Activist Video Archive

Preserving progressive, multicultural voices of Los Angeles area activists and philanthropists.

Preserving progressive, multicultural voices of Los Angeles area activists and philanthropists.

Bob Zaugh

Part One

Part Two

Bob Zaugh was born and grew up in Los Angeles. As a young teenager, he was swept up in the rabid Anti - Communism of the 1950's and only shifted his views in junior college when he took a Political Science class from a brilliant and charismatic teacher who saw the divisions and power balances in national and world politics from the standpoint of the disenfranchised.

After the Watts riots, Bob volunteered in South Central LA, teaching young kids to read, and attended sessions of Operation Bootstrap. 

Concerned about the Vietnam War and his impending draft, he went to a speech against the war by David Harris and in doing so, set the course for much of the rest of his life. Bob decided to turn in his draft card and refuse induction into the U.S. Army. He joined with and helped to form a key group of young people opposed to the war which became known as the "LA Resistance." They not only opposed the war, but opposed the draft and set out to organize others to oppose induction, stand trial, and if found guilty, go to jail as a form of civil disobedience. They also defended themselves at their trials.

During this tumultuous period, Bob, along with Jerry Palmer, helped to start a worker-owned collective called Peace Press. Peace Press printed posters, leaflets, bumper strips and books for progressive organizations for over 20 years, offering low price or free printing and quick turnaround to a generation of organizers in Los Angeles.

While still at Peace Press,he booked a KNBC interview show, "At One With," which gave Bob access to many of the fascinating counter-cultural and progressive political personalities of our time. Even after the job ended, Bob continued to be a conduit for bringing people together over a book project, or an organizing effort. To this day, putting people together remains a passion and strength.

Late in the history of Peace Press Bob printed and promoted the work of a young cartoonist named Matt Groening, helping to set up key connections for Matt's career. For the last 13 years Bob has been Operations manager for Matt Groening's publishing company, Bongo Comics which publishes the comics, calendars and books for The Simpsons and Futurama.

“Everything that is tearing us down today will become a memory, and this memory will be shared as an anecdote or a story or a poem or a play or a warning. It will be shared with another human being, who will then understand that he is not alone in his sadness. This is why we show up for others and tell our tales and listen to others. The great congregation meets daily, and you are someone’s angel today.”

-Tennessee Williams/Interview with James Grissom

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