and David Crockett Williams Jr chant
at Peace Pole nearby.
Beatnik-hippie-punker 'family' to drop in on GOP
By Rick Cziment
Evening Outlook Staff Writer
It was like falling asleep during the Woodstock festival and
waking up in the middle of a slam-dance Dead Kennedys
concert as the Rainbow Family, a holdover brigade of
flower-power hippies, joined forces with the Rock Against
Reagan corps of punkers.
That was the scene when three generations of "family"
gathered at Venice Beach this past week on a mission
for world peace, nuclear disarmament and spiritual
"We've got three generations here -- beatniks, hippies
and punkers," said Dave Whitaker, a self-appointed
44-year-old paterfamilias. "But we're all committed
to one thing -- bringing about world peace."
The coalition, bound for Dallas and the Republican
convention later this month, was to leave Venice today.
"It's a real handful keeping all this together," admitted
Whitaker, while taking a break from writing a picture
postcard to his daughter, Ricochette. Another card
would be going to son Ooby-Dooby, an 18-year-old guitarist.
The encampment was like a traveling philosophy bazaar
that at times became somewhat bizarre. "It's all part of
the sine wave of history...leading to an explosion of peace
by the year 2000," insisted Benyamin Lichtenstein.
"It's like the prophecies said. Those whose hearts are open,
like ours, will inherit the Earth," offered Digger.
"We're all anarchists. We're living communally, without power
trips, without leaders or government," chimed in Lijah, who
was coifed like a runaway Olympic banner in hot magenta,
lime green and chrome yellow.
"The spiritual and scientific revolution is here. But you have
to understand the theories of Bruce DePalma -- he's (director)
Brian DePalma's brother and the new Galileo -- about the
influence of rotation on physical bodies" posited David Crockett
Williams, Jr., who took time off from chanting and beating a
drum in front of the group's Peace Pole. He and his girlfriend,
Evette Justus, were en route to a Hopi convocation at the Four
Corners Monument (where the Utah, Colorado, Arizona and
New Mexico meet) before continuing on to Dallas.
"By spinning a magnet in a certain way, he has proven you
can produce electricity without using fuel, like atomic
fuel or fossil fuel."
"We're not hippies, we're Yippies...We're going to Dallas
to confront Reagan and protest the arms buildup," Al Gilman
said. Too young to have joined the Yippie movement in its
germinal, Jerry Rubin days, he dismissed local assemblyman
Thomas Hayden as a "sell-out".
When the Rainbow Family held a communal gathering in a
national forest near Mount Shasta earlier this summer, they
attracted media coverage as if a prehistoric culture believed
to be extinct suddenly was discovered alive and well in a
Ralph's [market] parking lot. Since then, the family has
been on the road toward Dallas, with stops in San Francisco,
Santa Cruz, Isla Vista and Los Angeles.
They are traveling to San Diego, Phoenix, and Albuquerque
before heading for the GOP convention, beginning August 17.
At the convention the hippies plan to organize peaceful
demonstrations, and the punkers in the Rock Against Reagan
contingent will hold a concert on the infamous Grassy Knoll
by the punk rock group the Dead Kennedys.
Whitaker said that the hippy movement was gaining steam --
smoking in a manner of speaking -- because it has coalesced
with other disparate, peace-seeking groups like the Yippies,
the punkers and anarchists. Their caravan consists of eight
busses, six vans, and various other vehicles.
Lichtenstein said Einstein summed it all up more than a half
century ago when he declared, "The only thing that needs
changing is our consciousness."