As a Sea of Starbucks engulfs the East Village, one of the Last Castles of Free Thought and Artistic Freedom is under siege. The Yippie Museum Café is a movement encapsulated into a Coffee House Performance space, founded by artist/activists, maintained by artist/activists, and is still run by artist/activists. It is a rare state of affairs these days.
The Yippie Museum Café's long history of provocative opposition to authoritarianism and greed made for a natural alliance with Occupy Wall Street. This alliance was strengthened by Yippie members' hands-on support of occupy rallies, activities and projects. OWS has generously reciprocated its support of countless Yippie events, with manpower and individual expertise, the most notable of these being the 2012 Global Cannabis March on May 5. This event has been organized at the Yippie for over forty years. One Yippie Founder, 65 year old Dana Beal, is currently in jail--suffering two heart attacks and open heart surgery while incarcerated--for following his conscience on the medical marijuana issue. The failed drug war is one of many issues that OWS and the Yippie have in common. The Yippie Museum Café is proud to be one of the first of the growing number of Occu-friendly hubs that bring artists and activists of all stripes together, to call for and plan a better world.
The Yippie has every intention of remaining an East Village Bastion of vibrant and varied live music, free speech, challenging art, the demand for social justice, and a place to get some affordable caffeine. But like many non corporate businesses, the Yippie is suffering financially. It needs a new HVAC system, new equipment for its backline, and some essential physical upgrades. Help the Yippie, protect one of the last great East Village Castles.