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  Anticapitalists, Marijuana Advocates
Posted by CN Staff on August 29, 2004 at 19:29:06 PT
By Colin Moynihan 
Source: New York Times  

cannabisnews.com Over the decades the Yippies have become infamous as a counterculture group known for colorful pranks and criticizing capitalism. Recently, though, the group entered the world of high-stakes Manhattan real estate, buying the East Village building that has been its longtime headquarters for $1.2 million.

In 1973, a few members of the group - begun by Abbie Hoffman, known for scattering dollar bills onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and others and officially called the Youth International Party - moved into the three-story building at 9 Bleecker Street, near the Bowery.

Over the years their monthly rent rose to more than $8,000 from $675. In 2000 the building was sold, and the Yippies faced eviction.

After months of negotiation, however, a deal was reached that will allow the group, which first entered public consciousness during the Chicago Seven political conspiracy trial following widespread disturbances during the 1968 Democratic convention, to hold onto its spiritual home.

A partnership formed with Yippie Holdings and an advocacy group called the National AIDS Brigade paid the former owner, Harlan Berger, $100,000, said a Yippie leader, Dana Beal, who has lived in the building since 1973. Mr. Berger offered a loan in the form of a mortgage, Mr. Beal added, which the Yippies will pay off at the rate of about $11,000 per month. The partnership will form a nonprofit organization, Mr. Beal said, and turn the building into a Yippie museum and an advocacy center to fight transmission of AIDS.

Mr. Beal said that since the Yippies co-own the building, he planned to use the property as equity to quickly get loans to pay off the $1.1 million owed to Mr. Berger. He said he also planned to use air rights to build an additional story on the roof that could be sold or rented.

Mr. Berger did not return calls from this reporter, but a lawyer who represented him in the transfer, Andrew Albstein, said the deed had been turned over to the Yippies.

For the two dozen or so veteran Yippies who are still in New York, as well as a handful of others scattered across the country, the building is far more than a pile of bricks and mortar in a gentrifying district.

"Smoke-ins, rallies, protests," Mr. Beal said, in a chair on the building's cluttered second floor. "This is where it all happened for us."

Stacks of newspapers and books lined the loft-like room, including "My Life in Garbology," in which the Yippie A. J. Weberman described what he found while rooting through the trash of such diverse figures as Bob Dylan and the former F.B.I. director J. Edgar Hoover. Antiwar posters adorned the walls, and several cats prowled the premises.

"This place is a temple of insurrection," said Aron Kay, another longtime Yippie.

There is plenty of history at No. 9, as the building is affectionately known to visitors. It was there that newspapers like The Yipster Times, later called Overthrow, was published.

Demonstrations during national political conventions were planned there, as were annual pot parades calling for the legalization of marijuana. A scarred wooden door in the basement is a reminder of the day in 1981 that someone set off a bomb in front of the building.

Mr. Beal said he would also use the building as a base to advocate the legalization of ibogaine, a derivative of an African shrub that he said has the ability to interrupt addiction to dangerous substances, like heroin.

And, of course, the Yippies being Yippies, the building has been abuzz with preparations for the Republican convention. In the past weeks, people have gathered on the ground floor, where they painted signs to carry in protests during the convention.

"Yippies haven't missed a convention since 1964," Mr. Beal said. "And this one is only a few blocks away."

Complete Title: Anticapitalists, Marijuana Advocates Real Estate Barons?

Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: Colin Moynihan
Published: August 30, 2004
Copyright: 2004 The New York Times
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/

Related Articles & Web Site:

Pieman's Home Page
http://www.pieman.org/

Warm Welcome for Republicans
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread19382.shtml

Still Agitating - Never Mind the Arthritis
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread18645.shtml

Yippies' Answer To Smoke-Filled Rooms
http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread16121.shtml


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Comment #8 posted by FoM on September 02, 2004 at 15:22:48 PT
eco
It's good to see you. I am amazed at the work you have done. You have a library of all the MMM events for all these years. Thank you for recording history as it is being made.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #7 posted by eco-man on September 02, 2004 at 15:02:01 PT
356 different MMM cities worldwide since 1999!
Million Marijuana March. 1st Saturday in May, or that weekend, or some day close to it. 356 different cities worldwide have signed up since 1999: 164 cities for May 1, 2004. 235 for May 3 2003. 199 for May 4 2002. 119 for May 5, 2001. 104 for May 6, 2000. 30 for May 1, 1999. Global Cannabis March. Cannabis Liberation Day. Rallies, marches, music, meetings, raves, info-booths, and cannabis events of all kinds.

356 MMM cities listed: http://corporatism.tripod.com/mmmall.htm and http://www.corporatism.netfirms.com/mmmall.htm and http://www.angelfire.com/rnb/y/mmmall.htm and http://members.fortunecity.com/multi19/mmmall.htm

MMM cities signed up so far for 2005: http://www.corporatism.netfirms.com/mmm2005.htm and http://www.corporatism.netfirms.com/mmm2005.htm

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #6 posted by Richard Paul Zuckerm on August 30, 2004 at 12:55:19 PT:

THE BUILDING SHOULD BE REFURBISHED!
Throughout the past four years, I have tried to assist Dana Beal with the annual Million Marihuana March, Global March For Cannabis Liberation, whatever you want to call the event.

They need to remedy the SMELL inside 9 Bleecker Street! They also need to have that building evaluated by an engineer to make sure it is structurally sound and for possible refurbishment.

[ Post Comment ]

 
Comment #5 posted by FoM on August 30, 2004 at 10:04:33 PT
Dankhank
Thank you for sharing that with all of us. I remember the MMM being cancelled too now that you mentioned it. My goodness have years gone back and so quickly. I hope we can win this war soon. To me the war on marijuana is really just a bunch of nonsense. What a world we live in.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on August 30, 2004 at 09:48:24 PT
sleep?
I once slept in my car parked across the street from #9 front door, as it's called, (Bleeker Street.)

I had been inside #9 to see Dana, Dave Peel, RJ Cote and the crew downstairs preparing for MMM99 and had a pretty good time.

Dana was cranky as usual so when I asked him for a great favor he replied, "Oh, so you wanna sleep here, tonight?"

Actually I did, but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of asking.

I said, "No, I can sleep in my car, May I take a shower?" He OKed that.

It was Fri night Apr 30, 1999 the MMM was the next day and I had just arrived from driving pretty much straight-through from SW OKlahoma to participate in MMM 1999.

Dana thougt I was nuts for a couple of reasons: one that I lived In Oklahoma, two that I just drove from there.

The next morning I awoke and spied the street sweeper approaching my auto, hopped in the drivers seat, pulled around the corner to find a parking place right in front of a bodega selling breakfast sandwiches and coffee, bought some, walked back to #9, knocked, went up to Dana's top floor room, sat to eat and was promptly run out of #9 by Dana to go to Battery Park and look for evidence of a rumored misinformation campaign to pass out flyers saying the MMM had been cancelled.

Dana didn't trust me I assumed, so I grabbed my breakfast, left, drove to Battery Park, parked, finished my coffee, walked in the park, found a bench sat down, saw no conspiracy, rolled a smoke, watched a park range dude walk by, sparked, and was tokin' when RJ Cote walked up to me and said to watch out for the man, he was patrolling the park.

I said I just saw him, gave RJ a taste of what Max Flowers delights in calling "Mexican Schwag," and proceeded to be an integral part of the Cures Not Wars t-shirt/water sales operation. (RJ told me that later)

From my position at the booth, I could turn around and see the Statue Of Liberty. It was a truly wonderful day marred by the Gestapo NYC police!!!

In the movie "Grass" you will see some of the MMM99 march.



[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #3 posted by FoM on August 30, 2004 at 08:43:40 PT
yippierevolutionary
I must admit that I only know the name of Abbie Hoffman. I only can related to what happened from Woodstock on. That's the time in history that I feel I became enlightened if that's what it is called! I never smoked any pot or anything like that but I liked the spirit of Woodstock and it stuck in my head. I believed in the message.

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #2 posted by FoM on August 30, 2004 at 08:37:54 PT
yippierevolutionary
It's really good to see you!

[ Post Comment ]
 
Comment #1 posted by yippierevolutionary on August 30, 2004 at 08:32:32 PT
YIP YIP HURRAY!!
Hello everyone!

I had to take a break from posting on C-news for a while (It was taking up all of my time). I still read the articles. I am glad everyone is still going strong.

I wish I was in NYC this week, but If I went there where would I sleep?

Abbie Hoffman is one of my personal role models. The yippies were radical, but didn't take themselves too seriously and knew how to have a good time and laugh at their enemies and themselves.

[ Post Comment ]


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