Monthly Archives: February 1973

1973.02.25: Red Tide Letter to Student Government (Fonda)

1973.02.25 -- Red Tide Letter to Student Government (Fonda)_Page_1 1973.02.25 -- Red Tide Letter to Student Government (Fonda)_Page_2 1973.02.25 -- Red Tide Letter to Student Government (Fonda)_Page_3 1973.02.25 -- Red Tide Letter to Student Government (Fonda)_Page_4 1973.02.25 -- Red Tide Letter to Student Government (Fonda)_Page_5 1973.02.25 -- Red Tide Letter to Student Government (Fonda)_Page_6 1973.02.25 — Red Tide Letter to Student Government (Fonda)

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1973.02.16: Fonda Permitted to Speak at Uni (Warrior)

1973.02.16 -- Fonda Permitted to Speak at Uni -- Warrior 1973.02.16 — Fonda Permitted to Speak at Uni — Warrior

1973.01.01: Viet Nam for the Vietnamese (Red Tide)

[Historical Note: The Red Tide was a revolutionary high school underground newspaper and youth organization that existed from 1971-1981. See: http://theredtide.wordpress.com/]

Red Tide, Vol. II, No. 4 [Issue #8], January-February 1973
Viet Nam for the Vietnamese
[By Michael Letwin]

The agreement by the U.S. to halt the bombing, and to withdraw remaining troops from southern Viet Nam, is a victory for the Vietnamese people. It is also a victory for the antiwar movement in this country and around the world. But U.S. intervention in Viet Nam is far from ended, and the conditions of the “peace treaty” cannot guarantee peace.

In the past few days, the media has tried very hard to convince the American people that the war in Viet Nam is over. If you happened to turn on the tube at the right moment, you may have caught a glimpse of a “peace” dove, or a minute of silence for “peace.”

All of this has left the impression that the war is over. But the accords do nothing to resolve the social, economic and political problems that have been the root of the war.

There is still fighting in Viet Nam. However, in order to understand why this fighting is going on, we must examine parts of this so-called “peace treaty”, and what must result from it.

Two Governments in South

Among other things, the “peace treaty” recognizes two administrations in southern Viet Nam. One is the Thieu dictatorship, which is a puppet of the United States. The other is the Provisional Revolutionary Government, a coalition of all forces that are fighting for Vietnamese independence, and for an end to U.S. domination. This group includes the National Liberation Front (Viet Cong).

The problem with this set-up is that these two administrations are diametrically opposed. The Thieu dictatorship represents almost no one in Viet Nam. It depends on U.S. dollars to pay its army, and for its materials, without which it could not survive a single day, as it enjoys no popular support. It serves the economic and political interests of the U.S.

With such different interests at heart, how can these two governments exist side by side? Well, as a result of this irreconcilable conflict, the two sides (or rather Thieu vs. the Vietnamese people) have been fighting each other in southern Viet Nam, after the treaty was signed.

Myth of Free Elections

There is no provision in the treaty which guarantees “free elections”. Kissinger says that this is to be worked out “between the two south Vietnamese parties”. But as we have seen in the past, Thieu doesn‘t like to chance loosing an election, and has therefore outlawed all opposition in previous times.

There is no reason to have the illusion that he will give up his power peacefully when defeated in an election. Thieu has also been arresting and assassinating all possible opposition that he can lay his hands on. The only way that this conflict can ultimately be resolved is by the military and political victory of one side over the other.

U.S. Bombs Cambodia, Laos

There is no peace in the neighboring countries of Cambodia and Laos. The L.A. Times on January 27th reported that the Pentagon was considering the “possibility” of bombing, as before, those two countries. And on NBC News, January 28th, it was announced that the U.S. is in fact bombing those countries at the present time. The liberation forces in both countries will still have to struggle to gain national independence for themselves.

POWs and Political Prisoners

The treaty contains a clause that says that POW’s must be released within 60 days, but makes no provision for the over 200,000 political prisoners in Thieu’s jails.

Vietnamese Self-Determination

In their broad outlines, the accords do not end U.S. intervention in Viet Nam. U.S. forces will remain poised to defend the Saigon regime, even after U.S. forces are withdrawn from Viet Nam proper. B-52s and other aircraft will remain in Thailand, on aircraft carriers off the coast of Viet Nam, and on other Asian bases. Thousands of civilian “technicians” from the U.S. will be “advising” Thieu’s forces.

The U.S. will continue to pump massive aid to dictatorship. Washington will be permitted to maintain Thieu’s forces, including the world’s third largest air force. Many U.S. bases and much U.S. war material have been already turned over to the Saigon dictator.

And now the U.S. is holding a promised $2 billion to rebuild Viet Nam over the heads of the Vietnamese people in an effort to make sure that things go the way that the U.S. likes.

The War and Treaty in Reality

When the N.L.F. breaks the Treaty, if they haven’t already, they will have every right to. The N.L.F. has always waged guerrilla warfare in Viet Nam. It is the nature of their struggle. The N.L.F. would not have been able to wage guerrilla warfare now, or for the last decade, if they had not enjoyed popular support, precisely because to wage guerrilla warfare successfully, any guerrilla force must have food, shelter, and clothes, from the people of their country. The N.L.F. has always had it, because they have always waged guerrilla warfare successfully.

Guerrillas cannot operate unless they enjoy popular support of the people. When you come down to it, the reason that there were many My Lai’s, was because American forces knew damn well that the Vietnamese people support the N.L.F. [and] that mass murder was the only way that the American military could react — just like [it was] the only way the Nazis in World War II could react to the popular support of the Partisans.

So in the end, after years of mass murder by U.S. soldiers planes and bombs of the Vietnamese people, the Vietnamese people or the N.L.F. (they are the same) have every right to break the treaty to get the peace and independence they want, free of American intervention and dictators.

The American government has no right to negotiate a treaty because they have always been foreign invaders. Besides, ask any Native American — the American government never kept a treaty.

Nixon and Kissinger are trying to create an atmosphere of elation over the accords, claiming that the armistice justifies the murderous war that the U.S. has waged against the people of Viet Nam. This claim is utterly false. Washington’s aggression in Indochina is one of the greatest crimes ever against humanity.

No, the war is not over. It will not be as long as the American or U.S. backed dictators remain in power in Indochina. As long as the U.S. does not recognize that it has no right to impose anything on the people of Indochina, will there be no peace. And until U.S. forces cannot be sent in at the whims of the U.S., there can be no peace.

Someday, when there is peace, it will be because the U.S. is forced to get out and stay out of Indo­china, with no strings attached.

1973.02.01: Victory at Uni: Fonda to Speak (Red Tide)

Red Tide, Vol. II, No. 4 (Issue #8)
January-February 1973

Victory at Uni: Fonda to Speak
[By Michael Letwin]

Early in the second week of January, the RED TIDE, and the Student Government Class at University High, embarked on a joint project to have Jane Fonda, anti­-war activist and recent visitor to Viet Nam, speak at school. Jane was contacted, and she consented to speak on Weds., January 17th, 1973, on what she had seen in Viet Nam, and what people can do to end the war.

A week before she was intended to speak, Michael Galizio, Student Body President, a sponsor of the event, went to talk with John Welch, the principal, in the hopes of getting an invitational assembly, at which time Jane could speak and possibly show slides and films on the war. This was denied by Mr. Welch. Galizio then asked that there be an extended lunch period at which time Jane could speak. This too was denied. And finally he asked that there be a regular lunch period for her to speak. This, too was denied.

Mr. Welch denied these requests at first on the grounds that Jane Fonda is “too controversial”, and that “members of the community might object”. Yes, believe it or not, instead of welcoming Jane Fonda as a person who has a wealth of knowledge to offer, Mr. Welch withdrew in horror because as he indicated, “some people consider her a traitor”.

Over the next few days a campaign was launched to put pressure on the administration to allow Jane Fonda to speak. Parents and community members were called, and urged to inform Mr. Welch that he did not have legal grounds to stop Jane from speaking.

A petition was circulated for one day and a half which collected about 1,200 signatures of students and teachers who felt that we have a right to hear Jane Fonda, and anyone else that we might consider relevant to our education. An article appeared in the WESTSIDE section of the L.A. Times, and the news was broadcasted over KFWB that the struggle for students to hear who they want was being waged.

But when Weds. rolled around, Jane Fonda was still not permitted to speak. However, the reasons for non-approval had changed. Now it was that “of course we would like to have Jane but we don’t have enough time. . .” or “we don’t have clear guidelines to refer to. . .” Other arguments employed by the administration were things like:

1. “If you have a superstar like Jane Fonda speak on campus, you have to have a superstar of the opposite opinion to speak for the War”.

2. “If its this Weds., she might mention the demonstration on Sat. Jan. 20th”.

3. “Finals are too close”.

4. “I want to get the opinion of the Community Advisory Council”.

These refusals on the part of the administration have great significance.

They first of all deny students the right to hear speakers of their choice. When the administration tells us that we will have to wait until they are ready to approve or disapprove a speaker, that is in effect saying to us that our rights depend on their whims, which means that we don’t have rights.

Another aspect of the situation was the fact that Jane Fonda was not allowed to speak at a time when Vietnamese were being killed by our government at an extremely high rate. To not allow a speaker on such a vital topic speak when it is relevant is in effect their statement on the War in Viet Nam.

The official reasons were spelled out Weds., the day that Jane was to speak. In a letter to Michael Letwin of the RED TIDE, Mr. Welch said that the reasons that Jane could not speak on that day were that no representative of the speaker had gotten in contact with him, and that therefore he did not know what kind of program to expect.

However this argument too is faulty. Mr. Welch was informed that Jane Fonda would speak on the topic of the War, and what she had seen there. The Board rules say nothing about a speaker being required to speak to the principal before the program.

WHAT ARE THE RULES?

The rules in the Board of Education’s STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES HANDBOOK states that:

“Contributions from people who are gifted in the arts and sciences, who have specialized knowledge, and/or who have wisdom derived from experience should be an integral part of the educational process through presentations made to student groups. Students should have the opportunity to participate in the planning of such programs and in the selection of speakers. Programs to be presented should be educational in nature, challenging and appropriate to the age group concerned, and approved in advance by the sponsor and the principal of the school. In general, the subject matter of the presentation should relate to the educational program, and the speaker should be competent in the subject matter to be presented. Students may suggest and plan programs by conferring with the principal and student representatives through procedures established at the local school.”

WHERE IS “DEMOCRACY”?

Is American democracy only in theory? It seems so. One of our basic First Amendment rights is to be heard, and for us to hear who we wish, on any topic that we choose. That all sides of an issue have a right to be heard, not just those in the history textbooks, or in the government or school administrations.

This is what we are taught in our civics classes, and its too bad that where it remains. Where are our democratic rights if we cannot hear who we want, peaceably assemble, speak about what we want, without administration approval and censorship?

If you look at American history you will see that the vast majority of people never had, and still don’t have, democratic rights.

The people have never had a say about what happens to the natural or produced wealth in the nation, they have never had the power to change the basic social and economic structure, and they have only had the illusion of controlling the politics within the system.

This is even more so in high school, where those in power know that we may not have completely accepted their lies and philosophy, and that there is still hope for us to change. That’s why when they say “education” they mean their point of view, their perception of things.

STUDENTS WON A VICTORY!

Much was gained in this fight for students’ rights.

The Community Advisory Board passed a resolution which supported “Students First Amendment right to hear who they wish, within the Board guidelines”. The combined pressure of students, teachers, and parents all helped and counted, and as a result, Jane Fonda will speak at Uni on the 5th of February.

But don’t sigh too soon in your worn out joy, for there are many more battles around speakers and students rights in general that are going to have to be fought for. The freedom to peaceably assemble, to speak about what we please, the right of privacy — all of them and many more rights are denied to us.

One other thing that we have to learn from these type of fights, and that is that we are going to have to push hard for these changes. “Good working relations with the administration” are not sacred, and usually are not what brings us victories. What does is the education of each other, and our united action.

1973.01.01: Gangs in L.A. Schools (Red Tide)

[Historical Note: The Red Tide was a revolutionary high school underground newspaper and youth organization that existed from 1971-1981. See: http://theredtide.wordpress.com/]

Red Tide, Vol. 2, No. 4 [Issue #8]
January 1973

Gangs in L.A. Schools
[By Michael Letwin]

Gang violence is a phenomenon which has been familiar to many people in the past few decades [and] in the past few months, we have been hearing a lot about the problem of gang violence in L.A. Most of this gang violence has taken place and around black and Chicano schools in South Central and East L.A.

We have seen or heard stories of students and teachers being shot and killed, beaten up, frightened, of school buildings being vandalized, and of arsenals of weapons being found in students lockers.

Many members of the Board of Education and of the police have come up with “solutions” to this problem, such as having hundreds of police and patrol the schools (even more than they are already doing) to constantly search students, halls etc.

Their “solution” is to repress this of gangs, to turn the already repressive ghetto schools into pure police states.

We disagree completely with this “solution”. Gangs are flourishing now because of deteriorating schools, [and] because the curriculums are not relevant to the needs of the community. Gangs are popular because of the fact that there is over 50% unemployment in the black community, for instance.

This is not because blacks are lazy, as so many officials would have us believe, but rather because there are no jobs to be had, and those that do exist, pay next to nothing. When there are no jobs, the blacks and Chicanos are the first to be laid off, and the last to be re-hired.

Young people in these communities feel these and other problems, but in many cases, only have a vague feeling that this society is to blame. So anger, frustration, problems are taken out in unproductive violence.

So what is the solution to gang violence? Well, if certain social conditions have produced the problems, then these social conditions must be disposed of. Poor housing, unemployment, police harassment irrelevant and incompetent schools, subsistence wages and standard of living, all of these are the reasons for the gangs.

We do not believe that the Board of Education will recognize these things as the basis of the problem, or that even if they did, that they would do anything about it. These problems are built in to the way that this society functions.

Rather we feel that the solution to these problems lies in the entire removal of the economic and social system (capitalism) that has bred them [and] that these gangs must stop fighting among themselves, and organize together to educate about what will bring about significant changes in this society, and in the quality of life for all.

This has happened before. After the Watts Rebellion of 1965, a feeling of black unity was developed. Instead of fighting among themselves, people got together to fight against their common oppression. Gang violence dropped to an all time low. During this time, groups such as Black Panther Party worked together with gang leaders to involve the gangs in this struggle.

We feel that until this is done again, not only will these kind of problems not get better, but they will get much, much worse.

In the next issue, we hope to have a fully researched article on the gangs.

1973.01.01: Shorts (Red Tide)

Shorts -- Red Tide

Red Tide, Vol. II, No. 4 [Issue #8], January-February 1973

Shorts
[By Michael Letwin]

Hollywood Oath Challenged

The “loyalty oath” at Hollywood High a few months ago has evolved into what could be a positive direction. A committee of the Advisory Council has come out with “Hollywood High School Guidelines for Students.” These are a definite improvement. In the two pages of guidelines, students are urged to familiarize themselves with the more comprehensive statements in “Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook” and are advised where they can get a copy. These guidelines consist of seven generalized rights (including an assurance that “opinions, concerns, and complaints will be sought, heard and evaluated”) and eight more specific responsibilities. All of these are summarized from the “Students R and R.”

As of now, the procedure will be that students will receive these guidelines in the beginning of the year and will be expected to sign a receipt for them.

Boycott Safeway

The United Farm Workers Union has asked all people to boycott the approx. 2000 (two thousand) stores in the Safeway Supermarket chain that is spread throughout the West. The Farmworkers are asking this because of Safeway’s refusal to buy Farm Workers Union lettuce, and [for buying] lettuce from growers that pay their workers starvation wages, and that maintain horrendously poor working conditions for the families that work for them. So: BOYCOTT ALL SAFEWAYS. DONT BUY LETTUCE UNLESS YOU SEE A UNION LABEL.

R.T. Lawsuit

For the time being, the RED TIDE lawsuits are being recessed, as it is possible that the Board of Education could be revising their rules in regards to distribution of material on campus.

London Students

It has long been the tradition for [British] teachers to discipline school children with canes, straps, belts, rulers, hairbrushes, or their hands. The British were “civilized” enough, however, to provide regulations on such punishments; for example, canes or straps used to hit young people must be a certain specified size. Last spring, thousands students in London took to the streets in protest against caning and other brutal disciplinary procedures. No doubt partly in response to these protests, the London Education Authority outlawed the use of physical punishment in London’s primary schools beginning January 8. The ban only affects young people up to 11 years old, however, and does not apply to children in private or church-aided school, or in schools outside of London.

Teachers in [Britain] are generally opposed to the ban. Terry Casey, general secretary of the National Association of Schoolmasters, told the WALL STREET JOURNAL that when young people act up, “two, or three or four strokes with the cane is quite enough to bring them up with a jolt. A teacher needs to have his authority reinforced.” A former teacher, Hillary Rose, opposed caning: “People aren’t dogs,” she told the reporter.

Pilot Refuses to Kill

“The goals do not justify the mass destruction and killing,” said former B-52 pilot Captain Michael Heck. Heck submitted his resignation to the Air Force after the December bombing raids over Hanoi and Haiphong convinced him he didn’t want to take part in any more U.S. combat operations in the Viet Nam war. According to the Pentagon, four other pilots have also refused to bomb Vietnam since the air operations began more than eight years ago. Heck, however, is the first to come to public attention. Heck stated after his decision, “This is the first time in my life that I have been able to feel really happy and good, because I have made the right decision.” According to the Jan. 22 NEWSWEEK, the Air Force is expected to try for a harsh court-martial sentence against him. “If Heck gets off with a kiss on the cheek,” said one Pentagon official, “he won’t be the last guy who pulls this sort of thing.”

African Leader Murdered

On January 26, about 40 people picketed the Portuguese Consulate in Century City to protest the assassination of Amilcar Cabral, a leader of the PAIGC, the liberation movement that is active in overthrowing the Portuguese tyranny in the African colonies such as Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau, where Cabral was killed by Portuguese agents. The pickets also protested the fact that these “little Viet Nams” are paid for by $450 million a year of U.S. taxpayers’ money.

Birth Control Vetoed  

On Dec. 27th, Gov. Reagan vetoed a bill that would have given minors the right to get birth control devices without parental consent. It is the third time that he has vetoed the bill, which would have aided many women in avoiding pregnancy. Reagan said that this bill would help destroy the family.

Farah Pants on Strike

Strikers at Farah Pants plants in Texas and New Mexico have asked shoppers not to buy Farah Pants in solidarity with their strike. This is to help the 2,000 workers win their fight of over 7 months against the company. The strikers are demanding union recognition, higher wages (workers only receive $1.70 an hour) good hospitalization, decent pensions, etc. These pants are sold at May Co. and Bullocks.

[Historical Note: The Red Tide was a revolutionary high school underground newspaper and youth organization that existed from 1971-1981. See: http://theredtide.wordpress.com/%5D