Day of Passion, Days of Rage

Santa Cruz was great for a while. The homeless milled about in quite drunken serenity, the PC students had rallies against everything and Satch and I hung out in the bars and at the beach. However, as time passed, the Santa Cruz police became bolder and more oppressive. Our little slice of heaven soon became not unlike a police state as the cops closed the River Street Shelter and hassled the homeless. The students also became more and more PC in their rhetoric and were openly hostile to anything male and certainly anything dog. Cats were the rage, as they were "Goddess Creatures" and dogs were just meat eating, sex crazy, male sons of "that brute Pan".

Santa Cruz passed a law that no dogs were allowed on Pacific Garden Mall. He and I got ticketed several times. Satch was officially kept down. Even though he had grown up in the Nazi Reagan years, he was never aware of the political climate. It was now, that he became a young man and saw his brothers and sisters kept in kennels, chained to leader leashes, and locked in doors all day while their "owners" were away toiling for the almighty dollar that he began to understand his state in life. Such phrases as "Dogs are filthy" and "Not fit for a dog" became the tinder for his increasingly anti-establishment rhetoric. His motto became, "Burn Baby Burn".

He became involved in the Free Park Movement and Bones not Bombs. Some branded him as a roving radical, a young firebrand who was caught up in any cause that came his way, but he had felt the bitter sting of discrimination and it was in his nature to expose what he felt were supreme injustices. In his now famous 1992 speech beneath the San Lorenzo River Bridge he said,

"There is a time, when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all."

Unfortunately none of the animals present had any idea what he was talking about and shortly thereafter left to chase a garbage truck that crossed on the bridge overhead.

The Santa Cruz movement soon decayed into chaos and Satch was left with vague recollections that he had been a part of something greater. We moved to Oakland and then to the Castro in San Francisco. During the Rodney King Riots, my roommate Shane and I rode our mountain bikes downtown to see the destruction, cruising around corners where people were smashing out windows, marching and setting everything on fire. We saw the riot police in full riot regalia marching through downtown attempting to arrest people. When martial law was declared for two weekends, on a Friday night Satch called 911 and yelled, "Pigs Suck" into the receiver. A few minutes later the cops were at our house asking, "who was the Einstein who called 911?" Satch came forward to confront them, but we restrained him saying, "Some guy who was over here, but now he's gone." They left to go arrest people.

It was here that we realized that Satch had become an angry young man.

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