My Grandmother Hated Abbie Hoffman

I had what most people believe to be a rather unusual childhood hero- if it wasn’t for Abbie Hoffman, I’d probably not be here writing to you today. His pranks and outspokenness inspired me, his writing helped structure how I see the world.

My American grandmother was outraged by this. I brought a copy of ‘Revolution for the Hell of It’ to her house- she refused to let it through the front door, the next week it lived in her garage. This only left me further entrenched.

She explained how it offended her how he ridiculed everything, and how his words were clouded by disrespect. She continuously referred to how hurtful it was to her he wore a shirt made out of an American Flag. She foamed at the mouth when she heard him using the word ‘baby killer’ about soldiers- her husband and son had both been draftees. And, it pissed her off on day when one of Abbie’s protests blocked traffic in NYC, making it so she was late to make dinner for her family.

My grandmother was a member of the 99%.

In her heart, grandma agreed with Abbie’s principles. But, his methods alienated her to the point of rejecting even the good parts she agreed with.

So, please, everyone, I beg of you: before you do or say anything in related to our movement, stop and think to yourself, will it alienate someone’s grandmother.

(Posted on the Occupy Vancouver Facebook page on October 4th)

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