Battling the Power Elite
In my previous post, I didn't mean to give the impression that our achievements were without a human cost. Some of us were in the position of protectors who did battle with the community's power elite that wanted to run us all out of town. A few became journalists, a few became elected officials, some started alternative schools. Many remained committed to an alternative economy and lifestyle, and started businesses that reflected that.
As time went on, this network of individuals -- nurtured in the hippie temporary autonomous zone -- participated in such projects as sanctuary for refugees and human rights for indigenous peoples. A handful went so far as to do field research on vigilante groups and crooked cops.
This harder variety was and remains a small minority undeterred by conflict, but their base of support in the legal, religious, and political milieus -- comprised of individuals who'd internalized the hippie values in earlier years -- was vital to their success. Indeed, this support solidified the credibility of the fighters, who would otherwise have been easily marginalized or destroyed by the power elite. Without a constituency, their heroism would have been largely tragic.