Via Ilkka I found some articles by Kathy Shaidle on the hard-hat riots, which in turn led to an argument that those Kent State kids had it coming. I had usually just seen those pictures of the shot students without hearing about the student-perpetrated violence that had brought the National Guard on campus in the first place and possibly provoked them into firing. I’ve mentioned before that the standard narrative of of the era I got as a kid was of hippies promoting peace & love, possibly putting daisies in the barrels of guardsmen. Hearing about the violence associated with the great sixties freakout was a big surprise. As Rick Perlstein has written, we don’t usually hear the other side of the conflicts of that era. The exception is probably those hard-hats. I find it odd that conservatives take pride in them, since it hardly reflects well on your side to beat up some kids because you don’t like what they say. Even more bizarrely, the ex-hippie Shaidle quotes who experienced the event first-hand seems to take to share that view!
This leads me to the title of the post. The standard narrative of the Chicago Democratic convention is that it was a “police riot”. The “Chicago Eight” were charged with inciting a riot, and by that I don’t think the authorities meant inciting the police to riot. Lots of Democrats were upset that there was a “Recreate ’68” group for their presidential primary convention, which is odd since the McGovern commission essentially vindicated their grievances and reformed the Dem primary system accordingly. I have never heard what sort of riotous behavior the protesters were engaging in back in ’68, though many Chicago police still seem to think they did the right thing. Mencius Moldbug hates hippies and hates’em hard, prone to talking of the “hippie coup“, but when I asked him what sort of nefarious behavior they engaged in that night he didn’t have a response (similarly to when I asked him what was so bad about Reconstruction). I know my Chavez bleg was a dud (even the musical portion!), but this was a much more famous streetfight.
Back to the hard-hats: a while back I found a piece by Murray Rothbard in which he claimed that the hardhats & suits who beat up the hippies were representative of the parasitic state-dependent class, while the protesters represented the genuine people/proletariat/taxpayers or something like that. I can’t find it anymore, which is a real shame since it’s quite an unusual take. At the same time, Joseph Stromberg noted (again in a link that I can’t find) that he was basically a conservative in that Rothbard endorsed Rockefeller opening fire at Attica in “Libertarian Forum“.
One of the ring-leaders of the Attica prison riot was Sam Melville, New Left terrorist bomber though apparently not a member of the Weather Underground. His partner Jane Alpert. While she was underground she released a manifesto about ditching the left for feminism. The anti-war movement was so 1968.
UPDATE: Here is a report from a Yippie during the middle of the violence who claims that together with some gangs they did engage in riots & streetfighting.