The man on this t-shirt shouldn't need any introduction, but sadly I think it's still necessary... Abbie Hoffman is know for writing one of the most famous pieces of literature in the world: "Steal This Book"
A rebellion manual, much like the Anarchist's Cookbook, it illustrates and advocates all actions necessary in staging your own personal war against an overpowered authority (and surviving it).
Steal This Book describes various fighting tactics, makeshift weapons such as pipe bombs (and armor), how to start a pirate radio station, how to steal food, grow marijuana, live on a commune (or compound), and even prepare your own legal defense. The book is voraciously anti-corporate/government, and in turn shows how you can not only live without them, but rebel against them. And this book comes from a man that earned a Master's Degree in Psychology, not just some hippie stoner dropout.
In the late 60's / early 70's Abbie created the Yippie movement (Youth International Party) and pro-actively took the fight against corruption seriously. Skipping the exact details of his many (large) anti-war protests, one in particular lead him (forcibly) to partake as a Conspiracy defendant in the infamous Chicago 7 Trial, along with 7 others people, one of which was Bobby Seale from the The Black Panthers (before his trial was severed). High profile stuff.
After luckily dodging a 5 year prison sentence, the government/CIA had enough of his mouth and set him up to fall with suitcases full of cocaine. There was no way off the railroad they put him on, so Abbie was on the run (in America) from 1973 to 1980... for 7 years he evaded the law, on a trumped-up drug charge that was used to essentially shut him up.
Anyway, at this point there's no way we can cover all of Abbie's endless events and antics in this t-shirt description... but here's a handful of the more notable moments that create the rich tapestry of his life:
- Abbie led many members of the Yippie movement to the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and began to throw fists full of money down onto the trading floor.
- He organized deliberately comical/theatrical demonstrations where 50,000 people would surround the Pentagon and attempt to use Psychic energy to levitate the government building until it turns Orange and begins to vibrate, at which point the Vietnam-War would end. He used these outrageous tactics to engage the era's youth into more politically active thinking.
- He jumped up on stage at Woodstock in front of half-a-million people, right in the middle of The Who's performance...he then started some political rambling and Pete Townshend proceeded to whack him with his guitar, sending him flying off the stage! Townsend later said he agreed with the politics, but despite the message, he would have done the same to anyone who violates the "sanctity of the stage" during an artists performance.
And that's just a small part of the things that Abbie Hoffman did during his life, which is a whole lot more than what many of us have done with ours... Rock on...