The year was 1967. Kennedy was dead and buried. Time had marched on. Under the banner of new commander-in-chief, a limited action by U.S. Special Forces had turned into a full-scale, bull market-war. Fortunes were made by military czars, and the dead were tallied like trophies… and all the while an endless supply of draftees fed into one end of the war factory, and slid off the assembly line neatly canned in stainless steel coffins at the other.
America’s President was Lyndon Baines Johnson. He was going out to dinner with some friends. The cost of a meal? Five-hundreds bucks a plate. With approximateley one thousand invitees, some serious money was changing hands. Inside. Where the Insiders were. Inside.
Out on the streets, however, a crowd was forming. They had come to pass along something other than money to LBJ. It was their Constitutional right. They had come to vote ‘no’ in person. ‘No’ to the killing. ‘No’ to the profiteers. They had come to twist the bull market-war by the tail. It was their right to lawful assembly. It was their Constitutional right.
This week on From the Vault, we take a listen to the interaction between power and people, where demonstrators and police alike reveal the underlying truth… that all war are civil wars. We’ll explore the events of June 23, 1967 as 15,000 protestors filled the streets of Century City, California, a turnout that, at the time, was the largest anti-war demonstration Southern California had ever seen. To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of this swelling of peace, we’ll live through the sounds on the street, eye-witness interviews, and the subsequent hearings held in the aftermath of this historic demonstration.
We’ll also hear comments of filmmaker Bjorn Joffee, who is currently producing a documentary on the 1967 Century City Demonstrations. Joffee was actually a 10 month-old infant who attended the rally that day. Years later, it was a worn picture of his mother pushing him in a baby stroller at the protest (published on the front page the the Los Angeles Free Press) that sparked his four year quest to put this story to film. In fact, it was during Joffee’s initial inquiry to the Pacifica Radio Archives, while conducting research for his film, when we ‘rediscovered’ our rare audio of the public hearings held concerning the the events of June 23, 1967.
Pacifica Affiliate Programmers can find this program available for broadcast download at www.audioport.org. Password required.
ORIGINAL SOURCE RECORDINGS:
BB1195 America’s Chief Moral Dilemma / Martin Luther King, Jr. MORE INFO
BB4529a-b Calls Taken During the Century City Plaza Demonstration Special MORE INFO
BB4537 Century Plaza: L.B.J. in Los Angeles MORE INFO
BB4538 Century Plaza: L.B.J. in Los Angeles / Reported by Les Claypool MORE INFO
BB4479.01-04 Hearings Before the Police, Fire, and Civil Defense Committee of the L.A. City Council on the June 23rd Parade and Demonstration at Century Plaza MORE INFO
BB2439 Anti-war Speech and Music, 1969 MORE INFO
Click here to purchase a copy of this program or learn more about and purchase copies of the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.
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