Poem by Joshua Newton


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

Yesterday we were in your station.

it was not what we had in mind,

that morning—to be pulled over at gunpoint

& shoved upagainstthecar / motherfucker.


by five or six cars

with pigs jumping

out of each pigcar

like clowns at the circus do &

their cars too were gaudy with

ads from their sponsors

i remember / your riot guns

the fat-old pig, pacing

squinting, popping juicy-fruit &

waving his sawed-off twelve-gauge

as though that were all

he knew how to do: cheap

drugstore yellows spitting sparks

like sweat in the sun

with badge and gun

he said buncha squirrely motherfuckers

to his pigfriend, waving his

death-tube at us

to clarify himself.

we were just going out for some

target-practice—that’s right

just excercising our rights within the laws

when you ripped us off, as you know now and knew

then / why did you rip us off

are you afraid because you know

that each banana-clip of an M-1 carbine

holds enough criticism

for thirty of you

because you found 34 sticks of dynamite

in your ladies’ john? because some

Of you have already been snuffed &

the rest of you are sure that some-

body wants you too?

or are you afraid

just because the people you see

on the streets as you drive by

must shop at the neighborhood stores

that charge 72 cents for a half gallon of milk

& know that if they were to


that the price be lowered


to protect the store-owner

& they know that never, within

their lifetimes will you protect

them, from that store-owner.




think that the people

you fuck-over, everyday

need any outside agitator commie-punks

to tell them about YOU

you got it all wrong, guys

it is we who have learned from them

learned from the oppressed people

all over the world

to hate you.


is a word

seen on any number of pigcars

in Detroit, all over amerikkka &

it is a joke at which we do not laugh.


do you propose

to protect THE PEOPLE

from the dogs you work for

and from your very selves

Uncontrollably yours,

Joshua Newton

Related in this issue

Letter to the 13th Precinct Everywhere [FE #101, March 19-April 1, 1970]