Rag Reunion and Public Celebration:
October 13-16, 2016

The Rag: 50 years and still raising hell! ©Furry Freak Brothers illustration by Gilbert Shelton


rag-reunion-calendar-revised-10-3-16


Moderated Discussions at ACC Eastview

Friday, October 14

1:45-3:30 p.m. Keynote Event: Rag Radio interview with historian Doug Rossinow, author of The Politics of Authenticity, with UT-Austin American Studies professor Julia Mickenberg. Moderator: Thorne Dreyer. Multipurpose Hall (MPH) (EVC8500)

3:30-5:00 p.m. “War & Protest, Then and Now.” Facilitators: Terry J. DuBose (Vietnam Veterans Against the War); Alan Pogue (Veterans for Peace); Benjamin “Hart” Viges (Iraq Veterans Against the War); David Zeiger (Producer and Director, Sir! No Sir; Staff of Oleo Strut Coffeehouse outside Ft. Hood, 1970-72); Roy Casagranda (ACC Government Professor and Middle East scholar). MPH (EVC8500)

3:30-5:00 p.m. “Activist Journalism on Race and Racial Justice Struggles: Then and Now.” Moderator: Glenn Scott, former Rag staffer and retired union organizer. Facilitators: Linda Lewis, voting and human rights advocate, first and only African American Elections Administrator for Texas; Dr. Erna R. Smith, Emeritus Journalism Professor, USC South Africa graduate program, first Black writer on Daily Texan staff; Jan Lawson, retired City of Austin Small and Minority Business Manager; Marion Nickerson, longtime KAZI program director. (EVC 8.105)

3:30-5:00 p.m. “Being the Change: Religion & Spirituality in Social Activism.” Facilitator: Sarito Carol Neiman, original Rag “funnella,” author of The Autobiography of a Spiritually Incorrect Mystic. (EVC 8.111)

Saturday, October 15

1:30-4:30: The Legacy of the ’60s-’70s Underground Press. Moderator: Thorne Dreyer, original Rag “funnel”; editor, The Rag Blog. MPH (EVC 8500)

1:30-2:25: “The Underground Press Becomes a National Force and the Government Tries to Stop It.” Facilitator: Geoff Rips, author of The Campaign Against the Underground Press and former editor, The Texas Observer.

2:30-3:25: “The Underground Press and the Post-Stonewall Gay Movement.” Facilitator: Allen Young, veteran of The Washington Post, Liberation News Service, and the Gay Liberation Movement.

3:30-4:25: “Citizen’s Journalism from the Underground Press to Twitter and the Cell Phone.” Facilitator: Mary Bock, UT-Austin journalism professor and former television journalist.

1:30-2:55: “Fifty Years of Raised Consciousness: Women Sharing Our Stories.” Women who worked with The Rag and/or the Women’s Liberation Front share their experiences. Facilitators: Pat Cuney, Lin Smith, Judy Walther, Connie Lanham Moreno, Barbara Hines, Alice Embree, Sharon Shelton-Colangelo. (EVC 8.105)

1:30-4:25: “How the Rag era changed our lives and communities.” Facilitators: Hunter Ellinger and assorted Ragstaffers. (EVC 8.111)

3:00-4:25: “The Struggle for Criminal Justice: Alternative Media and Grassroots Activism.” Moderator: Scott Henson, criminal justice reform activist and blogger; Steve Russell, retired Travis County judge and columnist for Indian Country Today Media Network and The Rag Blog; Alan Pogue, documentary photographer who has photographed jails and prisons since 1972; Sukyi McMahon, Austin Justice Coalition leader. (EVC 8.105)

Events at Austin Community College (ACC) are sponsored by The Austin School with the assistance of Roy Casagranda, ACC government professor.

For more information and links to all the venues, go to the Rag Reunion page at The Rag Blog.


Some Highlights

Gentle Thursday Happening and Reunion Registration
The Gentle Thursday event on October 13 will serve as a reunion and remembrance of the SDS and Rag sponsored Gentle Thursday happenings that helped transform the UT campus and community in the late ‘60s. There will be an outdoor stage at the Vortex Theater, 307 Manor Road, with live music and spoken word, and folks are encouraged to wear lively clothing and to bring dogs, children, balloons, and musical instruments. Wear your tie-dye and peace buttons! There will also be registration for the Rag Reunion at the Vortex.

Alan Pogue at La Peña
There will be a exhibit of Rag-related work by acclaimed documentary photographer Alan Pogue, who was The Rag‘s staff photographer when he came back from Vietnam in 1969. The exhibit will hang at La Peña, 227 Congress Ave., from October 1-30, 2016. There will be an opening reception on Sunday, October 9, from 4-6 p.m. The reception and the exhibit are open to the public.

Rag Radio Keynote Interview with Doug Rossinow
Thorne Dreyer will host a remote Rag Radio broadcast before a live audience at the the Austin Community College (ACC) Eastview campus, 3401 Webberville Rd., from 2-3 p.m., Friday, October 14. The guest will be historian Doug Rossinow, author of The Politics of Authenticity. All are encouraged to join us in the audience. The show will be broadcast live on KOOP 91.7-FM in Austin and will be streamed live.

Workshops and Breakout Sessions
On Friday and Saturday afternoons at Austin Community College (ACC) Eastview, there will be a series of workshops on subjects like the Vietnam War and protest, the women’s movement, spirituality and activism, citizens’ journalism then and now, racism and the criminal justice system, sessions on labor and environmental activism, and how the underground press became a national force and the government tried to stop it. See the schedule above. Events at Austin Community College (ACC) are sponsored by The Austin School with the assistance of Roy Casagranda, ACC government professor.

Documentary Film Premiere
A documentary film, The Rag: Underground Newspaper 1966-1977, produced by People’s History in Texas, will premiere at ACC Eastview on Friday, October 14, from 7-9 p.m. All are welcome.

Concert at Threadgill’s
On Saturday night, October 15, there’s a big concert at famed Austin music venue Threadgill’s, located at 301 West Riverside Drive. Set for 7-11 p.m., it features vintage rock ‘n roll with Extreme Heat, the Freddy Steady Revue (with special guests Spencer Perskin of Shiva’s Headband and George Kinney of Golden Dawn), and the Uranium Savages. Austin muralist, comic, and actor — and former Rag artist — Kerry Awn will emcee. There is a $20 cover charge — but nobody will be turned away.

Brunch and Closing Session
Sunday from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., The High Road at Dawson, 700 Dawson Road (just south of Barton Springs Road), will host the closing event for the 2016 Rag Reunion and Public Celebration. It’s a brunch and final Reunion gathering, and everyone will pose for a group photograph.

All events are free — with the exception of the Saturday night concert at Threadgill’s — and everything’s open to the public.


The Book

PrintCelebrating The Rag: Austin’s Iconic Underground Newspaper will be released during the 50th Anniversary Rag Reunion and Public Celebration. Edited by Thorne Dreyer, Alice Embree, and Richard Croxdale, and designed by Carlos Lowry, the 300-page-plus book includes more than 100 articles chosen from the 11 years of The Rag’s existence, along with several contemporary essays written specifically for the project. Celebrating The Rag also features eye-popping vintage art that first appeared in The Rag, including Gilbert Shelton’s Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Jim Franklin’s surrealist armadillos, and the work of acclaimed documentary photographer, Alan Pogue.


The complete collection of The Rag is now available at Reveal Digital’s Independent Voices digital archive.

For details and background, go here: The Rag: 50 years of cutting-edge journalism.

Go to the Rag Reunion Facebook event page.

For information about accommodations, go here: 2016 Rag Reunion and Public Celebration: Where to stay in Austin this October.

Contact the Rag Reunion Organizing Committee here: reunion@theragblog.com.

Press contact:
Thorne Dreyer
editor@theragblog.com
512-436-9968

Posted in Rag Reunion 2016 | 4 Comments

Alice Embree :
The murder of George J. Vizard IV

George, a Ragstaffer and leading force in the Austin left, was found dead in the cold locker of an Austin convenience store in 1967.

George Vizard Sells Rag

George Vizard, shown selling Austin’s underground newspaper, The Rag, in front of the University Co-op on the Drag across from the UT campus. Seated is his wfe, Mariann Vizard. Photo: October 1966.

By Alice Embree | The Rag Blog | July 27, 2016

The Rag: 50 years and still raising hell! ©Furry Freak Brothers illustration by Gilbert SheltonRag Blog associate editor Alice Embree wrote the following article — about the life and murder of original Ragstaffer George Vizard — for a book that will be released this October in conjunction with a 50th Anniversary “Rag Reunion and Public Celebration” of Austin’s historic underground newspaper, The Rag, that published from 1966-1977. The Rag has been reborn into the digital age as The Rag Blog, with many original Ragstaffers involved in the paper’s online resurrection, including George’s widow, Mariann (pictured above), who later changed her last name to “Wizard.”
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Alice Embree :
2016 Rag Reunion and Public Celebration: Where to stay in Austin this October

We have arranged for a block of comfy, affordable, and environmentally-friendly hotel suites for attendees seeking accommodations.

habitat suites patio

Patio at the Habitat Suites in Austin.

By Alice Embree | The Rag Blog | July 6, 2016

Hi, Ragstaffers and fellow travelers!


UPDATE: There are no more rooms available at the Habitat Suites, though there is a hospitality suite for all Rag Reunion attendees.


The Rag: 50 years and still raising hell! ©Furry Freak Brothers illustration by Gilbert SheltonThe upcoming four-day 50th Anniversary Rag Reunion and Public Celebration (“50 Years and Still Raising Hell!”), slated for October 13-16, 2016, in Austin, is coming together in unprecedented fashion and we already have heard from dozens around the country who plan to attend.

You can find the ever-growing schedule of events here, and much more about The Rag and plans for the 50th Anniversary celebration here.

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Thorne Dreyer and Alice Embree :
The Rag: 50 years of cutting-edge journalism

A series of public events, October 13-16, 2016, will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Austin’s historic Sixties underground newspaper.

Rag Covers

By Thorne Dreyer and Alice Embree | The Rag Blog | May 9, 2016

AUSTIN — In a public celebration of The Rag’s 50th anniversary — “The Rag: 50 Years and Still Raising Hell!” — former Rag staffers, followers, and friends are planning a four-day series of activities October 13-16, 2016, in Austin.  Events will take place at various venues, including the Vortex Theater, Threadgill’s South, and the Austin Community College Eastview Campus.

The Rag, Austin’s weekly tabloid underground newspaper, published 380 editions from 1966 to 1977. Noted for its unique blend of New Left politics and Sixties alternative culture, The Rag was among the earliest and most influential of the Sixties-era underground newspapers; it was the first in the South and the first to grow directly out of an activist and counterculture community.
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