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After months of unfair, alarmist reporting on the realities of the youth movement in the local papers, a manifesto is drafted by a group of Vancouver artists, poets, writers, and freethinkers, with the aim of providing the city with “a truly free press”.
“To all those interested in fighting lies/propaganda/terrorism,” it reads, “the events of the last few months in Vancouver have made it clear that the time has come to establish a truly free press.”
The document, attributed to Peter Auxier, Pierre Coupey, Dan McLeod and Rick Kitaeff, and drawn heavily from Quebec’s Refus Global, goes on to detail the aims of a free press in Vancouver. Such aims include: “to fight repressive legislation, the abuse of police power…to invite free exchange of opinion, radical or otherwise…to uphold civil liberties [and] to discuss issues, not to condemn people.”
“Human Beings! Artists! Angels! Children of the New Sun!” it reads. “If you wish to discuss the aims of a free press, its name, the means to set it up, its floating editorial board, its stance and scope, come to 883 Hamilton Street, April 2nd.”
Though a call for cheques is issued in the name of Gastown Press, this counterculture newspaper will soon have a different name: The Georgia Straight.
Image: Back cover of The Georgia Straight, circa 1967. Image designed by ‘Zip’ Almasy. Text reads: ‘Oh, Cannabis, we stand on guard for thee!’