Monthly Archives: May 1976

1976.05.01: It Ain’t Just Gary (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 #27
May-June 1976

It Ain’t Just Gary
By Michael Long [Michael Letwin]

There is one reason above all others that people around the country are rallying to the defense of Gary Tyler. It’s because if you are poor and you are black in particular, you know that you could have been Gary Tyler. This isn’t just a weird fantasy. If you look at what has happened in the past and what happens today, you can see why.


It isn’t an accident that there have been so many frame-ups of poor black people over the years. The government is out to stop anything who challenges them. The government has a campaign to stop any real black leadership. Gary Tyler was picked up for a frame-up because he stood up for his rights and those of the other blacks students at Destrehan High School in Louisiana against the cops.


You don’t have to look far to find the last series of frame-ups that took place in this country against black leaders. One of the best examples is the Black Panther Party.

The Black Panthers were organized in the Sixties to fight against police harassment of black people. They organized the black community to fight for its needs in a militant way. The Black Panther Party was formed in 1966, yet a few years later the Panthers had been destroyed. Its leadership, Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, Erica Huggins and others, were all facing phony charges in frame-up trials.

The Panthers were constantly being jailed, beat up and murdered by the police.

Some people thought that the Panthers had “asked for it.” But any doubts that people may have had were finally settled when secret FBI documents were released. They show that the FBI launched a national campaign in coordination with the local pigs to destroy the Black Panther Party, on orders from the US Attorney General.


The FBI documents showed even more than that. They proved that the government had plans for decades to discredit and destroy any serious black liberation organization or individuals, from Martin Luther King Jr. to Malcolm X.


While the government’s campaign has been mainly against blacks, it has tried to smash anyone who has fought back. Latinos and Indians are treated on the same level as black people. At this very moment the government is murdering and imprisoning the leaders of the American Indian Movement (AIM), which has been leading the struggle for Indian freedom.

And though white people have it better, they too are affected directly by the government’s policy of racism and repression. White workers who have fought their bosses and the government have been put away. White who organized against the war in Vietnam were harassed by the same FBI that murdered and jailed the Panthers.


How does all of this relate to Gary Tyler? Well, the government has had plenty of practice in framing people who fight for their rights. It’s not just the famous Black Panthers or Angela Davis, but the average person on the street. Angela Davis or the Panthers got some news coverage because they were famous.

But Gary Tyler is one of the many unknown people who was framed. These are the people who need our defense desperately. They are the people who the government tries to stop as soon as they can.


This is the main reason why Gary Tyler must be supported. We have the show the government that we will not stand by and watch their rotten racist system chew up another brother or sister without anything saying something about it. Gary Tyler is the best example around of a clear, racist frame-up.


Gary Tyler will happen again. As long as the rich rule this country and use racism to keep us divided, there will be more Gary Tylers than you can count. It’s part of keeping their system going and under their control. This makes fighting for Gary Tyler a fight against the system itself.

And if it’s their system that’s guilty, then it is the system that must be dealt with.