From the Vaults: Punk Protests at 1984 Democratic Convention in SF

February 29th, 2012 by

Digging through some old MRRs recently turned up a whole bunch of coverage of the protests that happened around around the 1984 Democratic National Convention. That year the convention took place in San Francisco, where punk was at that time reaching a high level of political activity. It was the peak of the Reagan/Thatcher era and nuclear war was being discussed as a viable option in the Cold War. I mean, all of the good God-fearing Americans would get to go to Heaven if the whole world blew up, so what’s the big deal?

It’s inspirational to see and read about what the punks got up to in these pages of the magazine. The descriptions of the actions that took place are on one hand strangely similar to today’s Occupy protests, but on the other hand have a sense of high-spirited rage and adventure that is often missing from our tactical vocabulary nowadays. It also goes to show you that there have been many punks who fought the good fight over the years, and it is our job to continue that legacy, lest we just be a bunch of fuckin’ posers.

This is only a sample of what was found in the issues I looked through, but each new dig into the archives turns up more articles and letters about political actions during this time, so we may post more. Until then, read, learn, enjoy, and fuck shit up!…

4 responses to “From the Vaults: Punk Protests at 1984 Democratic Convention in SF”

29 02 2012
Dk (17:42:42) :

What an awesome insight into the past! It was somewhat unsettling reading what Jo said about the year 2000 in that it’s already been 12 years since. Time flys (metaphorically speaking.) I do wonder where Jo and Neon Death are today and if time has done anything to alter their then time beliefs (especially coming from a family whose parents were aboard the conservative A-train.) Also, that snippet about the Anti-Falwell march in which a nurse who went to help injured protesters ended up injured too reminded me of something I had heard on the news about an elderly woman who was about to get peppered sprayed before a Marine stepped in to help her – her only fault was trying to walk across the street during an occupy protest removal by itchy fingered riot cops. Sad. Anyway, hoping to read some more of these old articles. It’s uncanny how these things tend to ring true even today.

5 03 2012
bee (08:58:45) :

Thanks for doing this blog post! I’ve always been really interested in reading about punks and their involvement in political activism, but that history is all too often (and sadly) pretty inaccessible to folks that weren’t directly involved.

I really hope y’all do more of these posts!

9 03 2012
n (11:23:41) :

these are rad, thanks for finding/posting them. i wish more punks were politically active (or minded, period) today… anyways this was great and i, too, would love to see more

9 04 2014
e (13:05:49) :

i was in amsterdam at the time, there were a lot of other punks and i had a good time. stayed at the nog watt house for a couple mounths
mrr was my bible and when i went to sf in 89 and ended up staying for an year i blew it i missed going to places and stuff cos by 85 hardcore was corrupted and sold out – to me
i wish i did go visit mrr offices but did not
i bumped into dave mdc like 4 5 times he’s a cool guy and saw em in italy when they played places there

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