Monthly Archives: March 1973

1973.03.30: Three Uni Students Arrested Carrying Supplies to Indians (Warrior)

1973.03.30 -- Three Uni Students Arrested Carrying Supplies to Indians -- Warrior 1973.03.30 — Three Uni Students Arrested Carrying Supplies to Indians — Warrior

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1973.03.23: Statement of University High School Students On Wounded Knee Caravan Indictments

Statements of Former Defendants

Red Tide Bulletin #6
March 23, 1973

Statement of University High School Students On Wounded Knee Caravan Indictments

On Wednesday, March 21st, a Federal Grand Jury indicted 13 members of a caravan filled with food and medical supplies for the Oglala Sioux Nation at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

We, three University High School students, are among the 16 people who were originally arrested. Unlike the other 13, we were never indicted and the government has dropped all charges against us for attempting to supply food, medicine and clothing for the Indian Nation. We of course are relieved that we were not indicted on these fictitious charges. However we believe the government has no better case against any of the other 13 indicted defendants than it did against us. The arrests and indictments occurred solely as a means of intimidating and inhibiting support for the Oglala Sioux Nation, and the struggle of American Indians all across the country.

We come from white middle class backgrounds, from the homes of “professional” parents. We were, indeed, the only white defendants in the case. The fact that the Indian and Chicano members of the caravan were indicted while we were not is symbolic of the racial and class bias in the system of American “justice,” and in this society as a whole.

We condemn this economic prejudice and racism on the part of the government and demand that in addition our release, all charges be dropped against the 13 indicted. We also demand that the U.S. government recognize the independence, sovereignty, and the right of self-determination of the Oglala Sioux Nation, and all other demands of that nation, and of the American Indian Movement (A.I.M.)

Karen Pomer, Michael Letwin, Steve S.
Former Defendants

1973.03.22: Ambush Charged in Desert Arrests (Evening Outlook)

1973.03.22 -- Ambush Charged in Desert Arrests -- Evening Outlook 1973.03.22 — Ambush Charged in Desert Arrests — Evening Outlook

1973.03.20: Wounded Knee Arrests (Daily Herald)

The Daily Herald, March 20, 1973, Page 9

LAS VEGAS (UPI) – Sixteen persons were arraigned before the U.S. Magistrate Monday on charges they tried to transport food and medical supplies to the barricaded Indians at Wounded Knee, S.D. Magistrate Joe Ward released four of the defendants without bond and bail for the others ranged from $1,000 to $10,000.

Juvenile Stephen B. Shickman was released without bond and Michael Letwin was ordered held on $1,000. It was undetermined whether Karen Pomer, 18, would be tried as an adult or a juvenile but she was released without bail.

Most of the defendants were Indians and included Cherokee, Butte and Apaches. They were arrested early Saturday as a caravan of three vehicles crossed into Nevada from California via Interstate 15 carrying medicine and food. The FBI confiscated the van, truck and station wagon and seized the foodstuffs and medical supplies.

The American Civil Liberties Union represented the defendants. Attorney Dean Breeze of Las Vegas and Richard Wasserstrom of Los Angeles appeared in court.

Wasserstrom called for an early arraignment. “We would like an opportunity to show as fast as we can that these charges are baseless, we are worried about the chilling affect of arresting people this way and of cutting off all constitutional and legal support in favor of Wounded Knee,” Wasserstrom said. “I suppose it is now against the law to write your Congressman. It might be called aiding and abetting to ask your Congressman to help,” the Los Angeles Lawyer said.

1973.03.20: 16 in Indian-Supply Caravan Arraigned (L.A. Times)

1973.03.20 -- 16 in Indian-Supply Caravan Arraigned -- LA Times 1973.03.20 — 16 in Indian-Supply Caravan Arraigned — LA Times

1973.03.18: Group Taking Aid to Indians Arrested (L.A. Times)

Group Taking Aid to Indians

Los Angeles Times, March 18, 1973
Group Taking Aid to Indians Arrested

Sixteen people en route from Los Angeles with food, clothing and medical supplies for Indian militants occupying Wounded Knee, S.D., were arrested by the FBI Saturday as their small caravan crossed the California-Nevada border on Interstate 15.

An FBI spokesman in Las Vegas said members of the group, which included three students from University High School in Los Angeles, and a number of Indians, had been charged with violating the federal antiriot statute.

The FBI spokesman said the statute “makes it a violation for anyone to cross the state line with the intent to organize, promote, encourage, participate in or carry on a riot or to aid or abet any participating in a riot.”

The arrests were part of a national crackdown by federal authorities on Indians or their sympathizers trying to reach Wounded Knee with aid for the Indians there, according to a Department of Justice spokesman in Washington.

The spokesman, John H. Hushen, said the Justice Department had notified FBI offices throughout the country on Friday night to apprehend any dissident Indians moving toward Wounded Knee “if there is probably cause” to believe they are going to commit a felony.

Hushen, when asked what constituted probable cause, referred to the antiriot law.

Later Saturday the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California responded to the arrests in a statement issued by Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU’s branch headquartered in Los Angeles.

“We condemn the use of the federal antiriot law as a further step in the escalation of Mr. Nixon’s Indian war,” she said.

“If it is a crime for American Indians to cross state lines and carry medical supplies and food, then all Americans and their freedom to travel are in jeopardy,” the statement concluded.

‘No Secret’

The FBI would not say how it had learned of the caravan, but a spokesman for the Indian Center here, where the caravan originated, said the trip “certainly was no secret.”

Scottie Calloway, chairman of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Indian Movement, said two television stations had camera crew on hand Friday night when the van, station wagon and rented truck departed.

Calloway said he had not expected that “there would be a legal hassle.”

He said the three arrested University High School students had, with some other students, come to the center with money, sleeping bags, blankets and medicine. “They asked if they could go along and we said sure,” he said. “It was like a camping trip for them. Like I said, we had no idea.”

Calloway could not identify the students.

Sandy Fire, whose husband, Archie, helped coordinate the trip and was one of those seized, called the arrests shocking.

When asked if the arrests would stop AIM efforts to get supplies to Wounded Knee, Calloway said:

“We are definitely going to collect more supplies and get them over there. But next time we won’t announce anything.”

The caravan members are expected to be held in Clark County jail until Monday.

Two Juveniles

The FBI identified those arrested as two juveniles and 14 adults. The adults, according to the FBI, were:

Gerald Beartacks, 44, address unknown; Mervyn Chico Cojo, 26, of Beverly Hills; Andrew Jackson Cooksey, 26, of Los Angeles; Archie Percy Fire, 37 of Los Angeles; Wallace James King, 29, no address given; John Foster Funmaker, 27, Black River, Wis.; Joseph Lowrey, 30, of Los Angeles.

Also, Larry Joseph Martinez, 23, Lakeside; Stanley Demanic Maxey, 26, El Cajon; Karen Pomer, 18, Los Angeles; Artemis Garcia Rios, 18, no address; John Sterling Thundershield, 34, of Laveen, Ariz.; and Robert Wallace, 28, of Campo.

Leon Letwin, a Los Angeles attorney, identified his son, Michael, 16, a junior at University High, as one of the two juveniles arrested.

“When Michael asked me if he could accompany them on the trip to Wounded Knee, I grudgingly told him yes. I was concerned about the very length of the trip, the fact that they might be hit by a blizzard or be involved in some trouble at Wounded Knee.

“What never crossed my mind was that they would be arrested for merely taking food, medicine and clothing there. I had read in The Times last Thursday that such was being allowed in.” (Food and medicine are being taken into Wounded Knee by representatives of the National Council of Churches.)

1973.03.14: Letter to LA School Board Officials

1973.03.02: Presentation on Vietnam Features Fonda, Dornan (Warrior)

1973.03.02 -- Presentation on Vietnam Features Fonda, Dornan_Page_1 1973.03.02 -- Presentation on Vietnam Features Fonda, Dornan_Page_2 1973.03.02 -- Presentation on Vietnam Features Fonda, Dornan_Page_3 1973.03.02 — Presentation on Vietnam Features Fonda, Dornan

1973.03.01: RED TIDE “Spawned in Hell” (Red Tide)

Red Tide, Vol. II, No. 5 [Issue #9]
March 1973

RED TIDE “Spawned in Hell”
[By Michael Letwin]

For all of us who did not happen to see George Putnam’s “One Reporters Opinion” on February 2nd, we are reprinting his comments about “underground” newspapers.

It is this reporter’s opinion that to destroy a nation, an enemy must begin by destroying the youth of that nation, and thus, its future. Saturate the kids with dissatisfaction and distrust. Feed them narcotics and pornography and dirty films; downgrade their art forms, and feed them sex, sex, sex! Stir them to hate — defy discipline — and exhort them to violence.

Tell them everything that is socialistic or communistic is good; propagandize anything patriotic as being fascistic. Make it popular to defy the status quo; get them to thumb their nose at parents, home, church, schools; their heritage, founding fathers, and heroes of the past. Accomplish this, and you’re well on the way toward destroying a nation’s youth — and the future of the nation. 

One such tool of the enemy is the underground newspaper, now saturating our campuses. And I have a copy of one such filth sheet ‘in my hands. May I read a few excerpts from it, quote: “‘It is our duty to act to change things or are we murderers and thieves, just like the capitalists?’

In another section, under the guise of birth control, the underground newspaper suggests female self-examination of the genitals; the underground newspaper carries a sketch of the female part in great detail.

Another article is titled “Fascism in Athletics,” with a generous sprinkling of four letter words.

The underground newspaper points to the horrors of tiger cages, never once mentioning the tragic treatment of our POW’s by their Communist captors.

And there’s a phony description of alleged police mistreatment aimed at instilling hatred of the police.

And over and over again, the underground newspaper calls for protest marches; boycotts, and so-called peace rallies.

And there are appeals from the Billy Dean Smith Defense Committee, the black man who stood trial for allegedly killing two white officers in Vietnam by hand grenades.

A charge that Soledad brother George Jackson was murdered by the State of California, and articles by Angela Davis, Huey Newton, Erica Huggins, and others,

And on and on in goes, with protest and boycott and hate and ethnic appeals, all aimed at attempting to steal your children and mine from us, and their American way of life from them.

Now, such filth is being distributed on campuses across America, in the guise of freedom of speech and publication. But I think underground newspapers are aptly named; underground indeed! They were spawned in hell, that’s where they belong.

Although Putnam did not mention the RED TIDE by name, on this occasion, he did flash it around the camera (Vol. I No. IV).

We did not appear on Putnam’s “Talk Back” show to respond to his comments for the simple reason that it is he who controls the show. He can go to a commercial whenever he wishes, he can turn down or off your microphone, and there are three of his colleagues to one of the speaker,

In any case we feel that Putnam’s stupidity speaks for itself.

P.S. Thank you George, our circulation increased significantly after your show.
–R.T.

1973.03.01: Farah: Key Southwest Strike Chicano Workers Lead the Way (Red Tide)

Farah Strike -- Red Tide

Red Tide, Vol. II, No. 5 [Issue #9]
March 1973

Farah: Key Southwest Strike
Chicano Workers Lead the Way
[By Michael Letwin]

Farah Corporation is one of the largest producers of pants in the United States. Farah’s 3,000 Chicano workers in New Mexico and Texas are on strike because of pay as low as $1.70 an hour. Women working there for twenty years get paid $2.20 an hour. The average salary is $4000.00 a year before taxes. According to the U.S. government, a family of four needs about $7200.00 a year for a modest standard of living.

The workers tried to bargain with the Company, but were met with company spies and firings. For over 7 months, they have been striking for the right of union representation (Amalgamated Clothing workers AFL-CIO).

In the last couple of years a lot of companies have closed plants in the L.A. area. They have run away to places in the South, the Southwest, and other countries .  .  . where they can pay workers a lot less because there are no unions. These are called runaway shops.

The workers at Farah are leading the drive to close the door on these run away companies. If these companies can no longer move to other areas, but must pay all workers a living wage – we all win!

The boycott of Farah Pants has been taken up by unions all over the world. In Hong Kong, the textile workers union sent unfinished cloth from Farah’s Hong Kong plant back to the U.S. In this country, the AFL-CIO has called for a nationwide boycott of Farah Pants.

Don’t BUY FARAH PANTS!

*FOR MORE INFORMATION about picket lines and other support activity, call us at 266-0970 or 257-9284.

*JOIN OUR PICKET LINES* Saturdays starting at 10:00 a.m. at May Co. at Overland and Pico.

*STRIKÍNG WORKERS NEED MONEY ­ Unions, groups and individuals can send donations to Farah Strike Fund, P.O. Box 998, El Paso, Texas 77041

[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