Macomb Moves


Fifth Estate # 106, May 28-June 10, 1970

“Historically, all reactionary forces on the verge of extinction invariably conduct a last desperate struggle against the revolutionary forces, and some revolutionaries are apt to be deluded for a time by this phenomenon of outward strength but inner weakness, failing to grasp the essential fact that the enemy is nearing extinction while they themselves are approaching victory.”

—Chairman Mao Tse-Tung

In continuing our efforts to end war, racism, imperialism, and the repression of the people of the world by Amerikan capitalists, students from Macomb County Community College marched on the Detroit Tank Plant on Wednesday, May 13.

The Chrysler Corporation owns and operates the Detroit Tank Plant, which is located on 11-1/2 Mile and Van Dyke. This plant produces and is responsible for the majority of the tanks in Southeast Asia. During 1968, the Defense Operations of Chrysler Corporation received production contracts totaling more than $41,000,000 to assemble the 52 ton M-60A1 and M-60A1E2 Tanks, Combat Engineer vehicles and the military Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET 70).

The millions of the dollars in profits the Chrysler Corporation makes, which have killed thousands, will continue to make more profits in killing our brothers and sisters in Vietnam until the war is over and the power given to the people.

The Missile Division of Chrysler Corporation is doing classified research and development on limited warfare, electro-optics, inertial guidance and other supporting activities.

One major program underway involves the testing of their own directional control system on an Air Force air-to-surface guided missile. The full reports on the research and development being done on the Anti-Ballistic Missile project has not yet been released to the public.

But what is Chrysler Corporation? Most people think it is an Amerikan auto company trying to keep out of debt from the falling economy. Maybe this would be a good description thirty years ago, but not for today.

Chrysler is a big and powerful company that has factories all over the world. There are assembly plants in Spain, Australia, Brazil, Peru, Philippine Islands, South Africa, England, France, plus buildings now being erected in other countries.

Almost 40% of the total Chrysler work force is outside the U.S. As Lynd Townsend, the boss of Chrysler said, “The most important change in the Chrysler Corporation during the 1960s was the change from a predominantly American company to a company with major operations on six continents.”

Being the sixth largest industrial corporation in the U.S. of A. this entitles it to huge protection from the three thousand U.S. military bases around the world. But Chrysler goes one step further than most people think, and makes millions of dollars supplying their personal armed guards.

Chrysler not only makes money selling automobiles to Middle Class Amerika but profits from the working class brothers who are fighting on the front lines. We either get killed in their plants or get killed protecting their profits.

The reasons why we marched on the Tank Plant are clear. Because we cannot eat guns and we cannot live in tanks. They must stop producing them and start producing for our needs. Ask yourself—why is unemployment and inflation rising so rapidly?

It is because we are producing too little goods to meet our needs and the price of these goods are higher than we can afford to pay. But tanks and guns are being produced every day and they cannot meet our basic needs.

Despite the poor weather conditions on Wednesday, we attracted a number of interested students. Many of the people had signs, some of which read “Chrysler Bosses Get Rich, while GIs Die,” “Stop the War on the Poor, Start the War on the Rich,” “Workers—We’ll Support You In September, Will You Support Us Now?” and a half-dozen National Liberation Front flags were carried by proud students.

The march was loud but peaceful and due to the fact that it was on a military installation, the politics and effect were heavy. We received enough of a turn-out that the plant was shut down for the rest of the afternoon. The workers time for that afternoon was spent the way they pleased, instead of sweating in the building of war materials, which often are used by their own sons, and these sons are the same ones who have died fighting for a lost cause.

Past activities at Macomb have had the disadvantage of being in a racist, working-class community and many passive students are on campus only to attend classes. The major problem is that the majority of the students are not aware of the conditions and continuing repression of Third World people nor of the ways and means that the fascist government in this country is taking to extinguish any movement by the people to make some changes that we demand.

But there is a small nucleus of conscious students who are aware of the needs of the people and the changes that are needed in this political system. Through Cambodia, the Kent State executions and the march on the Detroit Tank Plant, the number of students actively participating in open opposition to this government’s policies is increasing every day on this campus.

The biggest and most complicated problem we are faced with is the education of the people who live and work in the community, that they are really the’ only ones who are looked down upon by the Amerikan politicians, that they too can openly participate with us in demonstrations, that they begin to know we support them and know the struggles they have gone through, and that they too can be active in and benefit from the coming revolution!


See Fifth Estate’s Vietnam Resource Page.