Detroit Seen

by

Fifth Estate # 267, November, 1975

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What with all the straight media from TV-2 to the Ann Arbor Sun declaring us dead, we thought it was about time to bring out some proof to the contrary. On the other hand, maybe we shouldn’t be so cocky about it since this is only our third paper in four months, pretty well giving the lie to our proposed monthly schedule. But a fatal combination of laziness and a desire not to be bound by externally imposed deadlines has probably allowed us to become self-indulgent (like this column). Also, this is an explanation, not a promise for more frequent issue.

Our last issue was received well enough for our distributor to have requested more papers from us since many of their routes were sold out. Also, we had great fun with people who were sure the FE and the Ann Arbor Sun had merged and were now publishing jointly. By the way, the Sun staff reportedly thought the FE parody of their paper was “funny,” but their imported editor from Cleveland was apparently more than disturbed that certain scallywags in Detroit and the Sun’s hometown kept putting the FE parody of their paper into Sun coinboxes

Financial woes still bewail the FE, with more than a few wolves at our door: Several creditors are preparing to take us to court and our old friends at the Los Angeles Free Press are attempting to haul us into Federal Court on the West Coast to try to collect $11,000! they say we owe them for printing Ron Cobb’s cartoon. We thought that the whole matter had been settled several months ago when the cartoonist wrote and told the FE that there was no problem as far as he was concerned. Attorney Ken Mogill is currently trying to save our necks–again…

However, in general, the FE’s financial situation is still only desperate, not catastrophic. That is, we finally got around to paying the totally necessary bills for October towards the end of the month and we obviously had enough money to pay our printer, but things appear still touch and go. We are not to the point where we are saying send money or the paper will collapse (we’re saving that for next month); but we would urge you to subscribe if you like our paper, buy a sub for a friend, or check out our bookstore. That way we might not make it to the crisis point…

Speaking of the bookstore, our “Fuck Authority” poster on the back of the bookstore catalog was a big hit, with one even making an appearance on the back of a Roseville cop car. A small number of posters and copies of our last issue are available–if you want either, send a quarter and indicate which, or both, you would like. Also, the stock of the bookstore has almost doubled since last month, as you can see by the listings farther on in this issue. It’s been good talking with the people who have stopped by, and reading the mail which has accompanied orders, so we have decided to extend our hours by openings Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. to let people drop by whose work hours don’t let them get down to the store during the week…

The FE 10th anniversary party has been postponed from the end of October until December 6th because it didn’t look as if we were going to be able to pull it together for the earlier date. We are planning to do a whole number with music, plays and food at the Earth Center–details in our next issue.

By that time we will also have out a “Best of the Fifth Estate” containing articles from all ten years of FE issues…

A third Eat the Rich T-shirt party will be held at our offices (4403 Second, corner of W. Canfield) on November 21st at 2 p.m. We will have shirts available for you to buy for silk-screening or you can bring in any garment you prefer and screen the image yourself…

As you may already know, if you watched TV-2 news several weeks back, it looks as if Michigan Bell may be planning to bring the FE back into court again, to prosecute the paper for running the “illegal” means by which phone calls can be made for free. Though the last trial ended with a hung jury and was declared a mistrial by Recorders Court Judge Elvin Davenport (see the September FE for all the details), Michigan Bell apparently isn’t giving up so easily. Wayne County Prosecutor Avery Weiswasser says he feels another trial may be a “waste of time” because the FE is unable financially to pay any fine, but in reality, his hesitation may be based on his inability to convince the first jury that he had any case at all. However, a pre-trial hearing is set for December, at which time the trial date will be set, probably with Weiswasser again as the prosecutor, and in Judge Davenport’s courtroom. The FE’s attorney, Ken Mogill, says he will take the constitutional issues raised by the statute before the Michigan Court of Appeals….

Sorry about the lack of Classified ads and list of sales points for the paper, but we were jammed with copy and something had to go. Classifieds were way down anyway because of our monthly schedule, but we apologize to anyone we may have inconvenienced because of their deletion.

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