Monthly Archives: April 1975

1975.04.24: L.A. Demo Hits Dayan (Workers’ Power)

Workers’ Power, April 24-May 7, 1975
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https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/workerspower/wp119.pdf

1975.04.24: Attica Brother Speaks in L.A. (Workers’ Power)

Workers’ Power, April 24-May 7, 1975
[Michael Letwin present]

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https://www.marxists.org/history/etol/newspape/workerspower/wp119.pdf

1974.04.10: Police Repression (Forum at Uni High)

1975.04.10 - Police Repression Uni Forum -- ML writing_Page_1 1975.04.10 - Police Repression Uni Forum -- ML writing_Page_2 1975.04.10 - Police Repression Uni Forum -- ML writing_Page_3 1975.04.10 - Police Repression Uni Forum -- ML writing_Page_4 1975.04.10 - Police Repression Uni Forum -- ML writing_Page_5 1975.04.10 - Police Repression Uni Forum -- ML writing_Page_6 1975.04.10 - Police Repression Uni Forum -- ML writing_Page_7

1975.04.01: Victory in Vietnam (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 #17
April 1975

Victory in Vietnam
By Michael Long [Michael Letwin]

It seems like a dream. A good dream. After 20 years of the existence of a phony “South Vietnam,” and a bloody liberation struggle in Southeast Asia that has lasted much longer than that, Cambodia and Vietnam are “falling.”

At the time of this article, the beginning of April, the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia is within a couple of miles of the capital, Phnom Penh, and North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front troops have taken Da Nang, the second largest city in the South. So finally with the disappearance of American troops, it has become clear that the puppet regimes of Cambodia and Vietnam couldn’t be propped up by even billions of dollars of aid.

THE AMERICAN PRESS

The media in the U.S. has made a valiant attempt to stir up sympathy for the quickly losing governments. In endless reports we hear about the terrible plight of the refugees (it is indeed terrible).

If war in Asia hadn’t taken place for years and years, it would seem as though this was the first time that refugees existed, and that they do because of the horrible things that await them with the liberation forces. Nowhere is it mentioned that if it wasn’t for the war that the U.S. created, there would be no refugees, and nor would there be millions of dead Vietnamese and Cambodians.

The press has sadly reported the defeat of the American governments in Asia. This is to be expected from them. While they moan, the people of Vietnam and Cambodia are seeing for the first time in a generation it may be that they are actually winning against the foreign domination that they have lived under for decades, and that they may have a chance to live without bombs and napalm.

THE CONGRESS AND FUNDS

The U.S. Congress has no use for the victory of the Vietnamese and Cambodian people. If they thought it were possible, they would have continued the aid, and perhaps even the troops that they have been more than happy to supply for the ’60s and early ’70s.

It is not anyone’s morals that has kept the U.S. from sending in troops or planes all over again. Instead, what is keeping them from doing that is the understanding that they can’t win military against a totally hostile population, and that the people of this country would not stand for it. They tried that already, and for years afterwards they moaned about the “deep wounds of the nation,” and other such drivel.

From “liberals” to “conservatives” in both parties, the politicians realize that they have lost in S.E. Asia. The American business interests which they for so long protected there cannot win. All of this of course does not prevent these same politicians from talking about the possibility of war elsewhere, specifically going to into the Middle East.

But what Ford and the Congress both know is that there is such as thing as the “domino theory.” It is true that when S.E. Asia falls to the liberation forces, other colonies of the U.S. will look to those victories as proof that it is possible to fight the most powerful imperialist country in the world — and win.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Cambodia is as good as gone, and the rest of Vietnam doesn’t have long to wait. Saigon can’t last without the massive U.S. aid that it has gotten in the past. The leaders of both puppet regimes are doing nothing more now than figuring out the best route to get to their Swiss bank accounts that have been so thoughtfully furnished by the U.S. government, containing millions of dollars.

The soldiers of their regimes rush further and further south, hoping that there is something there that will save them from being torn away from the life of banditry, rape and barbarity that they have had a free hand to practice for years.

IS THE STRUGGLE OVER?

There is no question but that the forces of U.S. imperialism are being smashed by the liberation forces in S.E. Asia. What is to come however is less certain.

The workers and peasants have never in all their history had the right to run their societies the way that they saw fit, through their own democratic organizations. The victory against what seemed to be a never ending imperialism is coming to a close. What will follow will be left to the people of Cambodia and Vietnam to fight for.

1975.04.01: Killer Cop (Red Tide)

Killer Cop

Red Tide #17
April 1975

Killer Cop
[By Michael Letwin]

The killing of a young Chicano here 1½ years ago was acquitted early last month of all charges. In December of 1973, a Chicano youth named Martin Aguyao was killed at Belmont High School by a “security guard” who shot him through the head.

Aguyao was unarmed, but had been told to leave the school by the guard who then claimed that his gun “accidentally discharged.” Early last month, the guard, William Garcia, who still works for the L.A. School District, was acquitted in a trial for the murder. He had been prosecuted under a federal civil rights law. The federal prosecution took place after the L.A. County District Attorney had refused to prosecute the case.

“DEATH BY ACCIDENT”

Aguyao had attended Belmont High a couple of years before his death, and still had a brother there. On Dec. 11, 1973, the day he was killed, Aguyao came across the security guard, Garcia, who tried to arrest him on the misdemeanor charge of loitering on school grounds. Supposedly, Garcia’s gun accidentally fired in a scuffle that began while the two men were on their way to the principal’s office. The security guard claims that he had previously warned Aguyao to stay away from the school. Garcia later claimed that Aguyao had said that he had a gun and that the youth was going to kill him.

SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS

There are a couple obvious questions about Garcia’s story that were raised at the time of the killing. The first is how the gun went off[,] when security guards carry their weapons in shoulder or hip holsters under their jackets? The second is that even assuming that the gun in this position could have gone off, how could it have hit Aguyao directly in the forehead? In answer to all this, Garcia now claims that because of Aguyao’s threat to him, he had pulled a gun.

ANOTHER STORY

When the incident originally happened in 1973, Frank Gonzales of the L.A. School District’s Security Guard Unit said that security guards do not have the right to arrest anyone without the express permission of the principal. He also gave a conflicting story on the shooting itself, saying that it had taken place in the guard’s office, and not in the school halls, where previously reported.

NOT PRINCIPAL’S BUSINESS

The day of the killing, 200 students at Belmont High walked out. On the 17th of December 1973, Ernest Naumann, the school principal[,] was asked about the shooting by some parents and students at a Community Advisory Council meeting. When Naumann finally responded[,] he admitted that he did not keep in touch with the procedures or actions of the security guards on campus, that in fact he did not regard it as his business.

A LOT OF “MISTAKES”

Some people will wonder why we even write and print this story. The number of times that black and [L]atin youth have been killed by cops or security guards at schools is uncountable, always of course “by mistake.”

Even on the extremely rare occasion that a cop has been found guilty, the worst that usually happens to them is a suspension or expulsion from the force. This is true because of the fact that part of a cop’s job is to kill people — especially when they are non-white or workers — to maintain what this society calls “order.”

The only thing that cops in the schools accomplish is more incidents like this, more dead young people. [In] Los Angeles, the police motto reads, “To protect and serve.” This is obviously true. The question is: to protect and serve whom?

[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/]

1975.04.01: Racism in Sex Education (Red Tide)

Sex Ed

Red Tide #17
April 1975

Racism in Sex Education
By Michael Long [Michael Letwin]

Los Angeles—“Black youngsters are two to three years ahead sexually. They mature two to three years ahead and have less personal restraint and are exposed to more in the home.”

So says J.C. Chambers, an L.A. City School Board member, in a statement made to the press on March 10th.

“My concern is with the 13 and 14 year old (white) girls who are exposed to a more rapidly maturing (black) boy. Everyone knows so much can happen – and believe me, it does.”

SEX ED. WITHOUT FRILLS

Chambers also does not believe that sex education courses should include information on venereal disease, pregnancy, contraception or abortion, and that the differences in sexual development are one reason he does not want to “mix the races.”

It may sound like something out of “Gone With the Wind,” but in reality, these statements represent the unwritten Board policy for the entire L.A. school system. The District, over 200 schools, is almost totally segregated, except for those in which small numbers of students of one race attend the school of another. In fact, the Calif. State Court of Appeals recently reversed a lower court decision [that] required the L.A. District to desegregate.

BOARD PUSHES RACISM

Racism is not just some ignorant redneck operation in Boston, or the South, but is something that people in ruling positions such as Chambers and the Board put into hard and fast practice every day. As schools rapidly deteriorate around the country, schools boards, city officials, and others will do their best to pit whites against blacks [–] the most effective way of fooling people about who is the real threat.

Chambers’ statements about black males (not to mention myths about white females) are similar to those theories put forward by such [in]famous racist scientists as Jensen, who claim that blacks are naturally inferior to whites. Chambers’ remarks try to put forward an intellectual reason for the deliberately racist policy that dictates policy not only in the L.A. schools, but all over the country.

Chambers’ belief that there should be no discussion in sex education classes of V.D., pregnancy, abortion, contraception, etc., is based on a weird moral code that could date back to the Middle Ages. If Chambers doesn’t care about women becoming pregnant or both sexes getting V.D., we certainly do!

While Chambers’ statements are blatantly racist and anti-human, he’s just the only one stupid enough to say out loud that this is how schools are already run anyway.

[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/]

1975.04.01: Secret “Alpha File” Kept on Black Youth (Red Tide)

Alpha File

Red Tide #17
April 1975

Secret “Alpha File” Kept on Black Youth
[By Michael Letwin]

Los Angeles—The Alpha File is a secret police file being kept on at least 200 young black people under the age of 18. Also known as the “Data Disposition Coordination Project,” the Alpha File is described by the Los Angeles Police Dept. as a “pilot project” to monitor the activities of “dangerous hoodlums, gang members and troublemakers.”

This file, in effect since October 1973, is used jointly by the police, schools, parole boards and the courts.

All of the above named agencies can find out the information in the file by calling and stating a coded message to the Alpha File Operator.

For the third time in recent months, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit to have the Alpha File destroyed.

GROUNDS FOR ACTION

These files can be used for expulsion from school, denial of a job, or probation. [B]ut despite all of this, individuals have no idea that they are being watched. The LAPD encourages social workers, bus drivers, teachers, parks and recreation workers, and housing authority officials to become regular informers to the file coordinator. The police absolutely refuse to disclose the names of the people included in the file.

Because the list is so closely guarded, there is now way for anyone who is affected by the file to question or challenge any “information.”

LEGALIZED RACISM

The file contains the names of solely black youth. It is a clearly racist institution that does not offer any explanation for what is actually in it, or how it is used. As the ACLU says, “There is no way to challenge it, no standard criteria used, no checks against abuse, no verification of the facts. As a result these juveniles are branded as violent murderers and hoodlums and they are treated as such by schools, police, courts and the probation dept.”

CITY NOT SATISFIED

The City of Los Angeles is not just satisfied with the creation of a grapevine of informers and stooges that affects the lives of hundreds of young people. It has asked the federal government for a $50,000 grant from the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) to help fund the project during the next six months. The police say that if the Alpha File proves “successful,” they will try to expand it to other areas.

A COMPLICATED WEB

The Alpha File is not alone in the arsenal of weapons that the government, and particularly the police[,] have to use against minority and working class youth. The increasing amount of police in the schools, armed security guards, and the like, all fit into the general pattern. Far from coming to an end through massive publicity, these types of things are growing at an incredible rate. For all the talk about trying to improve the economy and the general situation of this society in terms of needed social services, schools, etc., this is the real response of the government.

[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/]

 

 

1975.04.01: Jobs: Going, Gone! (Red Tide)

Jobs Going Gone

Red Tide #17
April 1975

Jobs: Going, Gone!
By Michael Long and Sue Daniels [Michael Letwin and Susie Bright]

It’s no secret that this country is in an economic crisis. Government and business “experts” treat this like an interesting intellectual problem[,] which they are challenged with figuring out and solving. Their income runs into the tens of or hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. However, most working people (if they are employed at all) make around $8,000 a year, and with today’s inflation and unemployment, that kind of money just won’t make it.

THOSE HARDEST HIT

The people hit worse now are those at the bottom of the working class: the black, [L]atino and women workers. These workers have only recently been allowed into major industrial work because of pressure from the various liberation movements of the ‘60s that forced many companies to stop their long-standing policy of hiring only white males. But since layoffs in industry are figured by how long you’ve worked at a place, minorities and women are laid off first.

MYTHS EVAPORATE

Within all these groups, it is young people who are absolutely the hardest hit. Young people out of school now looking for work are going to have the time of their lives finding it. Even if there is a temporary economic recovery, young workers will be last on the list to benefit from it. The old “American Dream” myth about how if you only try hard, and kiss ass, you will come out alright, is being destroyed in peoples’ minds every time they get turned away from another job or laid off. While the overall unemployment rate for youth is 10.8%, the official figure for young blacks is 42%, and increasing daily.

NO YOUTH BENEFITS

Many adult workers have been able to win the right to unemployment benefits after fighting for them for years, but young people just out of high school and looking for work get nothing. If you don’t have a job you can’t live. It’s as simple as that. We all know how hard it is to get a job anyway without a previous work record, but now even that barely carries any weight.

UNION LEADERS NO USE

Unions, which once fought for the rights of all workers, young and old, look the other way now. It’s absolutely true that the union leadership refuses to do anything for unemployed workers of any age, but this situation is especially bad for us, because hardly any young workers are unionized to begin with. Organized workers are beginning to demand that unions fight the layoffs by making companies take cuts in their profits instead of working people paying all out for a crisis we had nothing to do with creating. If the companies can’t run things on that basis, then the workers in the industry can take over the plant and run it themselves.

DISASTEROUS EFFECTS

Huge youth unemployment has an enormous effect. Gangs have spread like wildfire, army recruitment is booming, more young people live on the road looking for work. Tens of thousands of young people, who are completely fed up and frustrated at the system know that it will not work for us; not just at 18 or 19, but at 25, 45, or 90.

LET’S TURN IT AROUND

We cannot rely on the Government for any of their pathetic, half-assed, police-padded solutions to work. We have to get together to stop the rip-off of working people, especially of young workers, and guarantee ourselves decent wages, benefits, working conditions, etc. Most of all we have to demand JOBS from either the companies or the Government. They have the money and the security because they’re on top, and working people pay the price and the pain at the bottom. We aim to turn that upside-down.

[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/]