1974.02.01: Red Tide Completes Third Year

[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. 3, No. 2 [Issue #12]
February 1974

Red Tide Completes Third Year
[By Michael Letwin]

A few of us who are working on the Red Tide now have worked on the paper and its activities for the past three years, the length of the paper’s existence. Some of us are now graduating from high school, and there are people who are still going to be in school tn take our places.


The fact that there are people to carry on the paper’s work makes us feel good. The Red Tide has been in the lead of or involved in the fight for students’ rights, the women’s liberation movement, black liberation movement and the anti-war movement (to name a few) in the high schools of Los Angeles.

We are proud of the fact that we have won fights in certain schools, at least so that students now have the right to distribute printed materials, to bring outside controversial speakers to their schools, to hold meetings, and to do a number of other things that are indispensable in organizing people, and that are part of basic democratic rights.


We are also proud of the fact that we have carried on a certain amount of education directed to and written by students concerning issues from a local school level to an international level. We feel that in a society where all major means of communication and media are controlled by big business, our contribution to alternative education has been small but important.


We have obviously not succeeded in everything we have desired to do. The rights which we have fought for on L.A. school campuses are more than not nonexistent on most campuses, and in the absence of a strong student movement, they are being pushed back daily by administrations, all of whom wish to crush free and open activity, knowing full well that once educated and active, students may not stand for the schools or the society under which we live.

An example of this is Locke High School in Watts, where students are still denied, to this very day, the right to distribute material on campus by the principal, Hobbs.

To a much lesser extent, the rights that students at University High School in West L.A. have won after years of struggle, including sit-ins, demonstrations, petitions and all! the rest, are often violated by the administration there, which thinks that students will do nothing to guard their rights. We believe that, at some point, students will prove them wrong.

We have failed as well on a number of other things, among them to build a stable student movement, and on a different level level, to get the paper itself on a regular basis.

On the whole however, we believe that the Red Tide has led the most effective student struggle in the past number of years, and that we can continue to do so the students who are willing to carry on its work are joined others so that the fights can be won. The above statement is not a eulogy. It is a call to action.


We are in an unfortunate situation today where society, and schools with it, are back into the apathetic slumber of the ’50’s and early ‘60’s. Those were not the “good old days”. They were days in which people were really willing to take whatever shit those in power were dishing out to them. They were days in which people refused fight back. There is nothing heroic about that.

We want to make an effort to return, in some ways, to a situation that developed in the later parts of ’60s where people did fight back.


To continue the struggles of students, and the alternative education that necessarily goes with that, we need participation. We want people who are willing to fight again. Concretely, this means that we need people who are willing to devote a good deal of their time to educate students about what is really going on, and who will attempt to get us all to do something about it. We need help from all angles: writing, drawing, talking, thinking, and fighting.

All who are willing to join us in this effort, write to us today or talk to a staff member if you know one. We will continue. –JOIN US!–

The RED TIDE Staff

P.S. We are putting our names in the Red Tide because we want people to know who we are, so we can discuss the paper with you.


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