Festival of Life [Chicago 1968 DNC]
New York: Youth International Party, . 8 1/2 x 11 in. Single sheet printed on recto only. Offset. Very good. Item #5465
Broadside produced by the Yippies to promote and fundraise in advance of their demonstration at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.
The year had been a turbulent one for America, and for the Democratic party - Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in April, resulting in widespread uprisings. The incumbent Democratic president, Lyndon B. Johnson, dropped out partway through the primary season after an especially underwhelming campaign.
His most popular competitor in the race, Robert Kennedy, was assassinated in June of that year. As the convention approached and the American imperial intervention in Vietnam dragged on, the Demoractic establishment gathered to nominate Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Humphrey had entered partway through the campaign, inheriting Johnson’s delegates, and had participated only in caucuses but none of the primary elections.
Young activists gathered to protest this sham of democracy at demonstrations promoted largely by the Yippies and Students for a Democratic Society. There was massive turnout to the weeklong series of actions building off the energy of the anti-war movement, and violence erupted when the Chicago police force violently attacked protesters in one of the worst police riots of the decade. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley had given the order "to shoot to kill any arsonist or anyone with a Molotov cocktail in his hand ... and ... to shoot to maim or cripple anyone looting any stores in our city." The night Hubert Humphrey won the nomination, the public watched on national television as Chicago police beat and teargassed young protesters. The demonstrations resulted in federal indictments for the Chicago Seven - a group that included Yippies Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.
This broadside promised music, theatre, art, a newspaper, religion, film, sex, and games from the likes of Tuli Kupferberg, Alan Marlowe, Ed Sanders, Richard Goldstein, Douglas Turner Ward, Enrique Vargas, Jud Yakult, Timothy Leary, Diane di Prima, and many others.
A rare piece of ephemera from the most important demonstration that the Yippies would help organize, and a turning point in 1960s politics - designed in the pseudo-corporate style that helped make the Yippies media darlings.