ABBIE!!

ABBIE!! - Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) is a historical icon of...

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Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) is a historical icon of the radical sixties. He was active at the very beginning of the revolution, speaking out against the current anticommunist meetings and organizing antiwar demonstrations in his hometown of Worchester, Massachusetts. Hoffman became increasingly involved in this movement when he relocated to New York and began organizing hippies and playing an active role in the antiwar demonstrations. One of Hoffman’s primary focuses was to grab the media’s attention and use it to present the movement to the rest of the world. He did this through the practice of guerrilla theater in his outrageous protests. As one of the primary leaders of the “Yippie!” movement, he created an uproar at Grand Central Terminal and then reached his political climax in Chicago at the Democratic National Conventions in 1968. Throughout his political career and even after the conventions, Hoffman continued to inspire and lead young people to work for change and dedicate their lives to the revolution. In 1960, The HUAC arrived in the Bay Area to hold hearings in San Francisco’s City hall. The HUAC was an organization that gathered data that was used to confront witnesses in public hearings with allegations of communist activity. In these hearings, witnesses were not allowed to challenge the data that was being used against them. The formation of the HUAC caused there to be fear among the people to take radical political stances. This is because if one were to participate in any sort of political demonstration or were to work for any liberal cause, the HUAC would record information taken at the event to use for future hearings. The first time that Hoffman spoke publicly about politics was in the autumn of 1960 at the screening of Operation Abolition at Clark University. Operation Abolition, produced by right- wing film makers, was a documentary used to expose how a group of communists had supposedly tricked students into rioting against the San Francisco HUAC hearings and that the
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purpose of these communist-induced demonstrations was to undermine American democracy. 1 The film created a controversy among conservatives and liberals, especially on college campuses. Hoffman, in opposition to the documentary’s message, spoke and revealed the distortion of the documentary. His speaking caused a great excitement among his listeners and as a result of his initiative and strong words, he was hired by the American Civil Liberties Union to travel with the film and defend the anti-HUAC position. At this time, liberalism was still very soft-spoken and radical left ideas were kept quiet. But, at the screening of Operation Abolition, after Hoffman spoke and was brutally questioned, one farmer in the back stood to voice his agreement with Hoffman’s criticism of the movie. 2
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This note was uploaded on 04/09/2012 for the course WRIT 140 taught by Professor Alvandi during the Spring '07 term at USC.

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ABBIE!! - Abbie Hoffman (1936-1989) is a historical icon of...

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