Have to admit, one of my favorite paragraphs in Irrepressible is about student activists protesting the final HUAC hearings in 1961.
That Friday morning, Laurent was scheduled to testify. He’d stayed up perfecting his speech, which he fully expected to be gaveled down. From the top of the San Francisco City Hall steps, Marge looked out over Van Ness, San Francisco’s widest boulevard, and all the radiating streets, which converged at City Center; and willed those few students who’d attended yesterday to return. She had heard them say they’d come back again and bring their friends, but she knew from her own experience that it wasn’t easy to sustain a protest. On how many cold days in the past ---at rallies and through telephone trees--had she tried to muster the troops, only to see the same faces over and over. A successful protest was a living, breathing thing, dependent upon a web of circumstances: the weather, health, communication. The weather today was perfect, those students robust, they were never off the telephone. She’d try not to feel disappointment. Those kids had done fine, they should be proud of themselves. Still, looking down at the empty boulevard, she hoped they’d come back, even a few. She didn’t want to go inside yet and waited another moment, though it seemed longer, when up the quiet boulevard she saw a few pedestrians loping along the sidewalks, then came a cluster, singing with their arms around one another. Then, as if out of Marge’s best dream, cresting the hill came what looked like a hundred people, then behind them, filling the road, contesting with the cars, at least a thousand more, marching towards City Hall; all come to abolish HUAC, to see the wicked old witch-hunters dying out.

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