Community Living With the Gentle People's Liberation

Read a Gentle People's Liberation member's tips and tales about community living in the 1960s.

| January/February 1970

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    A symbol for the Gentle People's Liberation.
    Illustration by Jane Bevans

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While the militants and the liberals argue whether we're dropping out or copping out (maybe even flipping out), we're out planting peas and dancing our eyes on all the new green leaves. Collectively we've been through years of pickets and vigils, planning meetings and fund appeals, demonstrations and happenings, peace walks, sit downs, sit-ins and climb overs. We figure maybe we just dropped in.

Where it's at is in the action, not in talk. So in the north country of Minnesota, where it still snows sometimes in May, we're doing it.

We live here, seven of us now; we have our hassles and our laughing times. We work together, share our lives, grow our food and love our kids (only one so far, but he mostly belongs to everyone and we give him lots of different names so he'll spread further). Here we live without laws, armies or cops and no one starves, no one gets murdered or even commits suicide because things aren't going his way, and things get done. This is our new world. Here the revolution is almost over ... all but the tears and the grief, all but the hard part when you find out you're not Christ, or Che, or Allen Ginsberg, or Ira Sandperl, maybe you're not even the you you thought you were. It's all over but the hard part, realizing that you not only know very little about nonviolence, you don't even know how to live with people you dig. Then here at last the revolution is beginning ....

The Plan for Nonviolence

Our goal is to build a world without fear or hatred, to share one's life and livelihood, to become what one really is, to find the human way.

Step one: Go somewhere where no one else that you know is. Buy some cheap land, a copy of Organic Gardening Encyclopedia and some seed. Establish a base camp disguised as a self-sufficient farming community.

Step two: Make friends with the local farmers. Ah, good people! They don't have much, but they'd share that. Always they give us more than we can return, but as one neighbor says, "What's a few pumpkins between friends?"

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