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The Far-Out Park Party

How does humanity have an idea? How does it get to where it believes it? Probably the same way an individual does. Through the focus of conflict.  This spring the People's Park in Berkeley was one of the most visible and excruciating edges in the world.  The energies brought to bear from Authority, Longhairs, Citizens, and Media amounted to diamond pressure. In terms of the local issue it was self-defeating; everyone wanted a fluid solution to the problem, but under that kind of pressure rigidity is all you get, and rigidity's pain.  Then perspective took notice, the world watched. And the whole thing came out the top of itself. "We're not going to use the Earth as a weapon.  We're going to use it as a tool." No stones or bullets were thrown while 30,000 fans of fluidity strolled through Berkeley.  War had turned into party. Something squirted loose and commenced to flow.  -SB

 

After the march to People's Park yesterday the street people and students un-wound themselves in a scene reminiscent of a Roman bacchanale. In People's Park Number 2, three huge bonfires were kindled. And as evening closed in, the people came massing into the park. The groupies, the hippies, the heads, the ''Asian Scholars for the Park," the SDS, the motorcycle freaks, the derelicts — everyone who is the community of Berkeley drifted through the firelight to settle down on the bare earth and release good vibes. There wasn't a policeman in sight.

"It was a warm — hut slightly bestial — scene," one observer commented.

By 9 p.m.. some 3000 revellers had so jammed the tiny wedge of People's Park 2, that the overflow into Hearst, avenue and Grant street was stopping traffic.

Over-all there was an incessant thrumming as the young people beat on garbage can lids, and oil cans. "It was a never-ending drumming session." said our observer. ''No rhythm, except this kind of compulsive throbbing. When a drummer collapsed, unable to sustain the pace any longer, they'd haul him off like Peyote Indians, and another would slide into his place without missing a throb."

Early in the evening, the crowd took a rough-hewn table and four stalwarts held it over their heads. Then young girls were boosted on to the table top. and they whirled "It was like the cossacks."

Repeatedly, when the table, holders lost their balance the dancers, table, and holders-on careened toward the fire, and narrowly escaped tumbling in.

There was no disrobing it was a little too chilly for that. But plenty of dancing, though nothing formal: Just a long, weaving, swooping line of young blood and chicks meandering in and out of the fire light.

They chanted — but no words. "Sounded savage." said our man.

"This is a real return to the earth."

The young people did not even talk about their "victory." they were too busy enjoying the occasion.

Red Mountain half gallon jugs went the rounds and beer, and a few joints.

People drifted away more came.

The word in Berkeley last night was: "Sleep with a stranger."