The History of the Isla Vista Riots of 1970
and The Counter Cultural Movement at the University of California at Santa Barbara
and the adjacent community of Isla Vista, 1968-1971.

Malcolm Gault-Williams

$29.95 + shipping & handling - 357 pages (7.5" x 9.25"), 171,929 words and approximately 50 images

Related Resources

The DON'T BANK ON AMERIKA Blog DBOA Blog contains correspondence from people writing in, as well as new information about the riots, UCSB, Isla Vista, The Movement and other stuff pertinent to the book.

The Free DBOA Newsletter goes out irregularly, with updates on Isla Vista/UCSB history.


In the late 1960s and earliest 1970s, most American campuses experienced the kinds of political upheavals as this book documents in Isla Vista. What makes the history of the Sunshine Revolutionaries of the Santa Barbara area so unique is its embodiment of the entire political/countercultural movement in the United States during that time.

Whatever particular events occurred on other campuses, all of them were duplicated or premiered at the University of California, Santa Barbara campus and its student community of Isla Vista.

What campus community had three full-scale riots -- especially one where the police were completely routed?

Where else did the Bank of America get burned to the ground?

During the Nixon presidency, students were shot and killed on a number of American campuses -- not just at Kent State. UCSB/Isla Vista was certainly one.

The drug culture of the second half of the 1960s and first half of the 1970s permeated most communities adjacent to college campuses -- few more dramatically than Isla Vista.

Where was the concept of an American student Liberated Zone so actively pursued?

This is why this history is so important. To lesser and greater degrees, the same sorts of things may have occurred on other campuses, but nowhere else did they all occur and, in the case of street fighting particularly -- to such intensity.

This edition is a second printing (2002) of the original book published in 1987. Like the earlier edition, the second printing is an attempt to provide a detailed look at what happened to the social change movement, in Santa Barbara/Isla Vista, between 1968 and 1971.

Told largely in the words of the participants, protagonists and antagonists of the times, this book looks at the student political radicalism that sprouted in the late 1960s, Santa Barbara's most turbulent political period; the rising student activism of the late 1960s; the burning of the Bank of America; the subsequent riots; the trial of the Bank of Amerika 15; and the emergence of community service organizations, out of the ashes of the burned bank, at the beginning of the 1970's.

This book is meant to be a "people's history," told primarily from the student vantage point. As an Isla Vistan during those times, I lived and was marginally active in the UC Santa Barbara/Isla Vista community during this period and remember it well.

Most of the story is in the form of an oral history -- the collected transcripts and writings of the most active people involved in this most dynamic period of student activism at UC Santa Barbara and the adjoining student community of Isla Vista. This study draws from sources unavailable or unused during the period immediately after the riots, when the major inquiries into the causes of the riots were conducted.

These untapped sources include:


Chapter 1: Decade of Defiance

Prime Time Culture - Counterculture & Movement - The Campus By The Sea - Above Average Men: The Politics of Growth - Student As Nigger - Malcolm X Hall

Chapter 2: Our Winter of Discontent

Making It Relevant - Free Speech - United Front - Santa Barbara Oil Spill - Police Harassment - Isla Vista Rezonings - Isla Vista: "Sin City" - New Free University - Faculty Club Bombing

Chapter 3: Growing Radicalization

Student Eledtions & the Sloughway - Berkeley's People's Park - Drugs - Isla Vista's "First" Riot - Academic Year 1969-70 Begins - The Bill Allen Controversy - The Vietnam War - The Bank of America

Chapter 4: The Bill Allen Demonstrations

A Little Help From His Friends - Joining The Conspiracy - Wharf Takeover - Dean Evans Bullhorn Incident - Off-Campus Police at UCSB for the First Time - The Santa Barbara 19 + 1 - Faculty Club Liberation & Academic Senate Denial - Serpentine March

Chapter 5: IV 1 & The Burning of the Bank of Amerika

The Chicago 8 - The Trigger To The First Riot - The Kunstler Speech - Police "Saturation" Patrols - Street Fighters Repel Police - Bank Burn, 1st Attempt - Police Unsuccessfully Counter-attack - The Bank Burning - Police Regain Isla Vista

Chapter 6: After The Bank Burning

The Morning After - Cheadle's Press Conference - Associated Students Press Conference - Cowardly Little Bums - 3rd Night (Thursday, 2/26) of "IV 1" - National Guard in IV; Day 4 - Pigs Out For Blood - Days 5 & 6

Chapter 7: Between IV 1 and IV 2

IV 1 Stats - Mistreatment of the Student Press - Local Accounts - Another Look at Isla Vista - IV 1 Stories - The Violence Debate - Biggest Capitalist Thing Around - Conservative vs. Radical Views - The UCSB Administration View - The Radical Elite - Fascist Pigs

Chapter 8: IV 2 & The Death Of Kevin Moran

Clear & Present Danger - "If it's to be a bloodbath, let it be now" - IV 2, Day 1: Thursday, April 16th - Operation Wagon Train - The Peace Brigade - Second Night - Operation Wagon Train, again - Paranoia Strikes Deep - Kevin Moran Killed - After Moran's Shooting - Surveillance Installations - Other Shootings - KCSB-FM Shutdown - Honey's Sword & Mace - Ghost Snipers - IV 2, 3rd Day, Saturday, April 18th - IV 2 Winds Down, Day 4 - Politics Leaves the Streets - Sheriff Webster's Press Conference - Police Motivations Questioned - "Who's Responsible?!"

Chapter 9: Between IV 2 & IV 3

IV 2 Police Abuses - The Invasion Of Cambodia & the Kent State Killings - On Strike! - UCSB Faculty Leadership... Finally - Isla Vista Community Council (IVCC) - Highway 101 Blockages & Computer Center Attacks - The Santa Barbara 20 - Santa Barbara Grand Jury Recommendations - Jerry Rubin Finally Makes it to UCSB - The Student Mood

Chapter 10: IV 3 & The Perfect Park Sit-In

The Santa Barbara 17 - The Catalyst to IV 3 - Boy Scouts Call for the Cops, June 6th - Pleasure Faire & After, Sunday, June 7th - The Crackdown Begins - Isla Vistans - Los Angeles Tactical Squad Abuses - Excessive Force Continues, Tuesday, June 9 - Perfect Park Sit-In, June 10 - After the Police Riot Citizen's Commission, Oral Testimonies

Chapter 11: After The Riots: The Isla Vista Vision

The Bank Burning Trial - Blood Money - Community Building - The Trow Commission - The Trow Report Recommendations - A New Society Liberated Zone - The Fading Apocalypse - Counterculture and Movement

Any More Stories?

More than 35 years later, I still learn new details of the events of which I've written here. I look forward to any personal experiences you may have from this period and are willing to share and/or information you think would be good to include in the book. With your permission, I'll post the info at the DON'T BANK ON AMERIKA Blog at:

Please email me at: Email Malcolm

To order DON'T BANK ON AMERIKA for $29.95, plus shipping and handling (also clothes, coffee mugs and other stuff), go to:


Isla Vista-related Websites


Isla Vista Historical Sources: Special Collections, UCSB

IV Current and Past Events: Isla Vista Org

Carmen Lodise's Isla Vista History and other IV-related links

This page last updated 18 July 2008

Copyright © 1987-2008 by Malcolm Gault-Williams. All Rights Reserved.