News Shorts


Fifth Estate # 101, March 19-April 1, 1970



BOSTON—Fuzzy the pig is going to be alright. Fuzzy is, fittingly, the mascot of the National Patrolman’s Association, and underwent a weekend operation for an intestinal disorder at the Angell Memorial Animal Hospital last week.

Richard MacEachner, president of the association, said the patrolmen picked a pig for a mascot because, “We believe pigs are beautiful. We’d rather associate with Fuzzy than some of the degenerates who run around referring to policemen as pigs.”

Pig lover MacEachner also suggested that the riots following the trial of the Chicago Seven could be easily quelled by shooting the demonstrators. He was taken at his word as he walked on his beat nine hours later. Someone fired two shots at him, but missed.


BEL AIR, Md. (LNS) — In the early morning hours of Tuesday, March 10, SNCC organizers Ralph Featherstone and William “Che” Bayne were blown up in their car. The explosion happened two miles from the courthouse where SNCC Chairman H. Rap Brown was to go on trial for having made speeches which “caused” the 1967 rebellion of Cambridge Maryland’s black community.

Rap is being prosecuted for arson and riot under the famous “Rap Brown Act,” created especially to prevent black militants from travelling around the country making speeches, and recently used against the Conspiracy 8 defendants in Chicago. As of Friday evening, March 13, Rap Brown was still missing.

“We don’t know if the brother is alive or dead,” said a worried SNCC spokesman in New York. “There is every reason to believe that Rap may have been in that car. The speculation in the Amsterdam News and the New York Post that Rap is safe and that his whereabouts are known are sheer fabrication—their source of information is the FBI.”

Before Payne’s badly mangled body was identified, there had been speculation that Rap might have been the second passenger in the exploded car. Bel Air police, worried about the reaction of black communities in Baltimore, Washington and around the country, almost immediately put forward to the press the idea that the two young black men must have blown themselves up in an inept attempt to blow up some police station or something.

Maryland’s governor Marvin Mandel put the National Guard on alert, and the prosecuting attorney in Rap’s case showed up at the site of the explosion to proclaim that the police theory seemed like a good one to him.

“All those who have known Ralph Featherstone know that the brother would not have been carrying incendiary devices in his car,” said a close friend and fellow worker of Featherstone’s. A SNCC spokesman said, “Nobody who knows Maryland, and nobody in the black community believes they were carrying that bomb themselves, but that they were planted or thrown into the car specifically for the murder of Rap Brown.”

“The people who are spreading the story that they blew themselves up are trying to build a panic, a bomb scare, to crush all public opinion against the repression that they’re building up,” the SNCC spokesman continued. “They’re laying the groundwork for revitalizing the MacCarran Act, for ‘Operation Dragnet’ to round up all dissidents.”

“You’d have to be a fool to ride to Rap Brown’s trial, in a well known movement car, knowing you’re being watched and followed, and carrying a bomb with you,” another movement veteran remarked.

Black movement people in Maryland are convinced that Featherstone and Williams, who were in Maryland trying to prepare a safe entry for Brown into Bel Air, were killed by KKK or John Birch Society forces, both of which are active in the area, or by some of the more official right-wingers often closely associated with them. “It is significant to note that the car that was driven and destroyed had been used over the past five years throughout the black belt of the South,” a movement leaflet here explains. “The car was well known to state and federal authorities. Ralph and William’s presence in Bel Air was almost certainly known. A bomb must have been planted at some point during the night under the right front seat of the car.”

Featherstone, a former SNCC National Programs Secretary, was 31 years old at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Charlotte, to whom he was recently married, his parents, three brothers and four sisters. Che Payne was 29 at the time of his death.


On March 7, in Guatemala, U.S. Diplomatic aide Sean M. Holly was kidnapped at gunpoint by five members of the Armed Revolutionary Force (ARF), a Guatemalan guerrilla group. Holly was driving from a downtown restaurant back to the U.S. embassy when he was abducted.

The ARF demanded the release of four political prisoners and threatened to kill Holly if the Guatemalan government did not comply with their demands. So far two of the prisoners, Jose Monzon and Vidalina Monzon, have been released and taken to the Costa Rican embassy for political asylum. Holly was released after the first two prisoners were released.

The other prisoners, Jose Sierra and Leonel del Cid, have not yet been released because authorities are unable to find them in the countries’ jails. All of the prisoners named in the demand are members of the Armed Revolutionary Force.


NANTERRE’ (LNS) — The suburban University of Nanterre, where students in May of 1968 initiated the massive strike of workers and students that left France paralyzed, has again become the seat of student rebellion.

150 police and a number of students were injured in two days of confrontation, March 3 and 4. 1,000 police armed heavily with riot gear and gas canisters, finally dispersed the 600 or so tenacious radicals and their supporters.

As the left escalates in militancy, the French right gains cohesion in its virulent, anti-communist campaign. Ordre Nouveau (The New Order), the largest and most effective of France’s right-wing groups, has managed, through recent meetings in Paris, to recruit support from the rightist National Democratic Party of West Germany, the Neo-Fascist Italian Social Movement, and the Spanish Falange.


The Revolutionary Popular Vanguard (V.P.R.), a Brazilian liberation front, is on the offensive again. Last Thursday, March 12th, the right-wing, U.S. supported, Brazilian government was forced to agree to release five revolutionary brothers who were being held as political prisoners, in exchange for Nobuo Okuchi, Japan’s Consul-General, who was kidnapped by the VPR.

The terms of the exchange, outlined by the liberation group, were not only that the prisoners be released, but also that they be guaranteed asylum in Mexico or some other foreign country. The VPR further demanded that the Brazilian Government promise that no retaliations would be taken against other political prisoners.

The Japanese Consul-General was seized on March 11th by armed revolutionaries who pulled him from his car near Brazilia. In a typewritten note signed by the VRP, the Brazilian Government was notified of the conditions of thcexchange, and were also warned that, if they did not respond as directed, the Japanese ambassador would be killed.

Government officials quickly complied and the five prisoners will be flown to Mexico as demanded. Among the political prisoners listed by the VRP for this exchange are two women and another revolutionary brother who was arrested by the government following the bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Brazilia on March 19th, 1968.

One of the revolutionary women to be released is a mother of three children. The other woman, a Roman Catholic Nun, was jailed for doing no more than allowing anti-fascist and anti-U.S. groups to use the convent, where she was the mother superior for a meeting place.

In a similar kidnapping hostage incident late last year, Brazilian revolutionaries abducted the United States Ambassador. He also was held until he could be exchanged for a number of other national political prisoners who, similarly, were given asylum and flown to Mexico.

American radicals demonstrated their understanding of this tactic’s implications when thousands of students and young people marched against the Saigon Embassy in Washington D.C. last November. The VPR is aware of the colonialist role that is being played by the ambassador of aggressive industrial nations, and their activities stand as warnings to the imperialist powers from the east as well as the west.


As a 26 mile long oil slick washed onto island shores south of New Orleans, killing wild life and polluting the ocean, 2000 students at the University of Michigan were engrossed in an environmental teach-in last week. They listened to liberal politicians and business executives lecture on what has become the most co-optable issue since sideburns.

Industrial representatives, government officials, and academic experts took turns blaming one another, but in the final analysis no concrete decisions or commitments were made. It is becoming increasingly clear that the youth of Amerika have inherited still another disaster from our greedy, condescending, consumer oriented elders.

A GM executive, speaking at the week long conference, gave the usual empty promises. He stated, “We don’t know when we’re going to do it, but we’re going to do it.” When one of their cars was criticized, a Ford representative typically remarked that he did not consider the car a hazard but a “convenience.” Vice-President of Eastern Airlines was also on hand to wrap up once for all industry’s smug attitude. He simply stated that in order to spend the kinds of funds that are necessary to reverse ecological ‘tragedy he would “have to ask what we (industry) get in return.”

Most of the rhetoric run down sounded all too familiar. It was, predictably, not too different from the evasive, ambiguous stalls and excuses used by those in power when they are called upon to answer the charges of imperialism, racism, and genocide.

Ralph MacMullen, Michigan’s top conservationist, ominously gave “10 years to save mankind” before the present course becomes irreversible. It is obvious that the capitalists who have brought us war and poverty will not stop for ecology. If we have ten years for survival, then we have five years for revolution.