History: Went from being a straight-A pom pom girl and high school civic leader to a college dropout, bonafide hippie communard, and movement "member" within less than one year, due to exposure to college environment, active minds, active movement, and drugs. We sent a caravan of vehicles to the Nov. 69 demonstration in DC. My parents for some strange reason agreed to let me and my friends occupy our suburban Maryland house for the duration. We took turns going out and getting tear-gassed and returning home to the suburbs for sustenance.
Many of my friends and favorite professors at college were expelled after attempting to take over the ROTC building. They moved to Southern Vermont and started a commune there. I followed. We lived in an old farmhouse with a pot-belly stove in every room and became "farmers." I lived for a while in a cabin in the woods, a "dropout" in my own right.
Yes, we were harrassed. The townspeople would laugh at us: which is the boy and which the girl. They sometimes would try to run us down. We held gatherings with the other communes and had a big communal garden. We held feasts around a communal stew pot. The townies ran over our garden with tractors in the middle of the night.
I left the commune to travel Europe. My friends closed down the college during the Cambodian episode--I was very proud of them. I returned from Europe years later; the movement had lost a good deal of its fervor. I moved on to "real life" but never really lost those ideals. Yes, I do think we had something special then that I have not seen since. Young people with energy for change and protest seem to have nowhere to direct it now, and it gets dissipated. They seem more bitter--we were angry, but we actually believed fiercely in something.
I was in DC for the riots following Martin Luther King assassination--a scary time. Enough for now--hopes this provides some "primary reference material" for you. Let me know if you need details or dates, whatever. The commune ex-members threaten a big-chill type reunion but have never yet gotten it together--I hope we do. Those times certainly shaped me in many ways.