W I T C H activities, 1968-9.

from Playpower by Richard Neville:

W I T C H — Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, has conducted several (black) mass demonstrations outside New York business institutions. Witches, it is pointed out, have been the original guerrillas and resistance fighters against oppression down through the ages. Historically witches are seen as non-conformist, free, intelligent, joyous, aggressive, creative, scientific and actively rebellious (birth-controllers, abortionists, herbalists, heads and pushers). On Hallowe’en Eve (1968) W I T C H haunted the New York Stock Exchange. Nervous commissionaires barred the way while witches in black fairytale cloaks claimed they had an appointment with the Chief Executor of Wall Street himself — Satan. (‘With closed eyes and lowered heads the women incanted the Berber Yeall — sacred to Algerian witches — and proclaimed the coming demise of various stocks. A few hours later the market closed 1.5 points down, and the following day it dropped five points.’ Rat, 6 November 1968.) On St. Valentine’s Day (1969) witches disrupted New York’s first Bridal Fair at Madison Square Garden (a sample slogan: Love starts at Chase Manhattan) and were roughed up by uniformed bouncers who screamed, ‘You’re sick, you’re sick, you’re sick.’

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2022: I publish a weeklyish email newsletter called LANDLINE = https://jaybabcock.substack.com Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca., where I practiced with Buddhist teacher Ruth Denison and was involved in various pro-ecology and social justice activist activities.

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