Rennie Davis at Montgomery College: 1973
Rennie Davis spoke on the struggle against capitalism at a Montgomery County Freedom Party forum at Montgomery College Rockville Md. campus early in 1973.

The Freedom Party was an organization of left-leaning students at Montgomery College that was formed in the fall of 1971 and began publishing the Montgomery Spark newspaper. The group expanded to a Montgomery County-based group in 1972, but continued to focus primarily on the campus.

The group sponsored a demonstration against the Vietnam War, marching from the school’s Rockville campus to a recruiting center in downtown Rockville. The group also joined numerous antiwar, women’s rights, gay rights demonstrations during the two year period of its existence. The newspaper was expanded to a Washington-area newspaper in early 1973, but published its last issue in October 1973.

Davis had generally been a moderate antiwar leader. But, at other times such as the 1969 Nixon Inauguration or during 1971 Mayday demonstrations that attempted to shut down the government, Davis played a more militant role.

Shortly after his talk at Montgomery College in 1973, Davis became a follower of “the 15-year old perfect master –Guru Maharaj Ji.” Davis’s conversion was viewed as a betrayal by those who struggled against the Vietnam War.

The Washington Area Spark wrote at the time, “Rennie Davis is probably not simply flipped out, as some believe (although it is possible). More likely, after years of frustrations, set-backs and several jailings, Rennie began looking for an easy way to deal with capitalist reality—something all disaffected people are looking for.”

“Unfortunately, the path to liberation lies not in dropping out or walking around with blank look in your eyes babbling about love, but through struggle against oppressive classes—this is how the most powerful unity and love is attained.”
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