HIPPIES SUPPORT QUENTIN PAPER
Five hundred hippies danced and sang on a grassy knoll outside San Quentin Prison Thursday in a show of sympathy for the men behind the walls.
The songfest involving long-haired, bearded young men and sack-wearing girls was to coincide with a threatened strike of prison inmates which never materialized.
The Grateful Dead played for the flower children on the sunny hillside overlooking San Francisco Bay.
They hung flowers on the iron prison gate and let a few balloons bearing peace symbols float over it into the enclosure. A sign saying "rehabilitate the penal system now" was posted outside the gate.
The tribal gathering was touched off by an appeal in an "underground" prison sheet calling for a strike by San Quentin's 3,900 inmates against alleged mistreatment.
But Associate Warden James W. Park said the day was uneventful inside the walls. Prisoners were bustled off to their jobs an hour early as precaution against possible intimidation by those agitating for the strike.
Absenteeism from work in the shops was normal, the warden's office said. Some agitators, including those who published "The Outlaw," had been disciplined. The call for a strike in the underground sheet had been picked up by the "Berkeley Barb," a hippie newspaper last week.
The Greatful Dead rock group set up their electronic gear on a flatbed truck and the music blared out for about three hours. The convicts may have picked up a few strains of it before their late afternoon meal. The hippies trickled away as darkness came.
The real highlight of the day in San Quentin was the graduation exercise for 373 inmates who completed various phases of education, from grammar school to college education courses.
(from the Hayward Daily Review, February 16 1968)
Thanks to Lost Live Dead.
See also http://lostlivedead.blogspot.com/2009/12/grateful-dead-san-quentin-performances.html