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[Small Peace and Freedom Party Archive From 1968]
[Small Peace and Freedom Party Archive From 1968]
[Small Peace and Freedom Party Archive From 1968]
[Small Peace and Freedom Party Archive From 1968]
[Small Peace and Freedom Party Archive From 1968]
[Small Peace and Freedom Party Archive From 1968]

[Small Peace and Freedom Party Archive From 1968]

Dividing Line Books

A small archive of 18 early memos and official communiqués from the left-wing Peace and Freedom Party of California, most having been issued in 1968 by the Contra Costa County branch. The Peace and Freedom Party originated in New York State, where candidates first appeared on ballots in 1966; in 1967 the party organized at a national level. Its California chapter—the most successful, still active today—had registered enough members to qualify for ballot status by January 1968. Most of the present documents were issued in the immediate aftermath of that success, and offer a striking window into the party's early efforts to expand its base and nominate candidates for state ballots. Others lay out key positions, including the party's opposition to the Vietnam War, support of the Black Liberation movement, and concerns with issues of economic and environmental justice.

This archive from the collection of American cartoonist and science fiction author Radell "Ray" Faraday Nelson (1931-2022), best remembered for inventing the iconic propeller beanie, and for co-authoring The Ganymede Takeover (1967) with Philip K. Dick, a close friend of Nelson's from childhood. All 18 items in very good or better condition, and housed in a 13 x 10 in. manilla envelope, rather crumpled and toned, bearing Nelson's name and a Richmond, CA Peace and Freedom Party address stamp. Also included is a 5 x 3 in. postcard addressed to Nelson, providing him with an acquaintance's addresses, and signed "Jeff and Penelope." Further item descriptions as follow.

1. Policy Guidelines. Single sheet, 11 x 8.5 in., printed to recto only. About fine. A brief statement of party values and policies, "Adopted by State Planning Conference 27 January 1968."

2. Declaration of Principles : A Proposal. Single sheet, 11 x 8.5 in., photo-duplicated both sides. Near fine, with horizontal fold crease. An outline of the party's principals, including their support of the Black Liberation movement, and opposition to the Vietnam War; by James E. Vann, and dated February 17, 1968.

3. [Statement on Ecology]. 3pp. Two 11 x 8.5 in. sheets, stapled at top left corner. About fine. An undated brief, attributed to Fred Bunnell and Cliff Humphrey, on contemporary ecological issues, with one mention of the Peace and Freedom Party as providing "an ideal opportunity to acquaint the voters of this country and the people of the world with the relevant issues of our time.

4. Summary Calendar. Single sheet of blue paper, 11 x 8.5 in., printed recto only. Near fine; light creasing to bottom left corner. A timeline of nomination procedures for an upcoming (presumably 1968) election.

5. An End to Futility: Build A Real Alternative. Single sheet folded to form four 8.5 x 7 in. pages. Near fine; light creasing to bottom left corner. A think-piece by Mike Parker criticizing as insufficient the anti-war positionality of Senator Eugene McCarthy, then considering running against Lyndon Johnson in the Democratic Party primaries.

6. A Time to Listen..... A Time to Act. Single sheet of tan folded to form [4] pages, 8.5 x 5.5 in. Fine, with toning. Reprint (by American Friends Service Committee) of an extract from the Commission of Civil Rights' "A Report of the United States"; on the plight of "Negro ghetto residents."

7. The Importance of Demanding that Huey P. Newton Be Set Free. Unbound gathering of two sheets to form eight 10 x 7 in. pages. Very good; cover offsetting affecting several pages. Statement by the San Francisco Peace & Freedom Movement acknowledging the "oppression under which American citizens of African ancestry have lived" and aligning themselves with efforts to free from imprisonment Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton.

8. Long-Range and Short-Range Economic Goals. Single sheet, 11 x 8.5 in., printed recto only. About fine. Economic goals as "summarized from proposals made by the Mendocino County Peace and Freedom group."

9. Proposal for the Emancipation of Youth. Single yellow sheet, 11 x 8.5 in., printed recto only. Near fine; light edge wear. Proposal, submitted by Betty Segal, to abolish the draft, lower the voting age, etc.

10. [Jules Feiffer comic strip from The Village Voice]. Single sheet, 11 x 8.5 in., printed recto only. About fine. Reproduction of a Jules Feiffer comic strip lamenting the two-party system, as originally printed in The Village Voice, February 1, 1968. With "What will you do in November 1968?" and the Peace and Freedom Party logo added at base.

11. On An 18 Year Old Vote Initiative. Single sheet, 14 x 8.5 in, printed both sides. Very good: horizontal fold crease; light toning and corner creasing. An "urgent" internal memo from Jack Weinberg regarding party efforts to lower the voting age in advance of upcoming elections.

12. Proposed Agenda for county convention, February 17, 1968. Single sheet, 14 x 8.5 in., printed recto only. Good to very good: vertical and horizontal creases; offsetting; ink annotation. Timeline for a one-day convention of the Peace and Freedom Movement of Contra Costa County.

13. [Contra Costa County Convention Announcement Letter]. Two sheets printed rectos only, 14 x 8.5 in., side-stapled. Horizontal and vertical fold creases from mailing (original mailing label addressed to Nelson on rear). One staple missing. Very good. Letter from the Peace and Freedom Organizing Committee thanking members for helping to "put us on the ballot with 105,100 Peace and Freedom registrations," and updating them about the February 17, 1968 one-day convention in Richmond, CA. 

14. Proposed Constitution for the Contra Costa County Peace and Freedom Movement. Four sheets, 11 x 8.5 in., mimeographed rectos only. Stapled to top left corner. Near fine: mild toning. First three pages, submitted by Paul Phillips, outline a proposed constitution covering principles, area chapter sub-divisions, membership, etc. Final page contains a proposal for Peace and Freedom Movement Chapters in various California locales.

15. Economic Reform -- A Pragmatic Proposal. Three sheets, 11 x 8.5 in., mimeographed rectos only & staple-bound to top left corner. Light toning, near fine. Proposal submitted by Paul Phillips regarding national economic reform.

16. Black Panther Party for Self-Defense : What We Want What We Believe. Two sheets, 14 x 8.5 in. and 11 x 8.5 in., respectively. Printed rectos only & staple-bound at top left corner. Horizontal fold creases, else near fine. Statement repeating the Black Panther Party's ten-point program of demands and beliefs.

18. Peace and Freedom Party Candidacies in Contra Costa County. Single sheet, 14 x 8.5 in., printed both sides. Very good: horizontal fold crease, moderate toning and offsetting. Regulations and strategies for getting Peace and Freedom Party candidates on the ballot for June 1968 primaries.

19. Peace and Freedom News Special Supplement -- Position Papers on the Peace and Freedom Party. Single sheet folded to form four 11 x 8.75 in. pages. Paginated 5-8. Near fine, with light corner creases. Outline of party principles, as originally issued in (or removed from) the Peace and Freedom News, January, 1968.

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