The Clown Protest…Perhaps it started with Wavy Gravy….

My Google Alerts for the word clown brings me to an interesting post in the 972 Blog about activists dressing up as clowns for the weekly protest against the occupation in the West Bank. Here’s the link. Suddenly the soldiers are not quite as interested in arresting the protesters, as they most likely don’t want to be photographed that way…The article gives a wonderful human face to those protesting, and the interesting thing, is that the protesters are not demonstrating with anger, but with sweetness according to the author.

Wavy Gravy, famed Woodstock MC, hippie icon, temple of accumulated error,  tells the story about how he began to go to protest rallies in the 70s dressed as clown, or as the easter bunny or Santa Claus, because all of the sudden the police weren’t so interested in being photographed beating up a clown, or Santa Claus. It is actually the story of how he transformed from the fool to the clown. AS a result of police brutality in the demonstrations against the Vietnam war of those times, Wavy had suffered tremendous back injuries and started to visit the children in the hospital on a daily basis to tell stories, share some humor with them. This is the early 70’s. When friends heard about this, someone had the idea to give him clown accoutrements and he started visiting the children as clown (this is before Patch Adams, before the Clown Care Unit got started in the same direction.) One day he went to demonstration in Berkeley People’s Park straight from the hospital in his clown gear, and to his great delight, he discovered that the police didn’t want to get near him, which started Wavy on the long beautiful road that he still travels….

Cudos to all those who follow this path these days in clown rebel armies around the world.

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