Yippies Attack Pepsi Center with Peace Bats

Actually, there were only four Yippies -- one for every two journalists desperately trying to fill their DNC quota. The sixty or so younger activists who had also attended the "consulta" gathering of DNC protest groups at the Tivoli center earlier on Sunday wanted nothing to do with the Yippie nostalgia stunt involving large, inflatable "peace bats" and a guy dressed as a Chicago police officer.

For anyone who's managed to escape the 1968 retro-vision of the past two months, the Yippies were the merry band of pranking protesters led by Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, who added a tone of glee and silliness to the Chicago DNC protests.

The modern peace bat stunt wasn't exactly Pigasus for President, but it was still pretty entertaining in the end -- mostly because the clueless security crew manning the grounds of the Pepsi Center had no idea what to do with the bat-wielding Yippies as they posed on the walkway in front of the arena. One woman with a walkie-talkie told me that if I wasn't "with the protesters," then I had to step off the private property. Uh, yeah, that didn't happen.

Then another security guard yelled at me, saying I couldn't take photos toward the south, where the media tents were, even though I had taken dozens of pics of the structures a week before without harassment. Finally, as the Yippies pounded each other with the peace bats in front of the "Freedom Kage" fences of the demonstration area, a guy with a Secret Service badge emerged from somewhere and kicked us all out. At least I scored a free peace bat. --Jared Jacang Maher

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Jared Jacang Maher