August 09, 2008
They like Sen. Barack Obama's progressive style of politics, but some
1960s-era radicals are questioning the candidate's recent swing to
the middle on some big issues. "I like Barack Obama," says Bobby
Seale, cofounder of the Black Panther Party. "I'm a progressive," he
says. "The progression has to be manifested in a new direction in
policies and legislation," says Seale. "I'm hoping that he is able to
make a dent in that direction with the office of the presidency."
Seale adds an "oh, yeah" when asked if his activismhighlighted in
the new DVD release Chicago 10 paved the way for Obama's candidacy.
The movie, being released during the Democratic National Convention
this month, combines animation and real video of 1968 protests at the
Democratic convention and the subsequent trial of Seale and others
for their participation. Seale's conviction was eventually reversed.
Pal and former Yippie frontman Paul Krassner says that unlike then,
today it's best to protest from inside, and Obama is best suited to
do that. "This time, the protest might be more effective within the
system, with voting for somebody who will at least appoint Supreme
Court judges who have compassion instead of nutsiness," he says. But
on Obama, Krassner frets, "I have disappointments in a lot of the
compromises he's made, but that's the game he's playing. I just have
to remember that his middle name is 'I'm Not Bush.' "