Rainbow Peace Caravan San Francisco to Dallas 1984

Evening Outlook

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 understanding.

"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."