Monthly Archives: June 1975

1975.06.01: The Police: What They Are, Who They Serve (Red Tide)

Red Tide Police Article

Red Tide #18
June 1975

The Police: What They Are, Who They Serve
by Michael Long and Sue Daniels
[Michael Letwin  and Sue Bright]

POLICE AND YOUNG PEOPLE

Undoubtedly, the major victims of police harassment in the black, Native American, and Chicano communities are young people.

Mainly this harassment has taken the form of various “stay in school” programs. Stay in school plans are basically droves of police in and around the school who stop, question, harass, rough up, and arrest young people they find looking suspicious or “loitering.” What is loitering? Police Officer Nagy of the L.A.P.D. says that he generally makes arrests such as “boys picking up their girlfriends, and other criminal activities.”

Cops also ignore any due process of law. When a Red Tide distributor refused to answer any questions except for his I.D., a cop told him: “You have to answer any questions we put to you. You don’t have any rights worth shit.”

Pointing to the rising crime rate[,] which many young people are driven to, the police say their solution is to make sure we know they won’t leave us alone.

And once there is one pig, one guard, one noon goon, school is no longer any place where you come to get an education. There is no longer the consideration of whether you are learning anything or not – you are attending by force, the one thing that will always keep you there is that you might get your ass kicked if you don’t.

We are all tired of this shit, but it’s not going to get any better. As the economic situation gets worse, and more and more people are getting pissed off. We react in all kinds of different ways, sometimes without thinking about it, either by joining gangs, or just ripping off. But what we all know is that therte is no way that we are going to have any decent job[,] if we get one at all, and that we have no future in the “American Dream.”

The harassment of young people is tied in with the rabble-rousing among the police, politicians and some teachers for a stricter juvenile “justice” system. In Los Angeles, the issue started with the dope busts of over 200 suspected high school dealers. One woman suspect we interviewed recalled being woken up by the police around 6:00 in the morning, busted, taken down to Juvie, where for the next 12 hours she was questioned and threatened in every possible way to get a full confession. She also got to watch one 15-year-old being slammed against the wall by a guard “to show what would happen to us if we made too much noise.”

They think that they are too easy on us, so now they want to make sure that when a young person is busted they won’t just get probation or a few months in juvenile hall, but rather that we get kept for a long, long time.

So it comes down like this. The government sets up a rotten school system, a society without jobs or decent unemployment benefits (none for youth), no future[,] and a lot of pigs[,] and they expect us to be able to function within it. We tell these people that they can kiss our collective ass with their “solution.” All it’s a solution to is for them not to have to deal with the mess they have created and have to protect. And that’s what the pigs are all about. Protecting the rotten situation we live in now.

We must put an end to the police, their effects and their system. The Red Tide organizes campaigns against the police especially in and around the schools. So far we have done this in Detroit, Los Angeles, and Cleveland. We haven’t always won, but we’ve gone a long way towards making it known that the cops must be stopped, and that they must be stopped by a mass movement of working class people who are aren’t going to take it any more, who see that the police are only the most brutal representatives of an intolerable system of capitalism – the rule of the rich. JOIN US.

POLICE AND THE BLACK MOVEMENT

For 400 years in this country the white ruling class has oppressed black people and used poor whites against them as well. For the same amount of time, black people have fought back. It’s for this reason that blacks have borne the brunt of police activity more than any other group. This isn’t just because black people are oppressed, but also because blacks created an entire movement to revolt against their oppression. This meant resisting the police, because it is the police that have made sure that black people “stay in their place,” and who patrol the black communities with an eye out to bust or harass anyone for anything. In the black community, police don’t think twice about shooting first and asking questions later, or at all for that matter.

CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT

The most recent mass movement of blacks was the Civil Rights movement. This movement began in the 1950s, most intensively in the South. Although there is as much racism in the North as there is in the South, it was in the South original police repression against the movement took place. The movement called for an end to segregation in the schools, restaurants, buses, in public buildings and everywhere else. It demanded that black people have equal rights to employment, and that they be allowed to vote.

The white rulers were totally opposed to this activity because it challenged the existing order[,] which was arranged to keep white and black separate and opposed to each other. Throughout the struggles that took place, the local and state authorities made sure that the people who were fighting for equal rights for blacks were continually arrested, beaten, imprisoned and often killed, either by the police, or by KKK-type racist organizations that [were] set up to out-do the police. As the black movement developed it became clear to many blacks that the white rulers and their police would do anything that they could to stop the movement. Many blacks realized that becoming “equal” to the average white worker was not enough – it was necessary to destroy the rule of the rich.

BLACK REVOLUTION

The leader of this new movement was Malcolm X, ex-pimp, ex-Black Muslim. Malcolm said that black people couldn’t just expect that the rulers would grant their demands without a fight, but that blacks would have to organize “by any means necessary” to gain freedom. Malcolm called for blacks to arm themselves against the police and the racism of the white population, and not to go down to their death quietly.

Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965, supposedly by some Black Muslims. Since the assassination, it’s become clear that because of heavy police infiltration, including ex-body guards of Malcolm, the police department in New York may well have been responsible with the FBI for the murder of Malcolm.

1965 – WATTS

Malcolm predicted, but did not live to see, the uprisings that took place in the black ghettos of the country[,] starting with in 1965 with the Watts rebellion in Los Angeles. These rebellions also took place in Wash. D.C., Detroit, Harlem, Newark, and elsewhere. The rebellions, called “riots” by the white ruling class, their press, and even some so-called black community leaders[,] were the first time in years that masses of blacks revolted against unemployment, poverty, and conditions of the ghetto. Thousands of people took to the streets to take out their anger on the businesses and institutions in the black community that have for so long been symbols of racist and economic oppression. People ripped off stores, turned over cars, and fought the police and army.

Hundreds of police and troops were called in by the government to “restore order.” The order was of course that black people were not supposed to do anything about the fact that they lived in miserable conditions, that they were supposed to accept things like “good n******” Street battles took place where street by street, house by house, the cops and army retook the streets[,] fighting flaring on all sides.

BLACK PANTHERS

Started in 1966, the Panthers decided that they would arm themselves and not allow the pigs to harass people in the black community. They began a program of following police cars around the community and when they stopped anyone, the Panthers would be there, armed to make sure that the cops didn’t beat up or bust anybody, and that if someone was arrested they weren’t thrown around.

The pigs didn’t stand for that kind of uppityness on the part of the Panthers, largely because they understood that if the Panthers got away with acting this way, other people wouldn’t think that the police were as powerful as they seemed. Because of this the FBI and the pigs again teamed up to destroy the black liberation movement. Starting with the murder of Bobby Hutton and frame-up of other Panthers in 1967, police all over the country started a campaign against the Panthers. Headquarters of the Panthers were attacked and raked with gunfire without warning in cities across the country, in Chicago and Los Angeles[,][ for instance. Panthers were thrown in jail on all kinds of charges[,] including murder, and others were just assassinated, as in the case of the Chicago Panther leader, Fred Hampton, who was killed in his sleep by the police in 1969. The combination of police harassment, frame-ups, and murders, connected with the fact that the Panthers relied on a very unstable part of the black community (the permanently unemployed, hustlers, etc.) combined to destroy the Panthers as a real force by the early ‘70s.

TWO DECADE WIPE OUT

By now it’s clear that the local and state police, the FBI, the CIA, and every other organization of pigs in this country have calculated and planned for the past 20 years to completely destroy the black movement. In the process they have killed some of the best revolutionaries who ever lived.

But the idea, the power, the strength is still there.

That strength is not in Africa, the NAACP, the church or the hustlers – it is in the working class where we must building a movement where blacks organize independently to fight for their rights, and to force this racist, useless system out.

[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/]

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1975.06.01: Keep the Buses Rolling (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 #18
June 1975

Keep the Buses Rolling
[By Michael Letwin]

Roving bands of white people in Boston are using terror and violence to prevent the busing of black students. Gangs of white youths from 2 to 4 hundred throw rocks and bottles at passing buses, white mobs in the thousands are surrounding the buses of black students, screaming, cursing, and hurling objects. The “police protection” is a joke. Over 10% of those bused required hospital treatment.

The black students involved in the busing program are harassed and attacked daily by the white racists. Such right-wing organizations as the American Nazi Party and the KKK have been extremely active in pitting the whites against blacks in what they call the “anti-forced busing” movement.

If white mobs are able to stop the busing program in Boston, it will be a shattering defeat for the black liberation struggle. If whites are successful in defeating black gains by mass action, it could start a movement that would wipe out all the advances black have made in the past decade.

If the racists win there, it will encourage and convince others throughout the nation that their security is safe only as long as minority rights are smashed. White mobs cannot be permitted to feel that black students and the community are a target to vent their fears, angers and frustrations on without opposition. This racist assault must be met head on by an organized force to defeat it.

Police aid is not the answer. The history of the civil rights movement in this country shows that the police force in this society is used to keep blacks in their place. It is very unlikely that tear gas, night sticks, cattle prods, etc., so often used against blacks will be used to break up racist whites. Federal troops are exactly what the name says, super pigs, who are trained to shield the system of racism in which we live.

The only real way to win or make gains is by relying on our own strength. One previous march held by anti-racist forces turned out over 20,000 people, many more than the racists could mobilize. The march set the KKKers back on their heels for a while.

Demonstrations show that we are organized to fight racism and that the streets are not monopolized by the racists. Mass support for the busing program and protest against the racist mobs is essential.

The struggle for equal rights has been going on for centuries, and has heightened recently with the civil rights and black liberation movements of the 1960s. In 1954 the U.S. Supreme Court declared segregated education unconstitutional. Why is it then, that minorities are are still fighting for equal education 21 years later? Racist groups have been frantically lobbying for anti-busing legislation to be passed to make sure that minorities have no say in education.

Sending blacks to a slightly better brand of rundown white school may not be the biggest improvement, but none of us should be denied the facilities in the school of our choice. “We don’t want our kids shipped away to schools far away” is a common argument. [But] over 500,000 are already being bused to schools some miles away to exclusive private schools. The same white parents who bus their children to exclusive schools are against busing in public schools.

It is the contents of the buses they don’t like. They don’t want their schools “contaminated” by black and Latin students. Busing was used before in the South to segregate the students. The same holds true in Boston where blacks were bused across town to their “community schools,” when there was a school a couple of blocks away.

At a time when black and white workers as well as students should be fighting together for jobs and decent education, the politicians are successfully turning them against each other over issues like busing. As long as whites oppose struggles of blacks for decent lives, the standard of living of all working people will be kept down.

Oppose racism and all attacks on black students!

1975.06.01: Workers Movement Grows (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 #18
June 1975

Workers Movement Grows
by Michael Long [Michael Letwin] — Washington, D.C.

For the first time since the 1930’s, thousands of organized workers demonstrated in Washington, D.C. to demand jobs from government.

Approximately 50,000 working people from around the country marched from the Capitol Building to the Kennedy Stadium, where they were to listen to the ramblings of Democratic Party politicians and the labor bureaucrats. However, as Hubert Humphrey began, rank-and-file workers decided that it wasn’t the empty words on the platform that would bring jobs, but was rather direct action.

Instead of listening to the jive that the politicians were putting forward, hundreds of workers poured onto the field in front of the platform and stopped Humphrey from speaking. This action, prompted by the April 26th Rank and File Coalition, led to the adjournment of the rally by the bureaucrats. It was the signal that workers don’t want promises, they want jobs ind militancy now. The reaction to the demonstration from workers in the stands was generally quite enthusiastic.

The Rank and File Coalition itself is a coalition of workers groups in different unions around the country who are trying to return those unions democratically to the members and to again make them fighting forces against the bosses and the government.

One of the banners of the Coalition demanded jobs for youth sponsored by members of the Red Tide who attended the rally.

This rally showed that workers are preparing to fight, not just talk. A rank and file rebellion has begun.

1975.06.01: New York Students Protest School Conditions (Red Tide)

NY Schools

Red Tide #16
June 1975

New York Students Protest School Conditions
[By Michael Letwin]

New York—Students here are protesting the repressive rules dealing with attendance and tardiness as well as the poor quality of the school food.

19 ARRESTED

“They run this school like a prison,” said Ralph Montanez, a student at Clinton High School. Because of the poor conditions[,] several hundred students from Clinton held a two-hour walkout and marched to the all-women’s Walton High to gain support for their demands. In this process[,] 19 students were arrested. Six of the students were held on disorderly conduct charges and one with possession of a gun.

The new rules also say that the students must have written notes from their parents in order to pass a class[,] [in] which they have “unusually high absences.”

HOW TO RUN SCHOOLS

A demonstration also took place at the all-women’s Prospect High School in Brooklyn, demanding that similar rules be dropped. The students there wanted other things also. As the principal, Robert Couche, put it, “They want to smoke in the cafeteria. They want to smoke because the teachers smoke. And, we can’t run a school like that.” No, of course we couldn’t have that, Mr. Couche!

The students also wanted to be able to go and come to school as they wanted to, instead of being locked up in a prison. Couche said that the idea was “totally unreasonable” and that it would interfere with the “proper administration of the school.”

[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/]