Summer of Love 30th Anniversary Mission Statement
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 97 11:40:42 -0700
Subject: Summer of Love 30th Anniversary Mission Statement
Forwarded-by: Jef Jaisun <email@example.com>
About this event...
by Chet Helms
The original Council for the
Summer of Love was created
in 1967 by The Family Dog,
The Straight Theatre, The
Diggers, The San Francisco
Oracle and about twenty-five
All this is well documented in Charles Perry's "History of the Haight Ashbury"
and the San Francisco Chronicle of April 6, 1967. The Human Be-in (which we
were all involved in the creation of) drew at least 35,000 people with
virtually no conventional publicity, mostly word of mouth. We realized that
by the time school let out in April or May that we would be inundated by
literally tens of thousands of young people from all over the country.
The images projected by the media of our nascent cultural renaissance were
pretty negative and usually consisted of some young unbathed, barefoot
individual sitting in the gutter, smoking a joint and begging for spare
change. The term "summer of love" was our attempt to initiate these young
people into another more positive and compassionate vision of what this
embryonic cultural revolution was all about.
The Council for the Summer of Love was specifically formed to try to
mitigate some of the problems which would predictably attend this population
To that end--
+ We worked very closely with the churches in the Haight Ashbury.
+ We assisted Dr. David Smith in the creation of the Haight Ashbury Free
+ We supported the efforts of the Reverend Larry Beggs who founded the
Huckleberry House for Runaways.
+ We promoted a Haight Ashbury "Sweep-In" and cleaned Haight Street from
Masonic to Stanyan.
+ We collectively supported the efforts of the Diggers to feed people in
the park, to provide shelter to the homeless, and donated usable goods
to the Diggers Free Store before recycling was fashionable.
+ With donated services and equipment we produced all the free musical and
artistic events that happened in the Panhandle that year. These events
served to help these young people network with each other so that they
could find a place to stay, make new friends, locate a meal and kept them
from simply hanging out on Haight Street and getting into trouble.
We may not have accomplished all that we set out to do, but the situation
would have been much worse without us. We sowed the seeds of a compassionate
idealism which still lives in the hearts of many of our own and subsequent
Over the years members of our circle have periodically produced events to
celebrate the various anniversaries of the Summer of Love (1987, 1992, etc).
We have assembled ourselves one more time as the Council for the Summer of
Love. Most of us were part of the original circle, though many young people
who share our ideals have joined us.
We are collectively producing the 30th Anniversary of the Summer of Love
Celebration on October 12, 1997 in the Beach Chalet Meadows in Golden Gate
We have three main purposes in producing this event:
First- we would like to celebrate the accomplishments of our generation.
The accomplishments of our generation are so ubiquitous as to be anonymous.
We were called "health nazis," but you can buy organic food in most
supermarkets today. The environmental issues we raised then are before
almost every legislative body in the world now. We made major strides in
ending legal segregation though we still have much to do to end racism. We
ended the era when women could be treated as second class citizens though
much remains to be done in achieving gender equity. We greatly expanded the
range of personal expression which was guaranteed to us by the constitution
but seldom realized due to social fears and conformity. So now you can wear
your hair any length, pierce your nose if you like, women can wear pants
and throw their bra away if so inclined. We ended the terrible and senseless
war in South East Asia and never again will we send 500,000 soldiers around
the world to fight a war that the citizenry neither supported nor
understood. The sixties were the best thing that happened in the late 20th
century, not the worst as some would have it, and it is important to create
a forum in which we can stand up and bear witness to that fact.
Second- we would like to inspire folks to re-examine their lives and focus
once again on some of the humane, compassionate, and democratic ideals of
that era. We are of the opinion that we are all older, hopefully wiser, more
skilled, better connected, have more resources available and could
accomplish wonders by rededicating ourselves to implementing compassion in
our personal behavior and public policy. The late Abbie Hoffman said "The
lesson of the sixties is that people who cared enough to do right could
Third- we wish to use this event as a podium to educate people about the
dire future that faces many of our children. Many are unaware that, in this
the richest country on the planet, one third of our children live below the
poverty line and this percentage goes up astronomically if you examine the
African-American or Hispanic communities. We are now told that one in twenty
children born today in America will spend time in prison. In the time that
we built one institution of higher learning in California we built twenty
seven prisons. These are shameful facts that we as a society must address.
To this end we have asked all the invited speakers at our celebration to
speak to the question: "How do we create a more compassionate vision of the
future for our children?"
In the spirit of the sixties and to allow the broadest and most inclusive
participation, this event will be free and ungated.
We will ask for contributions at the gates but none will be excluded for
lack of funds. We are raising funds for the production of this event from
corporate and private sponsors, from advances on merchandising memorabilia,
from advances on recording, film, and video rights.
Any funds raised in excess of the production costs of this event we have
pledged to distribute to impoverished and at-risk childrens' programs. We
have asked the Glide Church Foundation and the Childrens Council to assist
us in selecting appropriate beneficiaries. To be perfectly clear, we are
not promoting this event as a benefit per se, but as a consciousness-raising
event. We are a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Agape
Foundation/Unity Foundation (a 501c3 corporation) who are acting as our
© 1997 Peter Langston