Monthly Archives: August 1975

1975.08.01: It’s a Hot Summer (Red Tide)

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

Red Tide #19
August 1975

It’s a Hot Summer
By Michael Long [Michael Letwin]

This summer, things are falling to pieces for young people.  We are the ones that are paying for the depression more than anyone else. And we’re paying heavily.

Without the jobs we need to survive, our sisters and brothers are getting into things that people do when the are desperate. Gangs are just one example. In most big cities, gang members number in the tens of thousands. All of these people know that as time goes on the number gets bigger and the stakes get higher. Recent figures show that most black youth will not have jobs before the 1980’s, if then.


But gangs aren’t all. Ripping off has been a way for many young people for a long time. Today, more than ever, we have no choice.

If we have no work–no money, then we have to survive somehow. The summer has made this even more true since hundreds of thousands of young people have just graduated from high school. Jobs are scarcer than ever.

Like always, except of course worse now, is the drug situation. Because things are so had, most people figure that the best thing to do is to get high and just not deal with what’s happening.


We’re not the only people that know this stuff. The cops are at least as on top of the situation as anyone else. That’s the reason that the S.W.A.T. squads are being trained to be able to stop “food riots.” They know that people need to eat, and they are going to make sure that we starve if we can’t pay.

The cops have also stepped up considerably their harassment of young people in a routine sort of way. Especially when we’re black or any minority, we can expect to be stopped on the streets by the first cop that we see.

What’s really sick is the fact that even when some of us have jobs, they never pay enough to really live on. Especially for any young people who have a family, the ends just don’t meet.


One thing is clear. Young people will try to survive. If we can’t get jobs with decent wages and working conditions, we’ll have to survive some other way. The other ways are through gangs, ripping off, and getting high.

There is one other alternative [way] to survive. It’s called organizing.

As individuals, we have no power. But when people who are all being messed with decide not to take it any more, then we can change our situation.

That’s the way that working class young people in the last depression of the 1930s survived. They organized unions and fought for the things that they needed. Social security, unemployment benefits and all sorts of other things were won that way.


Our job today is to defend ourselves again. If we get strong enough, we can even go on the offensive. We will get rid of the problem at the source — the rule of the rich.

This must be done. We’re beginning to fight, especially for jobs for young people. See the article on page 4 to see how you can become involved.

1975.08.01: Unemployment Committees Lead Fight (Red Tide)

Unemployment Committees

Red Tide #19
August 1975

Unemployment Committees Lead Fight
[By Michael Letwin]

The Red Tide has begun an unemployment campaign this summer to fight for jobs for young people. The purpose of this campaign is to mobilize young people in different cities around the country to demand jobs. This has already proved successful in places such as New York and Los Angeles, both of which have seen demonstrations of hundreds of young people for jobs and which have received a good deal of attention.


The immediate goal of our campaign is to hold picket lines and demonstrations on August 7 at City Halls and various government offices to demand the following:


We believe that the government has the duty to make sure that everybody who wants a job has one. Young people today can’t find jobs. Even if they do occasionally, they are at poverty wages. We want jobs for everyone at decent wages[,] which people can survive on.


There is no reason why young people without jobs shouldn’t have unemployment benefits. Though young workers haven’t usually had jobs for long periods or perhaps ever since school, we too need to survive. If the people who run this country can’t provide us with the jobs we need, then they can’t make us starve. We believe that they must pay us enough to live on, whether they can find a job for us or not.


Job training is something else that we are entitled to. We should receive decent training in the schools, but what we know may not be what we need for a job today. The schools should be open at all times to all for this training. There should also be a place [that] young people can come and use for recreation. The schools belong to us [–] we should be able to use them.


This needs almost no explanation. With masses of young people in the streets this summer and in the fall, cops have been coming down harder than ever on us. We want an end to all of that harassment, including all special projects against youth.


The government is spending about $90 billion this year so that this country can go around the world ripping off and wiping out people in other countries. This ain’t for “democracy and freedom.” The people that run this country don’t know the meaning of the words. It’s so that a few people here can get rich by straight and simple theft. These are the wars that our friends get killed in and that we have to fight. We want an end to that. If the money spent on the military was spent on giving people jobs to do decent things in this country, there would be a lot more jobs.


The demands above make it clear where we stand on jobs for youth. These are the demands of the Red Tide Unemployment Committees. These committees can be found at the addresses of all RT branches listed in the paper. If there isn’t one listed for your city, then write to the National Office, and we’ll help you set up one.

The activities of the committees include demonstrations and picket lines and also mass distribution of the leaflets and materials that make people aware that there is a fight going on. This is really important, because while most young people know how bad the job scene is, they don’t know that there are people organizing about it.


We don’t think that young people today are willing to sit back and starve because they don’t have jobs. We believe that with organization, the Red Tide committees can force the government to respond, to provide at least some more jobs. Join a committee in your area.

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

1975.08.01: Use the Newspaper (Red Tide)

Use the newspaper

Red Tide #19
August 1975

Use the Newspaper
[By Michael Letwin]

The Red Tide newspaper is an organizer. Even though it’s not a person who can speak to people the way a person does, the paper talks to more people than any one member of the Red Tide.

We all have friends who haven’t seen the Red Tide who would dig it. We should all make sure that they get a copy of every issue. In fact if you would like to do this, you can send to us for a bundle of 5 or more papers for half-price to sell to your friends.

The other half of using the paper is to write for it. That’s what makes the paper relevant to people in your city. The people involved can also use the article to organize for the local issue. An example is the picture next to this article on the police. The paper was part of organizing against them.

The paper represents our movement. It represents the work of hundreds of people who are working every day to organize to fight back. We have to make the paper even better than it has been, with a bigger circulation. Make the Red Tide your paper.

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

1975.08.01: We’re Fighting Back (Red Tide)

We're fighting back

Red Tide #19
August 1975

We’re Fighting Back
[By Michael Letwin]

The world is a mess, and young people are some of the first ones to know it. Schools are falling apart cause of lack of money, cops are hassling us, racists are trying to keep blacks out of decent schools and there aren’t any jobs to speak of.

So what, might say. We all know that stuff; the real secret is what the hell can be done about all of that? Well, the answer is to fight, and not just as individuals, but in an organized way.

That’s what gives us strength, being part of the same fight. That’s what the Red Tide is all about.


The Red Tide took on the police both this year and last, when we launched campaigns against them harassing young people, in and out of the schools.

This campaign took place primarily in Detroit and L.A. In both of these cities, the police run wild, busting, harassing, provoking, and even killing young people.

In L.A. last fall, the police began a “Stay in School” Program[,] which was a fancy name for stepping up their harassment of young people. It was at this point that the LA RT began a campaign to get the cops out of the schools.

Thousands of leaflets were distributed at schools around the city, and by the time the cops made a series of drug busts in the schools, 4 schools walked out within three days. At one school, cop cars were trashed and police driven out of the school.

In Detroit, a leaflet campaign began against the police[,] which was met by the police sweeping down on its distributors. Young people in Detroit are interested though; Detroit is one of the most cop-ridden cities in the country.


One of the biggest struggles that is coming up is the question of the government cutting back the money[,] which keeps the schools running. Needless to say, they take away everything that’s half decent[,] and pour our money into “security” instead.

School cutbacks began drastically last fall and are continuing this year. Cutbacks affect minority schools the most, the schools that have been the worse off anyway.

Students have been fighting the cutbacks also. Last year[,] a struggle took place in San Francisco over the city cutting back heavily on its funding for the schools.

Student organizations against the cutbacks were formed[,] which carried out demonstrations and activities demanding that there be no cuts. Hundreds of students around the city were involved. This fight in San Francisco had some success.

However, in most cities, especially in the Midwest and the East, the schools are simply falling to pieces with no hope of being rescued. Some schools are being closed; others might as well be.


By far the most disgusting and dangerous thing that has happened is the racists’ attack on school busing plans. Busing is a fight [that] must be supported. “Separate but equal” cannot exist in this system. It’s the one way that education for minority youth will never come close to being equal to that of whites.

It’s no solution to the problem of schools in general, but it gives an equal chance for what there is to learn in the schools to everybody.

Busing, or plans for it, [is] beginning to happen everywhere in this country. The most active opposition to it has been coming from openly KKK-type white groups[,] which are being financed by big business and tolerated and usually encouraged by the government. Everywhere the racists are trying to stop the integration of blacks and whites.

Organizing is taking place to defend busing against the racists. It’s a fight against those who attack black people in the streets, as well as those who will sell out busing in the courts and in the government.

The solution is for people to organize to physically defend busing. We can’t rely on the police or the army to do this for us. Half the time they will be with the racist mobs. It’s up to us to defend busing with our own strength.


The things mentioned here are just a few of the things that are fights to be made. The Red Tide has begun to fight, but it’s only the beginning. We need more people. Fight back with us. To get in touch, write Red Tide, P.O. Box 64402, Los Angeles, Calif. 90064.

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