Today is the anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Bed-In For Peace

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wish i’d seen this earlier. i would have stayed in bed all day in honour.


Rich celebrities thinking they could change the world by pointedly not doing anything. I guess you had to be there.


From my point of view, squarely beats being annoying and banning stuff.

More of this, please.


Yeah OK. But it doesn’t appear to have beaten, for example, war.

Personally I think if celebrities (or anyone else) want to do something to fix the world’s problems it’d be better if they’d, y’know, do something. A “Bed-In for Peace” seems to me to be about morally equivalent to liking Peace on facebook.


Sometimes (not in case of war but in many other cases) doing nothing is the best way to not screw things up even more.

At least it doesn’t make things worse.


You know, this was a small part of the protests that brought about the end of the Vietnam War. So yea, they did kind of beat war.


Was it the protests that ended the war, or was it the Vietcong? Depends on if you ask the protesters or the Vietnamese, I guess. I don’t know enough to argue the point but I have my suspicions.


Allen Ginsberg came up with the idea of “declaring the war over”, about 1966, when the war was pretty invisible (except in traditional pacifist circles). Phil Ochs wrote a song based on that notion, and organized two “War is Over” rallies in 1967. The song is on 1968’s “Tape from California”.

At some point Jerry Rubin went over to see John and Yoko, to convince them to be political, which would seem to explain John’s alignment with John Sinclair.

The Bed-in was art, some weird modification of the idea of lunch counter sit-ins. If you look at the list, Allen Ginsberg is the closest thing to a pacifist there, they were generally celebrities or artists. No Jim Peck WWII pacifist and later Golden Rule crewmember and Freedom Rider. No David Harris member of The Resistance and Joan Baez’s husband, who went to prison rather than the war. No Marty Jezer who may have been among the first bunch to burn draft cards in the sixties, who was involved in “WIN” magazine, about non-violence. He also co-opted The Beatles Yellow Submarine as a symbol for Polaris Action, and then later a general pacifist symbol as attempts were made to involve the counterculture. No Bayard Rustin who’d also sat out WWII in prison, and was behind the scenes during the civil rights movement. No Daniel Ellsberg (though maybe it was too early) who decided to release the Pentagon Papers after attending a War Resisters League workshop where he saw people preparing to go to prison rather than war. The list could be long, but they weren’t at the Bed-In.

People loved John because he was a big musician, for many “peace” wasn’t all that deep. People don’t remember the organizers and the people who went to prison or held weekly vigils (a 1968 issue of WIN I found two years ago had a full page listing such events). Most people never knew about Phil Ochs. And the war was opposed not because it was war, period, but because of the draft, or because it was an “unjust war”, as if one could pick which wars to support. The history is gone, but the musician gets remembered.

Phil Ochs organized one last “War is Over” rally, in May of 1975, when the war was actually finally over.


I surmise the reasons for being against the war were many and varied. Is the purity test you’re using on the Ono Lennons an Open Source test, or something you’ve devised on your own?

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Yep. Or changing my avatar to the Belgian flag, or tweeting #BringBackOurGirls (not #TakeBackOurGirls of course), or sending James Taylor to Paris to sing “You’ve Got A Friend”.


Well, which one was made up of mostly white people? That must be it? /s

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Narcissist peace.

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Thank you for the fantastic facts. One question, do you know the reason the bike is in the bed ? I have seen this photo a thousand times and really just noticed it ~ nice write up looking forward to a reply if you know the answer, I have complete confidence you will !!


This is a complex issue, but war is kinda… sorta… maaaaybe… getting there. There are a lot of issues and variables to consider, and we need more time to be sure if it’s a trend or not, but overall we’re seeing fewer and fewer deaths from war and smaller and smaller scale conflicts. The population has gotten quite large without a corresponding increase in global conflict in real terms.

Of course this has nothing to do with the various and largely ineffective peace movements that were only high profile in a handful of western countries and more to do with globalization. And by globalization, I’m not talking about NAFTA and the WTO, but rather the increasingly interconnected interests of various nations and institutions in those nations. Why go to war? Contrary to the Ferengi Rules of Acquisition, it’s bad for business.

Mad at another country? Go ahead, run a blockade. See if fifty non-belligerent countries don’t absolutely lose their shit when you’ve sunk a Maersk Sealand container ship full of iPads, or kept it from passing through a strait. This is part of why civil and ethnic conflicts seem to be more prevalent: There are few mechanisms to police them at an international scale, and they rarely limit global trade on a large scale. It’s much easier to seek treaties or sit down at a negotiating table when it comes to international spats.

People wishing for world peace aren’t making it happen. People who do some incredibly boring jobs that no one ever thinks about are actually doing all the heavy lifting. Maybe it’s like you said. Maybe I “had to be there,” but I kind of roll my eyes at this, too. I find the legacy of the Beatles is slowly, but surely, turning away from nostalgia.


Its not like The Beatles music has never been used to sell shoes, cars, diapers and so on…

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Actually, they always have been, but everyone looked the other way.

No one did anything when the Turks exterminated every Armenian they could find, or when Stalin starved the Ukraine, or when Hitler started gassing Downs syndrome children, or when Pol Pot wiped out a third of his country.

They’re actually less prevalent today than they used to be, they just seem more prevalent, was the point I was getting at.

Sadly, people are still looking the other way.

We could have stopped Daesh before they got started, but they were left alone to start killing LGB people and wipe out all the trans people in Iraq.

@lolipop_jones Hitler also started with LGBT people, one of the very first book burnings was at Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft which was a sexology clinic and one of the first clinics for trans people. Notably absent from the bonfires were his records of patients, which included the names and adresses for a lot of LGBT people.

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