Information about islavista.org

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
Lisa Morningfire and Marcus Borgman are partners in the development of www.IslaVista.org, and Carmen Lodise developed the promotion program for launching the site. They first worked together at the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District, a governmental agency formed after a hard fought battle between absentee landlords and community activists and credited with maintaining community cohesiveness since its inception in 1972. Morningfire was elected to the Isla Vista Communty Council in 1977, and was the Cultural Arts and Recreation Director for the IVRPD. Borgman was elected to the Isla Vista Community Council in 1982, and was Grounds Manager for the IVRPD. Mr. Lodise was elected to the Isla Vista Community Council in 1972 and to the IVRPD board in 1976, and for three years published the weekly community newspaper, the Isla Vista Free Press, 1986-89.

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 site’s 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 site’s 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
Events during the week of Feb. 21-26, 2000

Don’t Bank on Amerika
Tuesday 2/22 5 - 8 PM
The movie by two student filmmakers about events surrounding the burning of the Bank of America in Isla Vista in 1970, with a panel discussion with present and former Isla Vista activists.
UCSB Prof. Dick Flacks Sociology class in Corwin Pavilion, Ucen UC Santa Barbara

The Isla Vista Slide Show
Thursday 2/24 8 PM
A double-screened history of Isla Vista: 1928-1982.
Sponsored by A.S. Student Lobby
University Religious Center
777 Camino Pescadero Rd.
Isla Vista

Isla Vista Tenants’ Union
A potluck honoring the parent activists in Isla Vista
Community Meeting Room
Isla Vista Medical Clinic
970 Embarcadero del Mar
Isla Vista

Web Site Launch Reception
Friday 2/25 7-9 PM
Isla Vista Medical Clinic
970 Embarcadero del Mar
Isla Vista
Free * No-Host Bar

University Leadership Network (ULN)
Saturday 2/26 2-5 PM
Building Bridges in Isla Vista: a slide show, a panel discussions about the diversity of communities in Isla Vista intended to balance the impression by IVTV that Isla Vistans are all rowdy drinkers on Del Playa. Several community groups will present their current projects. Free food.
University Religious Center
777 Camino Pescadero Rd.
Isla Vista
For more information, call 893-3651