|February 25, 2000, is the 30th anniversary of the burning of the Bank of America by free speech demonstrators in Isla Vista, California, a college town adjacent to the University of California, Santa Barbara. To commemorate the strong sense of community that arose in Isla Vista after the anti-war demonstrations of that riotous year, and to capture the Isla Vista mystique, three Seventies activists will launch a Web site at www.IslaVista.org on 2/25/00.
In photos, narrative, audio news clips and music, the site details the turbulent history of student radicals at UCSB and community activists in Isla Vista during the early 1970s, and will be expanded to provide other historical background of the Santa Barbara coastal community from 1928 through 1999.
Many baby boomers may recall Isla Vista as second only to Berkeley as a site for peace marches, social justice demonstrations, and other counterculture elements of the 60s. Visitors to www.IslaVista.org can navigate a timeline and view graphic scenes of riot-torn Isla Vista, the 1969 oil spill off the Santa Barbara coast, crowds watching the bank burn, demonstrators being tear gassed, and other signs of the times. Tribute is paid to Kevin Moran, a UCSB student who died while trying to put out a fire at the bank, and the four slain students at Kent State University that same Spring.
Isla Vista is known in Santa Barbara County as a hotbed for activism, where the student/Isla Vista block vote has swayed tight elections during local political movements for open space, environmental concerns, water hook-up moratoriums against growth, and cityhood incorporation drives. Because of the high density and student-ghetto reputation in its half-square mile, Isla Vista activists continually fight for credibility in their efforts to maintain a decent quality of living. Unique coalition services and community organizing continue to spring from the diverse Isla Vista populace, such as the unions for tenants rights against slum landlords and grassroots urban planning ideas like the unique traffic-management street or barrier parks.
About the partnership for www.IslaVista.org
The www.IslaVista.org web site was built to inform Isla Vista residents, historians and social scientists, and to give an historical perspective that may just motivate citizens to become activists for social justice and join in the development of their community. The site will also provide a link for current and former Isla Vistans to re-connect with others with Isla Vista roots.
In Phase Two of the Web site design, planned for the summer of 2000, the Web site will weave together images and historical information on cultural and social change in Isla Vista over the years, including Hmong culture and community gardens, arts for social change, muralists, crafts faires, community theater, community policing, youth centers, and the growing Latino community in Isla Vista. Historical footage of these community elements, previously chronicled in the Isla Vista Slide Show (a pre-VCR and pre-internet multimedia work of art produced by a team of student activists in 1978), is being revamped for web viewing.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2000
www.IslaVista.org Web site to be launched Feb. 25, 2000
ISLA VISTA, CA -- The Web site www.IslaVista.org will be launched Feb. 25, 2000 with a reception at the Isla Vista Medical Clinic, 970 Embarcadero del Mar, Isla Vista, 7 PM to 9 PM. The reception is free and the interested public is invited.
The www.IslaVista.org Web site is a powerful insight into the history of Isla Vista, a college town of 20,000 residents that thrives in the shadow of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Phase One of this Web site project depicts residents ring up in rebellion during 1969-70 against the racism, sexism and militarism of an American society that was conducting an immoral war in Vietnam and the unique conspiracy of local special interests that created Isla Vista.
The Web sites launching date coincides with the 30th anniversary of the day anti-war protesters burned the Isla Vista branch of the Bank of America to the ground.
The Web sites vivid narrative is complemented by rare photographs, audio news clips, and the revolutionary music of the period.
How these events sparked the community-building movement of the 1970s and 80s in Isla Vista, and why the challenges faced by current residents can be traced to the same issues that led to the 1969-70 events, will be the subject of Phase Two of this history, for which the Web site developers are seeking funding.
Making Waves in Isla Vista: Positive Community Involvement
Dont Bank on Amerika
The Isla Vista Slide Show
Isla Vista Tenants Union
Web Site Launch Reception
University Leadership Network (ULN)