On the Origins of

Chapter 2


Local model
(if one "not gay")


Alternative, radical, irreverent -- if "not for hairdressers and ballet dancers."
Sept 15, 1971 issue.

Carl Wittman's manifesto
(& more)

Manifestos, very much a genre of the day for the left, and gay lib types rooted in leftist practice, were often sweeping in scope, their radical visions looking well beyond what we now think of as "gay rights." Karla Jay and Allen Young's Out of the Closets: Voices of Gay Liberation, 1972 (2nd ed 1977, Jove / HBJ), has a whole chapter of them. Besides Wittman's A Gay Manifesto (1970) there were:

Gay Revolutionary Party Manifesto (c 1970); Charles Thorp's I.D. [ie, identity], Leadership and Violence, a speech at the National Gay Liberation Front Student Conference (SF, Aug '70); Chicago Gay Liberation's Working Paper for the Revolutionary People's Constitutional Convention (Sept '70, Philadelphia) and Third World Gay Liberation (New York)'s What We Want, What We Believe (Gay Flames, Mar '71).

Comrades in arms

Early '70s activist gang

Founding collectivists
(& close friend):
Peter Zorzi, centre, with Michael Pearl (you'll find him in Promiscuous Affections) and Herb Spiers, 1971. Photo uncredited, CLGA.

What they meant by "collective" wasn't quite clear -- even to themselves. But they'd come together with a sense of equality, shared power, & no private ownership.

The founding collective
& Issue 1

As noted, my main source here is Peter Zorzi's Queer Catharsis. For Paul Macdonald, Jearld Moldenhauer, and John Forbes: interviews by Gerald Hannon in Oct '81 for TBP's 10th birthday issue, published versions (in # 80, Jan / Feb '82) and tapes in the CLGA; for Herb Spiers both those and notes he sent in Jun '97.

As you'll see, photos of some founders were hard to come by, not in the Archives, so not here. Many remain in personal collections.

Pat Murphy & Linda Jain

For more on Pat, Linda, and other women activists then and later, see Becki Ross's The House that Jill Built: A Lesbian Nation in Formation (University of Toronto Press, 1995).

Becki's book is a study of LOOT: The Lesbian Organization of Toronto (1976 - 80, the height of lesbian separatism; tense times between women and The Body Politic). A review is available on the CLGA site.

Pat would be one of the notorious Brunswick Four. See 1974 in Promiscuous Affections.

So who owned it?

Registered federal copywright of the name The Body Politic was secured in Sept 1972, owned by "The Body Politic Collective, of Toronto, Ontario," with Jearld Moldenhauer andGerald Hannon listed as "Authors."

This had no internal effect, the collective still in charge. But ambiguities about legal ownership were seen as potentially dangerous -- and for other gay papers turned out to be.

Both The Advocate and later London's Gay News, also begun as collective efforts, ended up -- through various and apparently "safe" assignments of capital shares -- as the private property of a single person. In both cases that lucky person later sold out for quite a bundle.

In July 1975 TBP established Pink Triangle Press as a not- for- profit company to be its legal owner. Formal control rested with three elected directors, real control still with the collective, some of its members periodically playing directors -- roles with no impact until 1978, when the state needed particular people to charge when it accused the paper of violating the Criminal Code.

As a corporation "carried on without the purpose of gain for its members and any profit or other accretions to be used in promoting its objects" (says its Letters Patent), Pink Triangle Press has no personal owners nor, by law, any shares. There's nothing any individual can sell, walking away with the cash.

The Press -- though now a multi million dollar business utterly unanticipated by TBP's founders -- remains (officially) a not- for- profit company.

Conception & birth
September & October, 1971

The August 28 Ottawa rally had been put together by Toronto Gay Action; "We Demand" written by TGA members. Weeks later they were being urged to start a gay paper too.

Not everyone thought it was a good idea: energies were limited; the periodic routine of publishing might impede the ad hoc activism demanded by events of the moment, might get in the way of actually going out and getting people organized. Others saw it precisely as a way to organize: connecting people, informing them, mobilizing them. There were already a few models.

The Ladder was still publishing. The Advocate (originally the Los Angeles Advocate, born of a local group newsletter) had been around since 1967. New York's Gay Liberation Front launched Come Out! in 1969; the London Gay Liberation Front Come Together in 1970. Gay Liberator had come out in Detroit that same year, as had Gay Sunshine in San Francisco and Boston's radical Fag Rag by 1971.

Few people at TGA could have seen all these mags. Some would likely have seen none of them at all.

But there was a model closer to home, one not gay but open to gay issues and involvement. Guerilla (that's how it was spelled) had begun in 1970, a typical "underground" tabloid of the day: radical, irreverent, a forum for various countercultures. A number of openly gay people worked on it or wrote for it.

In July 1971 they'd got the paper to run Carl Wittman's "A Gay Manifesto" (over two issues: it was very long, earlier published as a pamphlet by New York's Red Butterfly group). A few weeks later Guerilla ran a piece by Jearld Moldenhauer on the August 28 Ottawa rally.

The return address used on the covering letter for "We Demand" had been 201 Queen Street East: Guerilla's address; at the time also the address of Toronto Gay Action. TGA sometimes met there, its public meetings at The Hall duly noted on Guerilla's community events page. It was a close relationship if not always a comfortable one. Some Guerillistas grumbled that their paper was going too gay. It was meant for the working class, one of them said, not for ballet dancers and hairdressers.

Jearld's article on the Ottawa rally had been heavily edited before seeing print. "That made us angry," he later said, "because we felt, well here, this is a really important thing; we [members of TGA] had all approved the article and thought everything should be in it that we put in it."

"When we saw that even Guerilla had changed things," Jearld said, "we realized we needed our own voice."

About two dozen people responded to Jearld's call to create a voice of their own. Most would appear in the first issue, 15 of them as members of what, by then, was called The Body Politic Editorial Collective.

What they meant by "collective" wasn't entirely clear, even to them. It would eventually be defined -- more than once in fact, the collective periodically reinventing its concept of collectivity. But all that's in the future.

For now it's enough to say that collectives were a common model of the time; that these people came together with a sense of relative equality, shared power, and mutual ownership. Which is to say no ownership, legally speaking: their project would never become anyone's private property.

Let me tell you who they were. I'll start with Peter Zorzi -- for the simple reason that without him I wouldn't know much about some of the others apart from their names, sometimes only first names.

In 1992 Peter set down his recollections of them all (and much else) in a paper called Queer Catharsis, meant in part to explain all the files he and his lover Charlie Dobie had left to the Canadian Gay Archives in 1988. Peter is also my main source for early connections with Guerilla: he wrote for it occasionally; Charlie had been a member of the Guerilla collective since its second issue.

Charlie Dobie worked as a printer at The Toronto Star. He had experience with newspapers (as almost no one else did then, or would later) going back to his teens, when he had worked on the Atikokan Progress. In 1971 he was, to Peter, "my newly acquired lover"; they'd met at a meeting of Toronto Gay Action.

Peter was a messenger for Merrill Lynch at the time. "I'd been on my own since 1964," he wrote in Queer Catharsis, "free at last of the small town lack of opportunity that had held my sexuality in check until then. So I'd been in and out of the bars, baths, bushes and balcony back rows in Montreal, Vancouver, and Toronto for a number of years." Another sort of experience one might put to work on a gay paper.

Peter and Charlie stayed involved in gay community work for years (and stayed together: they now live in Perth, Ontario, rural radical faeries) -- but did not stay with The Body Politic much beyond its first issue.

Six other members of the founding collective we'll also meet here and hardly see again: Tony Metie, Bart Moncq, Kent, André, Aileen and Jude.

Six women contributed to the first issue of The Body Politic, but Jude and Aileen were the only ones on the collective. The others were Pat Murphy and Linda Jain of CHAT, Nancy Walker, later with Boston's Gay Community News, and a women who wrote poems signed "Iris."

Jude and Aileen pushed people to use first names only -- as a slap at the patriarchy. Even some of the men did, but only in early issues: it seemed (and for some was) a mark a closetry. After that it was a point of principle that everyone wrote under his or her own public name, any exceptions carefully noted in print.

Jude and Aileen were a couple then, both having been involved in the city's early women's liberation groups. They were in on the first issue, around for some work on the second -- but left (in a huff) before it was published.

Bart Moncq was an artist and would be for years, if later as Bart Monk. Both he and Jude called themselves "Radical Perverts," adding the term to their bylines in the first issue.

Tony Metie worked in the Toronto Public Library's film department. Peter Zorzi remembered him running movies as a backdrop to gay dances. "Tony Metie and I often found ourselves leaning together in discussions," Peter wrote in 1992. "He was more articulate than I was and better able to give what for when needed." Peter reports that Tony became head of his library department, and that he died, age 42, in the summer of 1986.

Kent was Kent Biggar, 21 or so then, kicked out of home by his father and found by Jearld Moldenhauer, for a time his boyfriend. Peter described him in 1992 as "a wisp of a person, intelligent, wry, humorous, at times he works as an organist, also builds harpsichords, also works for the library."

Kent is still at the Toronto Reference Library, in its Picture Collection, where I borrowed some shots for this site. We had fun chats.

André, Peter told us, was André Ouellette, a hairdresser; years later he'd have his own salon in Hong Kong. In 1971 he was the lover of Brian Waite, also on the collective, both once members of the League for Socialist Action.

André was one of four people on the cover of The Body Politic's first issue. That would be his last appearance, but for one other photo. Brian would stay on the collective only a few months more, but his contribution would be pivotal. It was Brian who first pushed a sometimes wiffy movement, always going on about "liberating our heads," toward more concrete strategy: the fight to ban bias against gay people in law, by amending human rights codes to cover sexual orientation.

On that first cover André stands by a bus, a sign on it reading "Gay Rally Ottawa." He's facing a much taller man turned three quarters away from the camera, his face not visible.

But it is clearly David Newcome. Then about to turn 27, David was from an old North Toronto family. He'd gone to private school, worked at a big bank (which, coincidentally, an ancestor on his mother's side had helped found). David's background gave him a sure sense of his own rightness: he was quiet, rarely pushy, but he was always right (even when he was wrong), standing firm for what he believed.

His upbringing had not made him entirely conventional. In 1966 a lone policeman had caught him having sex with another man. "My friend and I," David wrote later, "made the mistake of choosing a fairly private looking but still 'public' place for our encounter" -- a car at the end of an abandoned wharf, at 1:00 in the morning.

Both were charged with gross indecency; on the usual legal advice of the day, both pleaded guilty. David applied to have his record expunged. Interviewed by the RCMP, he declared not only his homosexuality but his involvement in the gay movement -- which just might see this as a test case. The entire process took a year and a half but David, ever dogged, pressed on. He won.

David would tell this tale himself in The Body Politic's eighth issue. That was the only article he wrote, but for one slagging "the ghetto," with his bouncy, ebullient lover Paul Pearce.

David's more usual work on the paper was of a kind few others wanted to do: he kept the books. He'd stay on the collective for only one more issue, but he'd do its accounts until 1976, helping later bookkeepers into the 1980s.

By then I'd come to know David very well, Paul Pearce too. I would know them many years beyond. David died of AIDS in February 1994. Paul, I'm happy to say, bubbles on still.

(Even when just John)


Twilight Rose:
Alan Falconer's take on John Forbes -- in Ephemeral persona, "bringing 'tastefullness' to the revolution."

Alan Falconer lived upstairs from me in 1971, both of us in an old apartment block on Grange Avenue. He was a small man with a big beard and great bushy hair, a graphic artist. I didn't know him well, but we did once go together to the then newly opened Ontario Place, he to paint its trillium logo on a wall, I to help out.

He created The Body Politic's first logo and a later theme image: intertwined male and female symbols, two of each, sprouting what might have been a leaf, or maybe a stalk of wheat. (The originals, done oversized in Letraset flextape, are still in the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.)

Alan would stay on the collective through the fifth issue, his illustrations surviving to Issue 8 in 1973. But by then Alan was gone. Years later, Michael Pearl would tell me he had died in the early 1990s, in Vancouver.

Alan's most memorable work was a stylish Art Deco caricature of John Forbes, in the persona of Twilight Rose. In Issues 2 to 8 it would head Twilight Trails (a column "which endeavours to bring 'tastefullness' to the revolution"), capturing well John's lean angularity and saucy look -- even when he wasn't being Twi.

In Issue 1 he would not be: he was "John" in the collective list; his full name signed to an article. John had been born in Toronto, visibly gay and out on the streets by 1959, then about 14 years old. He certainly remembered The Music Room; he also knew Two, having written for it as "Julian Frank."

Twilight Rose was born in Vancouver in 1970. Her name came from a shade of lipstick at the Hudson's Bay cosmetics counter; her sisters included Ruby Tuesday, Fleurette du Mal, Torna Sunder and Charity Ball.

They were The Ephemerals (the name coined by John: "I thought it sounded like a '50s rock group"), their inspiration the Cockettes of San Francisco and their mission "to satirize drag ... to camp up the already camp and point out that this was a travesty born out of oppression."

Real drag queens hated them. Some real women did, too.

John had come back to Toronto in the fall of 1971, wanting to write and just in time to find his medium. He would indeed make roses bloom in the once twilight world of the homosexual. For a while, anyway: he would leave the collective in early 1973, returning to do a few satirical pieces in the late '70s.

John still lives in Toronto, last I knew working in alternative treatments and aroma therapy. Bach flower remedies: how apt.

"Desperate radical"
(Wardrobe included)

Paul Macdonald

Paul Macdonald:
At the Aug '71 demo. Photo: likely Moldenhauer.

Herb Spiers, with David, wrote "We Demand," looking forward to declaiming it on Parliament Hill.

"An American making demands of Canadians. How cheeky."

Paul Macdonald was, with Charlie Dobie, one of only two people in the group who had ever worked on a paper. Paul's experience was a bit more apt: he'd been with the London Gay Liberation Front, helping produce Come Together. He was back in Toronto by the summer of 1971, a founding member of Toronto Gay Action.

Paul was a very big man -- fat, to put it bluntly; even in those counter- cultural days, when discrimination based on physical appearance was a high political crime, he got called rude names behind his back. His demeanor was often intense, his wardrobe a mark of Third World solidarity. A later collective member would say Paul "looked the part of a desperate radical."

He would stay with the paper until the fall of 1974, leaving not disaffected, he said, simply too busy running his own audio business. Paul can be found today at Bay Bloor Radio, audio there quite high end and Paul in a suit, not an orange dashiki.

Herb Spiers had been brought to Toronto by love. He had visited before and on one of those visits met a boy at The August Club (above The Parkside, then one of the city's very few gay bars) and fell madly in love.

"I would never have asked him to move to Columbus," Herb later said. "I was so desperate to get out of there myself."

So he resigned his fellowship at Ohio State University and took up life in Toronto, as a graduate student in philosophy and, very soon, as a gay activist. "I was aware of the gay movement in the early '70s -- in fact I had this pipe dream ... I used to walk down Yonge Street and think, oh, if only I could escape to New York and join the Mattachine Society."

But Toronto would soon offer options more liberationist than homophile. Herb was with Toronto Gay Action from its birth in June 1971. It was he, with David Newcome, who wrote "We Demand" -- the style Herb's: the first lawyer to see the brief asked the name of the lawyer who'd drafted it.

Herb had been chosen to read "We Demand" at the Ottawa rally but driving there he and his boyfriend had an accident. They weren't hurt, but Herb didn't make the demo, missing a moment he'd anticipated with relish: "An American making demands of Canadians. How cheeky."

Herb hadn't wanted to be involved in a gay paper. He was the one who worried aloud that it would drain energies, swamp activism in tedious routine. A decade later he would be glad to say that he'd been "very, very wrong" (though he wasn't entirely).

Of all the founders, he was the one who stayed longest, the only one still there by the time he left the collective in 1976. Even then, he stepped down only because he had a thesis to finish. He would be around the paper to Number 35, the 1977 "Summer Ish," Herb himself smiling on the cover.

After that he did move to New York and lives there to this day, running an agency representing international artists doing mostly book jackets. But he remained very much a member of The Body Politic's extended family.

Founding visionary
(if not forever)

Jearld Moldenhauer

Jearld Moldenhauer:
The one who kicked vague longing into action. Here on a 1974 speaking tour in BC. Photo: Ian MacKenzie.

Founding tales

The account of UTHA's founding in the main text is Jearld Moldenhauer's. As noted, there is at least one other: Ian Young's. I didn't know it at the time I wrote this. In Feb 2001, having seen Jearld's, Ian sent me the letter below.

"My first meeting with Moldenhauer was not at a party. I must have been given his number by a mutual acquaintance; I phoned him and he asked me to come see him at his place of work at the U of T. I remember very clearly that the first time I met Moldenhauer, he was vivisecting a dog. You don't forget something like that!

"We were never friends. As a long time anti- vivisectionist, my first encounter almost led me to have nothing to do with him, but I thought, well, I'm going to have to work with lots of diverse people in this cause, so I'd better get on with it. Still don't know whether that was wise or not.

"Though Radicals For Capitalism was one of the many groups whose meetings I attended along the way, I had nothing at all to do with its founding.

"On starting the UTHA: Moldenhauer and I agreed to start the group (I had tried to start something earlier under the auspices of the Student Christian Movement which was sympathetic and donated space in the campus coffee house I helped run). He then went ahead and placed the ad without telling me. I read the ad and did not miss the first informal meeting but showed up for it.

"The first official meeting took place a little later on campus; there were, I think, 16 people there. The five founders of the UTHA were Charlie Hill, Bill MacRae, Disa Rosen, Moldenhauer and myself.

"All the best - IY"

I have left Jearld's account unrevised, here with Ian's as useful examples of divergent historical memory. Despite differing accounts, this was a central historic moment, Ian Young and Jearld Moldenhauer both clearly in on the birth of Canada's modern gay movement.

Ian Young in literature

Some records of Ian's Catalyst Press are in the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Poet, publisher, and critic (often severe; we sometimes called him, to his apparent glee, "Curmudgeon of Scarborough," the eastern burb where he ran Catalyst from his house), Ian was also a prolific bibliographer, his early work including The Male Homosexual in Literature. In 1981 he did a bibliography of his own works to that time.

Ian writes still. I gave his 1995 The Stonewall Experiment: A Gay Psychohistory (Cassell, London) a critical review: see Sex: From erotic life to death by banality in Promiscuous Affections.

Beep's birthplace
(65 Kendal Ave, Apt 8)

65 Kendal Ave

"A meeting at my place"
Jearld's place, that is, an Annex apartment TBP's first address.

Peter Zorzi would be set on by a man "sputtering that 'the body politic' was Cardinal Newman's phrase & did I know who Cardinal Newman was & how dare we usurp his words."

Likely going back to medieval times, often taken to mean the State, the phrase was now claimed by people challenging the State's control of the body.

Finally -- last but very much not least: Jearld Moldenhauer. Jearld was a founder. He had come out in 1967, a scholarship student at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; by May 1968 he had founded the Cornell Student Homophile League, only the second US campus gay group.

After a few visits to Toronto he moved here in January 1969, taking a research assistant job at the University of Toronto. He was not, as some later thought, a draft dodger: a psychiatrist's letter saying Jearld was "confused about his sexual identity" had got him classified 4F, unfit for service.

His first impulse was to start a gay group here, too, but as he later recalled: "I wasn't a Canadian and I didn't understand Canadian society. And, having just started a job, I didn't want to get myself fired immediately." (He would be fired later, in 1970, for writing a letter to The Globe and Mail in defence of the group that, by then, had come to be.)

So Jearld decided to wait -- if not for long. On October 15, 1969, in a four line classified ad in the university's newspaper, The Varsity, he announced his intentions and invited anyone interested to give him a call. Some eight or so did.

A few days before the date set for a meeting, Jearld was in the University College washroom and, having just done someone under a stall, got to meet the man face to face. He asked if Jearld knew who had put that ad in The Varsity. "Of course I said: Oh, it was me!"

That man was a graduate student in art history. He was interested, and was at that meeting, held October 24. As a student (not "a mere staff person," as Jearld called himself) he was chosen to lead the organization born that night.

Thus did Charlie Hill become president of the University of Toronto Homophile Association -- and thus was Jearld the founder of Canada's first modern gay liberation group. Charlie would speak at the August 28, 1971 rally; a few weeks later he'd be among the founders of Gays of Ottawa. He became a leading curator at the National Gallery of Canada, often wearing big denim skirts to official openings.

In 2001 Charlie Hill was named to the Order of Canada, no doubt mostly for his contributions to the nation's wider culture. That U of T washroom never got the historical plaque it so richly deserves: it is long since gone, renovated out of existence.

Jearld's founding claim on UTHA would be disputed by Ian Young. Poet and later publisher (his Catalyst Press the first and often only gay imprint in Canada), he had also been interested in starting a group. They might have done it together: they had met at a party, Jearld recalls, become friends; they had many interests in common.

But not enough as it turned out. "I was sort of coming around to a very leftist, socialist analysis of society," Jearld would say later, "and Ian's latest experience had been around the Student Christian Movement. He started a group called Radicals for Capitalism; he was a student of Ayn Rand."

This would not do. Jearld decided to go ahead without Ian -- and could: he wasn't at the university, might not have seen that ad in The Varsity; Jearld says Ian missed that first meeting. But he was there regularly after that.

Ian was not among The Body Politic's founding collective, but he would long be a presence in the paper, his column covering gay men's small presses, The Ivory Tunnel, running in nearly every issue from 1975 through 1985. He is still on the scene today, active in "anti HIV paradigm" AIDS politics.

Jearld Moldenhauer would be the undisputed founder of Glad Day Books, born out of a knapsack he carted to meetings in late 1970, setting up a table and offering for sale the few good gay titles of the day. Glad Day would grow to become one of the world's leading gay booksellers, with stores in Toronto and Boston. By the late '70s Glad Day alumnus Norman Laurila would launch the US gay book chain, A Different Light.

Jearld would also be the acknowledged founder of The Body Politic, despite its collective origins. It hadn't been his idea alone, but he was the one who kicked vague longing into action. Perhaps more than anyone else, he had a vision of what the paper might become; he would house and nurture it through the early years of its life.

But things would not go according to Jearld's vision. Like many founders, he would end up just a few years later turfed out of the very institution he'd begun.

Various members of this disparate group got together many times over the next few weeks. They worked at Jearld's place in the Annex, 65 Kendal Avenue, Apt 8; at the office of Guerilla; in the old house at 265 Richmond Street West where Peter and Charlie had a flat -- thrashing out what they wanted to do.

People brought articles and read them aloud -- a practice that would continue for years: everyone had to approve everything and photocopies weren't cheap. On October 19, Charlie Dobie rented an IBM Selectric typewriter, final copy typed for paste up -- as it would also be for years, commercial typesetting long out of the question.

Over the weekend of October 23 and 24, as Peter Zorzi recorded:

"We hashed out the final selection of stories (there wasn't much left over), pictures, matters of policy, placement, covers, use of last names vis a vis patriarchy, and so on.

"As this went on people took turns typing copy into neat newspaper column format and we did an initial layout. We used a large typeface in order to make the paper larger."

They didn't decided what to call their paper until they had to have a name to put on the cover. Before that, Peter Zorzi said, a title hadn't seemed important. Now they had to call it something. But what? Peter later recalled ponderings on his living room floor:

"Jerry was pushing for Mandala, a name he said he'd been thinking of for a long time. Bart and Jude were working their way from something like Cock & Cunt Sucker, and Dyke & Faggot, to Radical Pervert. ... Nothing seemed to say quite what we wanted.

"Then Tony started talking about names that had something to do with the body. He fiddled around a bit with body and bawdy, then body politics and bawdy politics and finally it came to The Body Politic.

"It was clear this was the closest we would come to satisfying our different ideas of what we were about. There was discussion for a couple of more minutes and we settled."

That's Peter's account. As I've said, accounts vary. Herb Spiers's had Tony Metie coming up with the name over a table of draft at The Parkside. Paul Macdonald said it was Herb's idea, tossed out at a CHAT dance, held then in the still sanctified splendour of Holy Trinity Church. Quite possibly, all these stories are true -- probably in the order reported here.

Herb recalled Jearld Moldenhauer pushing for Glad Day (from a William Blake illustration; as we've seen, he'd get to use it later). Jearld, asked his preferences in 1981, said he could recall none. He did remember various names being written down at a meeting.

Peter's account confirms this but history can't confirm the options or their backers: that list went missing years ago.

In any case, The Body Politic it was. An ancient and venerable phrase it was, too. Selling the paper later at The Parkside, Peter would be accosted by a man "sputtering that 'the body politic' was Cardinal Newman's phrase and did I know who Cardinal Newman was and how dare we usurp his words."

But the term goes back beyond 19th century Catholic theology, probably medieval in origin, referring to society as an organic whole. Common coin if arcane, it is often taken to mean "the State." Now it was claimed by people challenging the State's control of the body, pondering even more broadly the place of the body in politics.

A day or two after everything was assembled at that weekend work meeting it was all carted off to Guerilla, their facilities borrowed for final paste up. Charlie Dobie took the finished page flats in a taxi to Newsweb Enterprises, Guerilla's printer, in suburban Willowdale. The next day he (with, Peter said, Paul Macdonald and / or David Newcome) picked up the 5,000 printed copies and brought them back to Peter and Charlie's flat.

Along with the invoice: for $255; billed accidentally to Guerilla; paid out of pocket mostly by Charlie, Peter and Tony -- and dated October 28, 1971. Peter recalled that as the day all those copies arrived -- effective birthdate of The Body Politic.

Right away, they took their baby out on the streets, hawking it wherever they could.

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January 2000 / Last revised: September 22, 2003
Rick Bébout © 2000-2003 rick@rbebout.com