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The Wrestling Pacifist


Dave Dellinger is dead at 88. He’s the first of my closest 60’s super pals to live to a very ripe old age. The NY Times had an OK obit worth your checking out.

Dave’s being correctly portrayed as a person of unyielding beliefs and as a radical pacifist activist who spent years in prison because he to took his ideas seriously. It’s all true–but let me present another side of Dellinger.

During the Chicago 8 trial of 1968-69 when the Judge had Panther defendant Bobby Seale bound and gagged Dave protested the loudest — and the life long pacifist got in some real shoving matches with the Federal Marshals.

At the end of the day we all asked Dave how he, as a pacifist could be so rough and tough. He replied with a twinkle in his eye that shoving can be a form of nonviolence if it is done to resist evil.

The former burly college wrestler then looked around the room and declared that he could “take” all the defendants except for Bobby Seale.

Although I wasn’t a defendant he then looked at me and stated “but I’m not sure about Stew.” Dave was really great because every once in a while he could be so magnificently unpredictable.

STEW ALBERT runs the Yippie Reading Room. His memoir, Who the Hell is STEW ALBERT?, is just out from Red Hen Press. He can be reached at:


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