By Anthony Ashbolt
The San Francisco Bay quarter was once a gathering aspect for radical politics and counterculture within the Nineteen Sixties. before there was little knowing of what made political tradition right here targeted. This paintings explores the advance of a nearby tradition of radicalism within the Bay region, person who underpinned either political protest and the counterculture.
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Bridges, an Australian well versed in the theory and practice of trade unionism, had been the chairman of the 1934 strike committee. 53 The high point of trade union struggle in the Bay Area immediately after the war was the 1946 Oakland general strike. The strike had been called to block the strike-breaking efforts of Oakland and Berkeley police in a shop-workers dis- 34 A Cultural History of the Radical Sixties in the San Francisco Bay Area pute. Oakland was ‘shut down’ for two and a half days, in what was the west coast’s first general strike since 1934.
While Kruschev may not have had San Francisco in mind as the headquarters of World Communism, he could have done worse. San Francisco, more than most other American cities, has a rich radical tradition. And it is that tradition which provided a historical foundation for Sixties radicalism in the Bay Area. The New Left was not so new that it lacked any connections to a radical heritage passed on by previous generations, a heritage which was itself mediated by regionalism. The Historical Framework: Politics San Francisco is noted for being an open, progressive, tolerant and liberal city.
46A version of ‘the God that failed’ thesis is being recycled and, as before, there are significant gaps, failures of memory, twistings of the truth. They condemn a past that never existed in precisely the way it is being painted. Such historical reconstruction serves present ideological commit- The Culture Wars and the Sixties 17 ments, thus memory is automatically distorted or selective. 48 He paid homage to the student activists who, more than any other student grouping in the United States, had been responsible for generating a ‘new politics’.
A Cultural History of the Radical Sixties in the San Francisco Bay Area by Anthony Ashbolt