The Resistance: An Obituary

"YOU THE GUY that left the note on the door?"

"No, Just passing by. Is the Resistance still here?"


Two years ago, the Resistance rented a double size garage at 28 Stanhope St. for $ 100. But no one ever paid the rent because the landlord made monthly donations of $100.

"What does the button say?"


"Trout Fishing in America, Inc."

The button was white with "Trout Fishing in America, Inc." in green Roman capitals, centered, in four lines. Someone had tossed me the button during an interview. I had expected to see the Great American Wilderness and two rainbow trout in a frying pan. Instead the button was very straightforward. And it was tossed by a girl with long black hair, a purple sweater, and no brassiere. I had put it on without thinking.

A year ago, the button of the New England Resistance was a black hand styled. Omega on a white background. Omega stands for ohms in electricity which measures resistance, which, sometime after October 16, 1967, became the official insignia for draft resistance. I first put on my Omega button as I dropped my letter to Ramsey Clark with my draft cards into a red and blue box labelled "U. S. Mail." That was in San Diego, California last summer. That was when buttons meant more than they do now. They somehow told what was on your mind.

"I haven't been here for about six months and I wondered whether the Resistance was still alive." 28 Stanhope St. is right behind the Boston Police station. I had gone to the station to find out about the policeman who had arrested the students supporting the strike at Morgan Memorial, Inc. this summer. The two policemen who had made the arrests were off-duty members of the tactical police force. The lieutenant called them "night men." Morgan Memorial hired them for $6.00 an hour to "maintain order." They work during the night and "do strikes" during the day.

"MOST PEOPLE who've been away for six months don't usually come back."

I had last been to the Stanhop St. office last Fall to pick up Resistance newspapers to sell in the Dunster Dining Room. I had arrived in the midst of the Resistance's first birthday party-October 16, 1968. That was the anniversary of the first draft card turn-in on the Boston Common.

This time, there were about twenty bundles of the last edition of the Resistance newspaper piled amid the fallen partitions in the back of the office. The last time I had been there, I had apportioned myself exactly 50 to sell. I had counted them over twice.

"What's been going on since the Fall?"

"Well, first, during the Fall, we had a lot of political hassles."

I had spent a month with the Resistance after the Humphrey demonstration in September planning the same kind of reception for Nixon. We were going to have loudspeakers and a ladder and we were going to toss it up as Nixon began to speak and ask him about the war and the draft. Then some members of Progressive Labor Party came to our nightly planning sessions. They were against the war too, but they wanted to know what our demonstrations were supposed to accomplish.