(Reposted from Indybay.) The fifth annual Peace in the Park, held in Golden Gate Park, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love. Present were people who were around and active in the late '60s/early '70s (some introduced themselves publicly, others I spoke to individually) as well as younger people who seemed passionate about creating a better world.
Turnout was respectable, although my companion and I wondered why there wasn't a more massive crowd considering how busy the Summer of Love Experience had been at the nearby De Young Museum (which we went to in the middle of a weekday). Did people have too many conflicting events on a Saturday?
The day began with an Ohlone* blessing by Jorge Molina, who could recall the Summer of Love of 1967. (Diamond Dave was also to participate but was being hospitalized. However, he vehemently wanted Molina to proceed without him.)
Also present were the inspiring prayer dancers from the Temple of Isis (or the Isis Oasis Sanctuary) in Geyserville, California. They were diverse in terms of body type, age, and ethnicity. One of them made very interesting uses of English. In one case she broke "opportunity" into four words: "a portal to unity." There was a meditation for peace around the world. Some in the audience were praying for this. Banners in the stage area represented values such as Love, Courage, Respect, Tolerance...
Meanwhile a parade made its way in and around the stage and audience, which while visually loud was audibly very quiet. These opening events inspired me to try and be more peaceful in my day-to-day interactions and to continue my activism.
There was no shortage activities throughout the day. Ongoing ones included meditation, tai chi, yoga, and art. There were talks about institutions at Haight-Ashbury like the pioneering work of the Huckleberry house for runaway teens (places like that didn't exist prior to 1967; being a runaway was illegal until 1974; Huckleberry has served as a model for facilities across the country), the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic (which like Huckleberry has been in operation 50 years), and the San Francisco Oracle.
By far two of the most well-attended talks I attended included “Why are Merry Pranksters Necessary?” whose large panel included Wavy Gravy**, and “The Biology of Belief” with Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D. Topics discussed in the former included the importance of continuing the Merry Pranksters—and one of the new-generation Pranksters was introduced: a young woman named Big Trouble. Big Trouble has been traveling around the country with other young Pranksters to address the madness set loose by Trump. This has been done with great support from their elder Pranksters.
Bruce Lipton talked about the toxicity of our society affecting the formation of our subconsciouses from shortly before birth to age seven. This affects us the rest of our lives.
Other talks included “Hemp Solutions for the Planet” by Linda Delair.
There was live music throughout the day, and the event closed with a sing-along of Imagine by John Lennon.
Peace in the Park is organized by Brahma Kumaris Foundations with help (this year, at least) from groups including Code Pink (who had a tent there), Vegan Outreach, and Earthdance.
*Ohlone refers to indigenous people of the Bay area. It encompasses numerous groups with different names (e.g., Miwok).
**Among many other things, Wavy Gravy was involved Woodstock, helped bring food and medicine to flood survivors in Bangladesh, and was part of the Nobody for President campaign of 1976 (see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foWx42_1Loc
) Saint Misbehavin' is a documentary about his life (preview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkV6KQLLi60