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:http://theredtide.wordpress.com/]


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