John Haag, co-founder and long-time leader of the California Peace and Freedom Party, died March 29 after a brief illness. He was 75.
John was my mentor in my early days of politics. He taught me the basic skills of political organizing and strategy that have been essential to me over the last 35 years. John was a good friend who taught me a lot about life.
He was also a poet, proprietor of the Beat generation Venice West Cafe and a founder of the Free Venice (California) movement. He was an early state chairperson of P&F and a candidate for office, including controller and lieutenant governor, a number of times. He was the California campaign chair for Dr. Benjamin Spock’s president candidacy on the Peoples Party in 1972, in which P&F participated.
No date has yet been set for a memorial service. Please send letters – and photos – to the Free Venice Beachhead about John for the next issue. Contact: 310-399-2215 or Beachhead@freevenice.org. Thanks to Irv Sutley for letting me know this sad news.