Piss in the Voting Booths

by

Fifth Estate # 65, October 31-November 13, 1968

Liberation News Service—The American election itself is the candidate, and millions of Americans are going to vote against it. On election day, the streets, parks and voting booths will belong to the people.

Everyone who sees through the fraud will be doing his human thing—showing up the election for the fake it is.

They will be marking in the streets, smoking pot in the polling booths, grooving on sex and rock music in the park, giving out free food to the non-voting New Americans.

There are all kinds of tricks we can play—like dressing up straight and posing as Republicans and Democrats. Like offering to drive voters to the polling booths but instead inducing them to go to rock festivals in the parks.

The Yippie version of election day will be completely open and free flowing theatre of the revolutionary absurd. A parking meter will address a rally of 3 hundred thousand sheep.

On Inauguration Day, Pigasus the Ugly will be nominated to Washington, D.C. With all the appropriate pomp, he will take the curse of office. If enough freaks come to Washington they will have to nominate Richard Nixon in a glass cage.

This may sound like a Yippie pipe dream; but it’s the second apparition of the multi-colored negation to throw fear into the American Babbitry this year.

The first was Chicago. Now there will be hundreds of Chicagos, culminating in a riotous festival of fuck You Mr. President on the Empire’s most sacred election and inauguration days.

Some of the dreamers sat over a waffle and watermelon breakfast—their liberated minds grooving in the heavens of creative absurdity. Among them were Yippie Jerry Rubin, recently returned from the Battle and Court Fields of Chicago and Eldridge Cleaver, who had earlier that morning pleaded not guilty to all the charges Oakland plans to bring against him. This was the first meeting of Eldridge and the Yippies since he pushed Jerry as his running mate at the convention.

“The whole idea is not to let them get away with this phony election. You know America owns most of the fuckin’ world—but can an Asian or an African vote in this election? It’s a fraud, and we have to have a world-wide expose of it. We’ll take to the streets, in America and all over the world,” said Jerry, munching on a pancake.

“Yeah, they’re going to disguise a pig as a human being and call him the president. We ought to rip off his clothing and show him for what he is. We should inaugurate that pig you had in Chicago as the real president. Both Nixon and Humphrey are really pigs anyway,” said Eldridge, cutting a chunk out of a watermelon.

“One of the most important things about Chicago is that even the liberals experienced the Pig System. They breathed a little tear gas and they were drawing Free Huey conclusions on the wall,” said I, licking jelly off my fingers.

“Our revolution can’t limit itself just to political issues and expression,” said Jerry, puffing on a magic dragon.

Me: “That’s what the whole yippie thing is about.”

“When you act in a purely political manner the pig knows how to handle you. He’s got you figured out. But when you do things that go deep, like taking him on sexually and poetically. he doesn’t know what to do with you,” says Eldridge, referring to a favorite subject.

JERRY (only slightly off the subject) “Norman Mailer is writing a book on Chicago he’s almost finished.

ELDRIDGE (it’s coffee time): “Mailer is a heavy cat, we ought to kick his ass and get him active on the thing.”

ME: (torn between the literary and the political) “No one should try to take the thing over—it’s got to be completely open. On election day, let the ministers pray-in, but the Motherfuckers should also do their own thing.”

JERRY: (dealing with a matter of some concern): “Everybody should be a leader. The dream has to generalize itself all over the country and the people will relate to it any way they want to. Our politics is a completely free theatre.”

ELDRIDGE: (imposing no false categories): “The success of my campaign will not be measured in the ballot box but on the street. Let them piss in the voting booths…”

JERRY: (in a major lesson for the left): A lot of people were scared out of going to Chicago, and some people told them it would help McCarthy. But this was bullshit. It all turned out to be a beautiful happening. If fifteen or twenty thousand people had shown up, they would have been able to stop the Convention. If we get a fantastic turnout in Washington on Inauguration Day, maybe they will have to inaugurate Nixon in a subway tunnel.”

ELDRIDGE: (stretching—he has to go soon) “Where is that pig of yours, Pigasus? Can you get him to Washington?”

ME: (tenderness in my voice): “He was busted with us, and he’s still in jail. You know, we kind of like him.”

ELDRIDGE: “Yeah, that’s the way it is in jail. You always start feeling special about your cell-mate.”

It’s taken us a long time to get here. We used to be interested in having a choice in picking our slaveowner, to decide if he would be liberal or conservative in the use of his whip.

There was a time when we wanted to appeal to the slaveowner’s conscience, and get a bigger piece of a belching full stomach pie. But now it’s the whole system that’s under our gun. None of the politicians have anything to say.

The whole of America is up on the stage, and we in the front row of criticism will write its review, but not with words. We will go up on the stage and the last act will be completely ours.

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