Letters To The Editor


Fifth Estate # 13, August 30, 1966


To the Editor:

Letter to the Peace Movement.

Pick one—

What fear is there, or manipulation of the truth is there on your part that blocks you from telling the people what’s happening?

The war is only a byproduct. Another step in a culture that degrades all spirit but war and lust.

You call yourselves the Peace Movement. At the recent so-called “Anti-War Art Festival” it was I who read the only ANTI-WAR poem. No, this isn’t just talk. FACE THE TRUTH! Certainly poets come out against war, but this is still war! Those who went there saw and heard a Mantra consisting of the word PEACE. Peace is anti-war, not protest.

I was really heartbroken to see the people quiver in their chairs as I repeated the word PEACE. It seems strange to me that the “peace” movement has no conception of what peace, real peace of spirit is.

We’re all hypocrites. I protest when I know that peace is where it’s at, and peace means only spiritual involvement, no protest, no hassle. You also who call yourselves the peace movement and don’t know what peace is.

I write this letter hoping for mutual benefit. Everything I write helps me see myself, and now possibly I won’t have to do the Campus Martius scene again, and hopefully you’ll take a minute of your precious time from trying to stop the war to think about what peace is, and I here on this sheet admit I was wrong, but I cannot admit you were right.

That we may change,

Jerry Younkins,

Dear Editor:

Send us your rebels.

More than ever, on the northern half of the continent, Canada exists as the alternative to the U.S. melting pot.

As Madelyn Murray might say, McCarthyism is no longer an issue in the United States because it has triumphed completely.

Your abortive Great Society should drive rebels to move to this other North American nation to help make Canada The New Society.

G.K. Johnson
Ottawa, Ontario

To the Editor:

The August 15 issue of the FIFTH ESTATE made it perfectly clear that the FIFTH ESTATE is trying to establish itself in the grand old tradition of respectable “liberal” American newspapers.

The FIFTH ESTATE lied about and manipulated the actual character of the contingent represented by 1) Afro-Americans, 2) The American Liberation Front, and 3) the League of Revolutionary Poets which participated in the demonstration August 6 sponsored by the Ad Hoc Committee to End the War in Vietnam (sic).[See FE #12, August 15, 1966.]

The contingent was composed of approximately 25 persons. Only three of these were members of the League of Revolutionary Poets. The total demonstration was composed of not much more than 100 persons, and many of these were sympathetic to the contingent of which the League of Revolutionary poets was a part.

Only one man, Jerry Younkins, a poet, wore long hair and individual bohemian clothes. We defend the right of people to dress however they please. The FIFTH ESTATE used the exact tactics of Detroit’s dailies. However even the “NEWS” and “FREE PRESS” rarely resort to displaying a single photograph of one man to determine the character of a demonstration.

The contingent came to the demonstration with a leaflet calling attention to Lord Bertrand Russell’s call for an international war crimes trial to indict the Johnson administration, to be held later this year. This contingent held a mock hanging of Johnson. This contingent carried signs denouncing the war. One member of the AFL unfurled the colors of the National Liberation Front.

Breakthrough, a Detroit neo-fascist group, has attacked EVERY demonstration against the war that has been held in Detroit. It seems to us completely irresponsible “opinion” then, to accuse the militant contingent of causing the attack.

Some members of the Ad Hoc Committee staged a sit-in. The militant contingent supported their right to sit-in even though we did not agree with the tactic. Why were we blamed for their arrests?

Allen Van Newkirk

Dan Georgakas

Basil Black

Jacqueline Shatz

Ellis Bishop

John Sinclair

Jerry Younkins

Ernst Nasser

(Ed. note: THE FIFTH ESTATE appreciates the concern evidenced by the above letter, in reply we direct the writer’s attention, and that of all our readers, to the following:

“The responsible press will not refrain from critical reporting simply to promote good relations among peoples. It will not say, ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace. It will combat oppression, corruption, bigotry, and moral decay wherever it finds them, and it will do it fearlessly.

“In so doing, it may be falsely accused of stirring up prejudice. All any responsible paper or magazine can do is to consider impartially all the information at its disposal and then take a stand in accord with its own best judgment. It cannot in good conscience suppress what it believes to be the truth in order to appease any people or any group.”

—from The Christian Science Monitor.
(Excerpted from the editorial “Press and Prejudices,” August 19, 1966.)