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I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill: Woodstock, 1969/Berlin, 1989


The fortieth anniversary celebrations of the Woodstock music festival have gone dangerously close to transforming it into another commodified spectacle. Yet the spirit of the original Woodstock lives on to remind us of another way of thinking about the world. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair in August 1969 featured a galaxy of performers who had contributed significantly to the alternative zeitgeist that spoke of peace and love in ways that may sound corny now. The peace and love of the Sixties was grounded in a strong antiwar sensibility and a sense of collective solidarity against the American war in Vietnam. When Joan Baez spoke about her husband – draft resister David Harris – introducing “The Ballad of Joe Hill”, the link between the struggles of the working class and the antiwar struggles of the day was apparent.