Volume 80, Number 21 | October 21 - 27, 2010
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Letters to the Editor

Michael Shenker was a hero

To The Editor:
Re “Squatter, artist, orator, electrician and a friend” (tribute, by Frank Morales, Oct. 14):

As one of the many exiled from my beloved neighborhood by greedy landlords and corrupt politicians, I’ll never forget living with Michael Shenker in an apartment on rent strike in 1984; making underground films and living the life of a free thinker in the middle of a class war none of us asked for; targeted by predatory capitalists and a wave of mindless conformists paying higher rents in a city we once called home.

My highest admiration is reserved for people like Michael, who belonged to a self-supportive community of squatters making empty buildings livable, instead of warehousing them the way landlords do.

Putting his body on the line, he got arrested, he protested, he fought back, he resisted. His actions made him a hero. His life meant something.

Long live the squatters. They are our last line of defense against the evils of landlordism.
Nick Zedd

CSI: Yippie — or CSI: Zippie?

To The Editor:
Re “Yippie thinks he’s solved case of mysterious explosives cache” (news article, Oct. 14):

In a front-page story in last week’s Villager, the writer describes Dana Beal as a Yippie. Mr. Beal was never active in the Yippies when they were in existence in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. He, in fact, was the founder of the Zippies, which rose in opposition to the Yippies.

The Zippies were best known as the group that held a mass deprogramming public ritual during the Democratic Convention in 1972 in Miami. I did observe the distribution of LSD to a large group of mostly young people in Flamingo Park and than the almost ritualistic “deprogramming” lesson taught from the stage by a Zippie leader. To my eye it was not dissimilar to the U.S. Army’s experimental use of LSD in the late ’50’s and early ’60’s.

Dana Beal has publicly identified himself as a Yippie for a number of years. I have spoken to him about his misappropriation of Yippie history for his own use. Mr. Beal, who was a close ally of Tom Forcade, the founder of High Times and a well-known pot dealer in the ’70’s until his suicide, is best know as a marijuana activist and has in recent years championed the medical use of marijuana. He also has championed the use of an African root to cure heroin addiction.

Pease identify Mr. Beal properly. The Yippie legacy is rich, as is the Zippie legacy. Don’t confuse them.
Jim Fouratt
Fouratt is a co-founder of the Yippies

Verse versus N.Y.U. plan

To The Editor:
Re “N.Y.U. Bleecker St. high-rise would be tallest in the Village” (news article, Oct. 14):

This Land Belongs 

This land is your land,
This land is my land,
From up to 8th Street,
And across to Houston,
From LaGuardia statue
To Mercer Dog Run,
This land belongs to N.Y.U. and thee.
As I was tending La Guardia Gardens
I saw flowers growing, trees exfoliating,
Green open parkland
Where no hotel dare stand!
This land belongs to N.Y.U. and thee.
The LaGuardia statue,
That guards the playgrounds,
The cherry trees and D.O.T grounds,
Don’t ever swap them for N.Y.U. compounds,
This land belongs to you and thee,
This land belongs to N.Y.U. and Community.

 Lee Schwartz

E-mail letters, not longer than 250 words in length, to news@thevillager.com or fax to 212-229-2790 or mail to The Villager, Letters to the Editor, 145 Sixth Ave., ground floor, NY, NY 10013. Please include phone number for confirmation purposes. The Villager reserves the right to edit letters for space, grammar, clarity and libel. The Villager does not publish anonymous letters.


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