photo by David Boswell at Georgia Straight offices, 1977
Fall 1967 someone told me I ought to meet this new guy on campus who
was involved in opposition to the Vietnam War. I was with the remnants
of SUPA (Student Union for Peace Action) trying to keep the New Left
flame burning. There stood the 18 year old Bob Mercer, anti-war badge
and all. This is my first conscious memory of him, though years later
he recounted how we had both crashed on the living room floor of the
New West Coop, the summer before.|
Bob moved into the Coop and at first seemed a bit shy (Bob Mercer shy???) but soon transformed himself in a manner that amazed me. We both got involved in the new campus radical group, SDU (Students for a Democratic University) Bob was soon producing an amusing satirical comic called “The Little Man” based around a time-travelling Karl Marx. Around the same time he was given a nickname. In the same way a 300 pound, six foot six guy is Tiny, Mercer got called Ugly Bob, later shortened to Ugly.
Bob was one of the earliest male supporters of Women's Liberation, which at SFU was known as the Women's Caucus. Later in 1968 we were involved in the occupation of the Administration Building and Bob was arrested along with one hundred and thirteen other students in an act of civil disobedience. I had a terrible cold and went home, thus missing out on the excitement.